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The Front Runner (1974)

by Patricia Nell Warren

Series: Front Runner (1), Harlan's Story (1)

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8282226,775 (3.92)26
A gifted gay athelete is threatened with outing on his way to the Olympic games. The classic novel from award winning author Patricia Nell Warren.

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Patricia Nell Warren died at 82. Her gay-male novels of the 1970s (eg this one, [The Beauty Queen], [The Fancy Dancer]) were eye-openers for young queer me. RIP, and thanks.

I've come to think of this as a very flawed book because its heroes don't get anything like their richly earned HEA. True to its times, death stalks them. But before that...transcendent love and not just slaked lust (though there's plenty o' lust-slakin' indeed). Revelatory for my 1976 self. I am sad it never got its movie...Paul Newman optioned it way back when and the bubble machine hit overdrive imagining him as Harlan...but I'm deeply glad it was around in its flawed glory when I was young and impressionable. Love! Ordinary, human love between two men, neither of whom wore marabou or make-up!

And then that ending. I think rising sea-levels started when gay guys hit the last three chapters of this book. It *still* hurts forty-three years later to think of the ending. My goodness, I'm even tearing up, I can not believe just remembering it affects me so profoundly!

Patricia Nell Warren, you did real good. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Feb 11, 2019 |
Three stars for historical relevancy and importance. I can see how much this book would have meant reading it when it came out but it didn't hold my attention. I didn't care enough about the characters to care about the sports part. Glad I read it but not sure I'd recommend it unless you were looking to fill in knowledge of past gay lit. Or if you really like track/sports stories. ( )
  AjaxBell | Aug 24, 2017 |
A rather dated novel that opened the eyes of a lot of people in its time... ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
If this was a book that had been published in 2013 I would trash it no-regrets. It's made up almost entirely of cliches and common places. The older man - young skinny athlete fantasy might have helped it sell well before but now it's just boring. Also it's king of outdated, things like "I thought Rock music was against American values" just didn't help me get into it. That and the fact that I felt the story was really predictable. However, this book was published in 1974 and was a pioneer gay themed novel, and it deserves praise for that. I just didn't enjoyed it almost at all, and had lot's of trouble finishing it, even thou I'm both gay and a runner. ( )
  josescott | Sep 20, 2014 |
3.5 stars. ( )
  Penny01 | Feb 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editGGR-Review.com, Warren (Nov 4, 2014)
added by gsc55 | editBoy meets Boy, Lorix (May 13, 2014)

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A gifted gay athelete is threatened with outing on his way to the Olympic games. The classic novel from award winning author Patricia Nell Warren.

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