Harlan Brown is the athletic director at the fictitious Prescott College, a progressive, experiential, private liberal arts college in New York. Fearing exposure, Harlan has buried himself at the obscure college, and given up his dream of coaching Olympic athletes.
As the novel opens in , three star runners — Vince Matti, Jacques LaFont, and Billy Sive — have been expelled from the elite track program at the University of Oregon because they are gay, and wish to transfer to Prescott to train with Brown. Though wary after his experience at Penn State, Harlan agrees to train the athletes, but quickly finds himself falling in love with Billy.
Though they manage to suppress their attraction for a few anguished months, the two soon become lovers. When the runners graduate and take teaching positions at Prescott, Billy and Harlan move in together, and later wed in a commitment ceremony. Throughout the novel, Harlan's past is revealed in the form of flashbacks. Though attracted only to men all of his life, Harlan marries a girl he impregnated while in college, living a wholly straight life with only occasional furtive, traumatic excursions into the gay underground of pre- Stonewall New York City.
After the incident at Penn State, his marriage ends and he is unable to find employment as a coach, and ultimately begins work as a high-priced hustler in Greenwich Village. When Joe Prescott, the founder and president of Prescott College, offers Harlan a position as the college's athletic director, he enthusiastically accepts.
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Returning to the closet, Harlan devotes himself entirely to coaching. Harlan's coming out, and Harlan and Billy's coming out as a couple, proves difficult in the intensely homophobic world of amateur sports. Overcoming practically insurmountable opposition and hostility, Billy is able to qualify to race in the Olympics in Montreal.
He wins the gold medal in the 10, meter race, and is within meters of winning the meter race, when he is shot and killed by an anti-gay radical. Though devastated by Billy's death, Harlan reflects that he spent his entire life wishing that he could one day let himself love someone openly, and was able to find happiness, however briefly, with Billy. Using samples he and Billy had stored in a sperm bank , Billy's close lesbian friend Betsy Heden bears Billy's child, whom she and Harlan raise together.
In an epilogue set in , Harlan has returned to compete in amateur sports as an athlete, competing in and winning the Amateur Athletic Union masters championship at Madison Square Garden. The Front Runner was a critical and commercial success upon its release, becoming the first book of contemporary gay fiction to reach the New York Times Best Seller List.
In their review, The New York Times called the novel "the most moving, monumental love story ever written about gay life. Soon after its publication, The Front Runner became a subject of interest for adaptation as a motion picture. The subsequent decades saw a series of producers and directors involved in adapting the film; most notably Paul Newman , as well as Frank Perry , Arthur Allan Seidelman , and Jeremy Larner.
At the time of her death in February , the film rights were transferred to her estate trust. Patrica completed the fourth book in the series, Virgin Kisses, weeks before her death in February Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page.
Preview — Star Runners by L. Thomas Goodreads Author. Upon his arrival, Austin is immediately thrust into danger as a shadowy force targets Star Runners and their loved ones on Earth in a series of violent attacks. After surviving an explosion on the streets of San Francisco, Austin rushes back to Georgia to secure the safety of his mother. Violence builds and an unimaginable attack is launched, leading Austin back into the seat of a Trident fighter to defend his home and family. This book is a YA fast paced light sci-fi adventure.
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More filters. Sort order. May 16, Craig Thomson rated it it was amazing. Even better than the first book I loved this book. A bit predictable in spots but the action was amazing. I will be eagerly waiting for book 3!!! I love this series I got the first star runners. I read the story and enjoyed it. Then i looked to ser if it was on the unlimited. Iz was not I have just read the 2nd book on the series.
Much better even than the first one. Well worth my money.
Keep up the great work Great sci-fi read full of Action and adventure with great characters this is a good story. The twists in the plot line keep you entertained. May 24, Jason rated it really liked it. The 2nd in the series follows Austin and his friends as they are continue their training to be Star Runners. Austin excels and completes his training early, and after the events in book 1, Austin gets some time off to return to Earth before signing on as a full Star Runner and heading off on his first assignment.
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On return to Earth however, Austin discovers that things are not as they should be, as he and his fellow Star Runners are the targets of personal attacks and several are killed. This al The 2nd in the series follows Austin and his friends as they are continue their training to be Star Runners.
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This also means the family of Star Runners are at risk, and thus Revelation Protocol is put into action. Needless to say, this is a pretty full on action ride as Austin and various others are not only trying to save their own lives, but the lives of the ones they love.
I do need to point out that this is aimed at a teenage audience probably, more than the hard-liner Sci-Fi audience as there are a few inaccuracies in some aspects of the writing, but if you overlook these, and just focus on the story itself, this is a fun Sci-Fi story with full-on action. Thomas does a great job with writing his characters, and despite a few flaws with in the Sci-Fi aspects, he more than makes up for this with his characters.
Austin is incredibly in-depth, acting just like a 19yr old would in this type of situation, with mixed emotions, struggling with the morality of his decisions, and looking to others for emotional support and guidance. It is very well written and clever. The other aspect of this story is Josh. We find out what happens with Josh as a result of the pirate attack in part 1, and where he ended up, and his story.
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Again, the character work, all the dialogue is a little choppy in parts, is very well done. As with all the other books, the star fighter combat is still one of the standout bits of writing in this series, with beautiful descriptions of the nuances of combat, the pressure, manoeuvres, fear and adrenaline. Thomas captures what it feels like to sit in a cockpit and puts in a page so you can immerse yourself in the experience, almost like you were in a simulator yourself.
Whilst not for some of the hardliners, for those willing to give it a go, this is a thoroughly enjoyable 2nd part, a lot of fun, with some exceptional combat sequences. Enjoy — and Stay Frosty! May 30, Jack rated it did not like it Shelves: sci-fi , space-opera. I found this book pretty annoying.
The constant switching between Josh and Austin made the story brittle and broken up.