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Running in Bed

Running in Bed

5.0 3
by Jeffrey Sharlach

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Josh Silver is an ambitious young college grad who’s just landed his first job at a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising agency. He’s given his own office, his own secretary, and a decent salary. Everything in his life is working out just fine—except for one nagging problem: although he assumed that once he got out in the real world his feelings


Josh Silver is an ambitious young college grad who’s just landed his first job at a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising agency. He’s given his own office, his own secretary, and a decent salary. Everything in his life is working out just fine—except for one nagging problem: although he assumed that once he got out in the real world his feelings would change, he finds he still can’t stop dreaming about men. Josh seeks professional help to reprogram his sexual desire but in 1977 New York is the glimmering Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road and Josh finally succumbs to its lure. He moves quickly to make up for lost time in the post-Stonewall years when sex is quick and easy. But that’s not enough; Josh wants to be in love. He finds it unexpectedly just as the new decade begins but the growing spread of disease brings the free spirit of the 70s to a crushing end and Josh is forced to navigate the turmoil of an era where beauty, youth, wealth and life itself seem unimaginably fragile. 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, and presents characters who are universal in their appeal. Running in Bed’s incomparable, evocative images will resonate with readers, regardless of their personal persuasion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sharlach's winning debut is a moving portrait of the gay community before and during the age of AIDS. In the 1970s, Josh Silver moves to Manhattan and becomes an advertising executive, all the while repressing his sexual feelings for other men and even engaging in aversion therapy. After a dinner—and an epiphany of sorts—on a business trip, he finally accepts his sexuality. Returning to New York, Josh ventures out to his first gay bar and runs into co-worker Randy Starke, who becomes a close friend. Randy and his partner, Gerard, take Josh under their wing, and his social life blossoms—including a serious relationship with Tommy Perez. But soon AIDS hits the gay community—and close to home for Josh, who loses more than two dozen friends to the disease. 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.
Kirkus Reviews
A resonant debut featuring a closeted young advertising apprentice wrestling with the undertow of burgeoning homosexual feelings.

Journalist and attorney Sharlach's vibrant, accomplished debut introduces Josh Silver, a young, handsome Cornell University graduate at odds with his sexuality and desperate to dip his feet into the boy pool. Evocatively set in late '70s Manhattan ("the Emerald City at the end of the yellow brick road"), it's not long until Silver's 22-year-old jitters dissipate, he grows a mustache, moves in with some dicey housemates and dives right in by visiting a gay bookshop, then a gay bar. From there, it's onward and upward through a lengthy procession of randy men from Christopher Street to sex-frenzied Fire Island to do what comes naturally. Searching for that elusive one true love, however, proves more of a challenge until he sets his sights on Tommy Perez, a troubled, muscle-bound hustler who steals Silver's heart away on Christmas Eve. Sharlach provides some textured, nuanced scenes with the narrator's cautionary family and his loving rehabilitation of former rent boy Tommy, and offers many nostalgic, gimlet-eyed observations about gay culture in the halcyon days of the '70s throughout. All the fun and games, however, eventually succumb to the dour, encroaching specter of AIDS as the novel moves into a melancholy denouement that wraps things up grimly yet gracefully.

Those with a particular affinity for gay fiction will be refreshingly satisfied with Sharlach's storytelling acumen, his descriptive talents and the authentic dramatization of a gay man in search of love and laughter amid the ashes of a decimating plague.

An undeniably charming, well-written first effort—and hopefully not Sharlach's last.

Product Details

Two Harbors Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Running in Bed is a debut novel for Jeffrey Sharlach, born in 1953.  Although a frequently- published author on business topics, here Sharlach tells a very personal tale since in  In 1994, he became a widower at age 40 when Ken Williams, his lover, best friend and life-partner of 13 years, succumbed to AIDS.   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 started on a public relations career that led through several top global firms and finally the founding of his own agency, JeffreyGroup, in 1993.   Today, with offices in New York, Miami, Mexico City, São Paulo and Buenos Aires, JeffreyGroup is the largest independent marketing and communications firm targeting Latin audiences.   He currently still lives in New York City where he moved following college in 1974, teaches at the New York University Stern School of Business, and continues to serve as Chairman and CEO of JeffreyGroup.

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Running in Bed 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author delivers a beautiful-coming of age love story set against one of the most haunting periods in American history. Easy to ready and even easier to fall in love with, definitely a must read for anyone looking for a novel with a little heat, tons of heart, and echo of american history.
I-L-Kaplan More than 1 year ago
When a friend first told me about this new book, my reaction was a somewhat dismissive, just what we need, another book about coming out and AIDS. And then when I actually read it, I was thinking this is EXACTLY what we need. I’m familiar with this time in our history since I lived it (or close, I came into the scene five years after the narrator here) but there are lots of people who don’t know what it was like during this period and if not for well-written books like this, and hopefully more to come, they will never know since the memories will fade along with all of us. Don’t forget the media pretty much ignored gay people during this time (it wasn’t until 1987 that the New York Times even printed the word instead of the medical term “homosexual”) so there’s not a lot in most of the usual databases. So for anyone gay who came of age after the 1980’s and wants to know about the generations that preceded yours, this book will fill in some of what you didn’t learn about this in your history classes in an easy-to-read tale. Also for friends, parents, siblings , etc. of the departed who may want to know more about what people in their lives went through during this era, this book would be a wonderful companion to whatever else they might have been able to piece together. Best of all it’s a beautiful love story, and that’s something the world needs more of. Highly recommended for everyone—not just middle-aged gay men!
ThomR More than 1 year ago
I wasn't until I was a few chapters in that I was really captivated by what is essentially a love story. These are real characters who happen to be gay and are dealing with real situations, the ups and downs of any relationship, and sharing joy, and dealing with problems. The portrayals seems very real and the story takes place in places I've actually heard of before (though never visited.) I laughed, and I cried, and thoroughly enjoyed this book.