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Running in Bed Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Two Harbors Press (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937293483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937293482
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Sharlach's winning debut is a moving portrait of the gay community before and during the age of AIDS. ...... The author does a masterful job of portraying love and loss in a fast-moving and engaging story that will linger with the reader long after the final page is turned.   Publishers Weekly - April 9, 2012

A vibrant, accomplished debut... undeniably charming... --Kirkus Reviews

From the Back Cover

Author Jeffrey Sharlach paints a brilliant picture of life in New York for a gay man at that moment in history. Running in Bed encapsulates the highs and lows of being true to oneself at a time when homosexuality was often considered a disease from which one could be cured. From the New York club scene to summers on Fire Island to the dawn of AIDS, Sharlach writes with humor, poignancy, and charm, presenting characters who are universal in their appeal. Running in Bed's incomparable, evocative images will resonate with readers, regardless of their personal persuasion.

More About the Author

Jeffrey Sharlach became a widower at age 40. That was when Ken Williams, his lover, best friend and life-partner of 13 years, succumbed to AIDS at 34. The year was 1994, not long after the couple decided to leave New York City for Miami. For years, AIDS had spread mercilessly through the gay communities in America's urban centers before anyone knew of its existence and by 1993, the devastating disease had become the leading cause of death among persons 25 to 44 years old in the United States.

With friends sick and dying, and as his partner's health waned, Sharlach worried about how he'd be able to get the necessary care in the walk-up apartment where they lived in New York's Greenwich Village. And his career had also taken a turn of uncertainty as his boss and mentor, the CEO of the international public relations agency where he worked, had been forced out by the marketing conglomerate which owned the firm.

He decided it was time to change his life. He resigned his high-paying New York PR agency position and moved with Ken to Miami Beach where he planned to teach college students, do some PR consulting work from home, and work on the novel he had talked about writing for many years.

Sharlach did begin teaching in the School of Communications at University of Miami in 1993, and with Miami fast-developing as the business capital of Latin America at the time, found more than enough work to keep busy with the consulting business he set up in the living room of his new Miami Beach apartment. In fact there was so much work, that he resigned his teaching post less than a year a later. And plans for the novel were put on hold.

Although hoping the relaxed pace and better weather would be helpful to Ken, he passed away not long after leaving New York. In his grief, Sharlach poured his energy into his consulting business. He moved it out of his apartment, hired his first employee, and today JeffreyGroup, with five offices is the leading independent PR and marketing agency targeting Latin America and US Hispanic audiences.

It was more than 15 years later though that he finally got around to writing that novel, Running in Bed, published by Two Harbors Press.

Jeffrey Sharlach was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1953, the oldest of three children to parents also born in Stamford, a suburb of New York City. His father was a businessman, running a small chain of retail stores and his mother was a homemaker.

It was a typical suburban, upbringing in 1950's United States: a country brimming at the time with unbridled optimism, growing wealth and new opportunities. Still beneath the bright surface there were darker rumblings of the nascent African-American civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and for Sharlach, his own personal struggle with homosexuality.

Sharlach kept his sexual urges well under wraps as he attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (B.S.J., 1974) and then the New York University School of Law (J.D., 1977). He never practiced law though and after graduation from law school returned to being a full-time as a news writer and producer at WINS radio in New York where he had worked part-time during law school.

He was only there for a few months when a recruiter called him about a job in the TV-Radio department of a major international PR firm, Carl Byoir & Associates. He started work there in August, 1977, the beginning of marketing and public relations career which continues today. Following Carl Byoir, he also worked at Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton and Saatchi & Saatchi before founding JeffreyGroup in 1993.

He came out as a gay man at 24 shortly after beginning work at his first full time job following graduation in 1977. He was living in New York's Greenwich Village, still basking in the golden glow of the post Stonewall decade before the darkness of AIDS descended. His early single years were spent in the heyday of disco and clubs like Studio 54 and The Saint. It was at a club, The Last Resort on First Avenue that that he met his first partner, Ken Williams, a social worker, in 1981 and they were together until Ken's death in 1994.

