The front runner

by Patricia Nell Warren

Paperback, 1974

Status

Available

Publication

Beverly Hills : Wildcat Press, 1996, c1974.

Description

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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member minxy_ukusa
This is a fantastic love story which isn't afraid to shock the reader or to turn you on.The tag on the cover says "the most celebrated gay love story ever." The tag should read "the greatest love story ever."
LibraryThing member phoebesmum
Terribly written, but historically fascinating and oh, my dear, the clothes and hair
LibraryThing member willowcove
A classic in gay literature. Thought provoking, enjoyable, and a must read.
LibraryThing member ElTomaso
A clssic gay fiction novel. This is the prototype for many subsequent works in gay fiction. The Front Runner was a sourse of comfort and hope for me when I first read it in my youth!
LibraryThing member cestovatela
It's dangerous writing book reviews based on things you read in high school. It's hard to say how I would feel about the book now, but I found it tremendously moving when I read it the first time. It doesn't have to be a "gay" book even though it's about gay characters - really, it's a story about love, adversity and social ridicule that anyone should be able to relate to.… (more)
LibraryThing member severina
Harlan is a university track coach who tries to deny his sexuality, giving in only on infrequent excursions to NYC for random tricks. Billy is a track star expelled from his previous school for standing up for two other gay students. This is their story... their romance... played out on the backdrop of Harlan training Billy for a shot at the Olympic track team.

It's stunning. It was written in 1973, so certain parts can seem dated, but I was simply blown away by it. Billy and Harlan's fight against bigotry and homophobia, esp. within the amateur sports associations, is so eloquently written that I found myself clutching the book in a white-knuckled grip and hunching forward, almost physically pulling for them. I've never before been made so forcefully aware of how far the gay rights movement has come... and how much farther it still has to go. And toward the end... I cried. A novel has never made me cry before.

(Reviewed March 2004)
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LibraryThing member AmyLC
running, college students, gay characters
LibraryThing member actonbell
Though I wouldn't say that this novel was written in an artistic way, it certainly was a good story, a classic that stands as a reminder of how things were at the time. It is a good, poignant love story.
LibraryThing member narwhaltortellini
Very big, important, still-important-despite-being-written-years-ago hit gay love story, etc. On that level, very muchly yes I do agree. There's no really denying that. It's just one of those ones that's never going to really be completely out of date, cause there's always going to be people out there treating people like crap because they're idiots. Lucky book. And when I once in a while remind myself when this thing was actually written, my eyebrows fly up and I am once again reminded of the great amount of respect I have for this book.

On the like-I-care-about-that-I-just-want-to-read-something-interesting level, the middle was kind of slow for me. But, you know, nothing has a little entertainment value like the undying ability for people to be close-minded jerks. It's not like it's surprising, as some people are still like that today, and this was a while ago. And while I was originally going to go away from this book with a 'Well, that was interesting. And such a book for it's time!' feeling, the ending certainly finished things off with a good hard hit that's going to make me remember it in some very different ways as well.
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LibraryThing member dbsovereign
A rather dated novel that opened the eyes of a lot of people in its time...
LibraryThing member diegogarcia
A true milestone in GLBT literature. This is one of the books you will never forget no matter whether or how much you liked it. A page-turner like no other, it gives a thoughtful insight into the American gay (athletic) live in the 1970s AND a wonderful love story. What it may lack in literary style, it makes it up with a great plot and incredibly vivid characters. And yes, I cried.… (more)
LibraryThing member JenneB
Wow, things have certainly come a long way since 1974.
Now, they actually publish gay novels that are good, instead of schmaltzy claptrap like this.
LibraryThing member astrologerjenny
This is a classic, a book to be respected rather than enjoyed. It's the story of a gay Olympic runner, from the point of view of his coach/lover. It reminds me a lot of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and it had a similar social function. It thoroughly explores what it takes to live in a homophobic world, whether one is in or out of the closet. There's heartbreak, pathos and martyrdom.… (more)
LibraryThing member astrologerjenny
This is a classic, a book to be respected rather than enjoyed. It's the story of a gay Olympic runner, from the point of view of his coach/lover. It reminds me a lot of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and it had a similar social function. It thoroughly explores what it takes to live in a homophobic world, whether one is in or out of the closet. There's heartbreak, pathos and martyrdom.… (more)
LibraryThing member KajeHarper
This is a classic, MM romance written back when that was almost unheard of. The story still shines, the characters are wonderful, flawed and believable. The ending hurts. As we browse the candy store of modern MM romance (from the lightweight to the intense) this is one to come back to and savor.
LibraryThing member josescott
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.… (more)
LibraryThing member robreadsbooks
A classic. A surprisingly real and honest gay romance given the year it was written. A must read for all who like a good gay love story.

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3839
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