Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Front Runner: A Novel Paperback – June 1, 1996
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The Stonewall Riots, which marked a turning point in the struggle for equal rights, was barely five years old when THE FRONT RUNNER was published, and few people--including many in the gay community--had any serious context for the story Warren offered. Consequently, Warren took nothing for granted: she created that context through a series of meticulously described backgrounds, something that made the book widely accessible to mainstream readers. And when THE FRONT RUNNER hit the bookstore it proved a revelation for both homosexual and heterosexuals alike: it flew off the shelves, becoming one of the most critically lauded and widely read novels of its decade.
The story concerns Harlan, a college track coach who is rocked out of the closet when three world class athletes land on his doorstep after being expelled for homosexuality from a major university. One of the three is Billy--and Billy is everything that Harlan has both hungered for and feared: a man with whom Harlan could fall in love. Although many regard it as love story pure and simple, THE FRONT RUNNER is really a sociopolitical novel.Read more ›
One of the athletes, Billy Sive who looks to be a contender for the Montréal Olympics, piques his interest, and Harlan soon finds himself falling for the young man. Billy begins to have the same feelings for Harlan. Once they admit their feelings, they form a strong, positive relationghip face together the fear and hatred of the athletic world and society, determined to give Billy his shot at a gold medal.
First published in 1974, this became a national bestseller. Patricia Nell Warren's depiction of two gay athletes in the 1970s is filled with so much that's positive about being gay: Harlan and Billy form a strong, monogamous relationship and don't hide it from the rest of the world. (They also don't flaunt it.) They tackle many issues that gay men and women are struggling with today: gay marriage, children, gay rights. The novel also handles the societal negatives regarding homosexuality with much humanity and empathy. You can either run and hide from it, or you can stare it down, be happy with yourself.
I also liked the characters. Harlan has only recently come out and is trying to deal with his feelings and jealousies along with his memories of the past and society.Read more ›
With thirty years of queer literature under my belt, I decided to re-visit this old friend (I still retain my original dog-eared and yellowed Bantam paperback - eighth printing, circa 1975) and see if it lived up to my fond memories. First off I'd like to say that, like Billy Sive, the openly gay athlete and front runner of the book's title, the author and original publisher displayed enormous courage in putting this book out into the mainstream in the early 1970's, daring anyone to challenge its right to exist. Kudos to both.
In brief, "The Front Runner" is a tale of international athletic competition as well as an extremely moving and romantic, May-September love story that ends in both triumph and tragedy. What distinguishes it from many earlier queer novels and films is that the book's tragedy stems not from the character's self-loathing but from a senseless act of hatred perpetrated by an otherwise anonymous bigot. Perhaps befitting a book about sports, the writing is straightforward, plain and sturdy without any fey poetic flourishes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book and educational for someone who might not have known much about this time in sports.Published 16 hours ago by Pamela J. Mikkleson
Contains Spoilers: This book tends to RUN ON. It also gave me a CRAMP in the head. Any SWELLING of excitement was brief. I knew about halfway through that B was kick it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Koda
The ad should have said it was signed by author to a specific person. I know the book well but was under the impression it was just a copy signed by the author; not dedicated to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by GoPre
I first read my sister's copy of The Front Runner one summer soon after it was published. Loved it then and still do. Read morePublished 13 months ago by theschnauzers
the FRONT RUNNER IS NOTHING LESS THAN A SPECTACULAR BOOK BY AN EXCEPTIONAL WRITER. MS.WARREN DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB CRAFTING THE CHARACTERS AND THE STORY LINE . . . Read morePublished 13 months ago by david vaughn
Had not read the book since it first came out. Glad that I read it again!Published 14 months ago by Howard Winn McCray