Sharlach continued to live in Miami nurturing the growth of JeffreyGroup as the firm opened offices in Buenos Aires, Mexico City and São Paulo. As the agency expanded to target U.S. Hispanic consumers, the opening of a New York office, finally provided him with the opportunity to move back to the city he loved. In 2007, he was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Management Communication at the NYU Stern School of Business where he currently teaches as well as continuing to serve as Chairman and CEO of JeffreyGroup.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Salman Rushdie said in a lecture I heard a few years ago that all fiction ultimately is autobiographical but that it doesn't matter in the end. I believe that is an accurate remembrance of what he said. I kept wondering, nevertheless, as I read RUNNING IN BED how much of Mr. Sharlach's debut novel is autobiographical. He says in the acknowledgments page that "Although this is not a memoir, I've tried to be as faithful to the period as my memory permitted." To get up close and personal, I guess I really hoped that there was a lot of his partner Ken in the character Tommy-- not the call boy part certainly-- or to put it another way, that their love was as warm and wonderful as that of Tommy and the narrator Josh.

Sometimes fiction writers woo you with words so poetic that the novel or short story almost becomes a prose poem. That is not the case here since Mr. Sharlach writes pretty much sans metaphors and to the point. What he has done, however, is create fresh and blood characters that when you finish this eminently readable novel, there is a hole left in your heart and you miss them. For several hours they became as real to me as anyone I know who walks on this planet.

Reading this novel was like taking a journey all too familiar as the author writes about the ten year stretch of time in New York from 1977 until the late 1980's when the events that took place there were replicated in a lesser degree in other major cities in the U. S.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Becky C on May 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Set in New York City in the late 70s and into the 80s, this is the drama of those who went from a hedonistic lifestyle to one that changed everyone regardless of their sexual orientation. As AIDS appeared on the scene, it began as a mysterious set of symptoms to the recognition of it as a disease, to ineffective treatments, as thousands of people died. Especially hard hit was the gay community.

Mr Sharlach's first novel shows great promise for him as a writer of fiction. His characters are well developed and his plot flows as if he had kept a diary of daily life of that era. This is a well-written tale of an era that cannot be forgotten. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in diversity, acceptance, and the fact that love for another human being is not restricted by gender.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B Kain on May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved Jeffrey Sharlach's book, Running in Bed. It's a beautiful well written love story. It deals with coming out and coming of age in New York City in the late 70's and 80's. The author's characters drew me in and got me emotionally invested in the story. I was anxious for Josh, the main character's search for true love and happy when he found Tommy. I felt the pain and joy that Josh went through negotiating his relationship with Tommy and their friends. Jeffrey Sharlock's book, Running in Bed, is a wonderful read that I would recommend to everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W Treat on January 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought and read RUNNING IN BED shortly after it came out. I was attracted to it because I am gay, author Sharlach's age, born near him in Connecticut, and had similar experiences in 1970s and 1980s New York. while there was never anyone like Tommy in my own life, I did lose many friends and, in some sense, had to start all over again as Josh does. I suppose many of us are the survivors Jeff Sharlach is, but our numbers do not make the pain any more bearable. The writing is tight and energetic-- Sharlach's appetite for living comes through. I recommend it to you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David on August 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Running in Bed is fiction, it reads as a very sharp memoir, accurately recalling the gay New York world of the 70's, 80's and early 90's. The author clearly observed the changes in the gay community from being all but completely closeted to out. He has shared the nightmares of the AIDS epidemic, without allowing it to overshadow the relationships of his characters. Truly a fine read, and a clear vision of a period in gay history filled with the anxieties of coming out, both individually, and as a community, the joy of acceptance, the pain of bigotry, and suffering of loss of friends and loved ones. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcones Macodo on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
A stunning novel about love and personal growth. It is a report about the gay life in New York in 70s and early 80s and a memorable and sometimes melancholic narrative of the pleasures and sorrows at that time. There are a few parts of the book that makes feel you extremely immersed in the story, some pages were hard to read without putting the book down and trying to clear my mind. And to remember of all the similar, but real, stories we have heard from friends throughout the world.
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