Gold by Chris CleaveGold by Chris Cleave


byChris Cleave

Hardcover | June 5, 2012

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The spectacular new novel by the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the reader and bookseller favourite, Little Bee.
In the tradition of his beloved previous novel, Little Bee, Chris Cleave again gives us an elegant, funny, passionate story about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. This time, the setting is the upcoming London Olympics. Gold is the story of two women, Zoe and Kate, world-class cyclists who have been friends and rivals since their first day of elite training years ago. They have loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, lost, consoled, triumphed, and grown up together. Now, on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, the two must compete for the one remaining spot on their team. In doing so, the women will be tested to their physical, mental and emotional limits. They will confront each other and their own mortality, and be asked to decide: What will you sacrifice for the people you love?
CHRIS CLEAVE's first novel, Incendiary, was published in 20 countries, won the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second novel, Little Bee, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Costa Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. In Canada, it was a national ...
Title:GoldFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.26 × 6.26 × 1.18 inPublished:June 5, 2012Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385677154

ISBN - 13:9780385677158

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pure Gold I was already a huge fan of Chris Cleave but with Gold he has convinced me that he can write anything. This emotionally compelling novel set during the upcoming London olympics is at heart a story of friendships. What makes them work and what tears them apart, but essentially it is about what makes them last in spite of the people involved.
Date published: 2012-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Somewhat disappointed I didn't fully engage with the characters in Gold, unlike the people who made Little Bee and Incendiary so compelling. By the end of the book, there seemed to be little change or growth in any of them, and so I wasn't convinced or drawn into their story as much. Though well written as usual, the book didn't live up to the (perhaps too strong) anticipation I looked forward to when I bought it.
Date published: 2012-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Have your tissues ready! Have your tissues ready before you read Chris Cleave's new novel, Gold. At first glance it just seems like a story about two women who are best friends and long time rivals in the world of British cycling, but add a child with cancer and a few deep dark secrets and you'll be racing through this book through a patina of tears and gasps. Okay, that sounded lame. I realize it seems like I'm overstating this, but I really was crying through the last quarter of this book. I also found myself pushing to read faster so I could find out what happens (Ah, just like a bicycle race! Clever, Mr. Cleave!). Chris Cleave's previous novel, Little Bee, was a huge critical success but I was ambivalent about it. I thought it seemed a little inauthentic, like Chris Cleave doesn't really know what it's like to be an African refugee woman (but, then, it's not like I do either). With Gold, however, I believed that the author not only knew what it was like to train as an Olympic athlete, he also knew what it was like to have a child with cancer, and to be a child with cancer for that matter. In his author's note he mentions a lot of research prior to writing this novel, and it shows. The novel felt real enough that I had to go check on my own daughter several times as she slept just to reassure myself that she was not suffering like the characters in this story. For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal. Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Date published: 2012-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gold is pure gold! I spent last Sunday reading an advance reading copy of this book and could not put it down. The story and characters had me spellbound and I was surprised to find myself in tears at the end.
Date published: 2012-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gold Got an advanced copy of the book and let me say it was awesome! Not as good as Little Bee but it is hard to compare them because they are also completely different topics. The characters are very well written and developed and very different, which I liked. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was about hardcore athletes which I haven't seen/read very much of. The book had great twists and turns and kept me entertained the whole way through.
Date published: 2012-03-28

Bookclub Guide

1. The concept of chasing for the gold is a running theme throughout the book. Beyond the actual gold medals at the Olympics, in what ways do characters search for their ‘gold’? In what ways do they achieve their ‘gold’?2. Zoe’s competitiveness was one of the constants throughout the book. Why do you think she stopped and waited for Kate to finish the race properly? Is this an indication of a greater change in Zoe’s character? What sort of change? Would Kate have done the same thing if the situation had been reversed?3. The relationship between Jack and Zoe is complicated. Examine in what ways the book remains ambiguous about their true feelings towards each other. Could they still harbor some emotion for each other?4. What about Tom’s experience as a father? Why did his son react so violently to his father’s coaching? Is he seeking redemption through his treatment of his athletes, Zoe in particular? Does he succeed in redeeming himself?5. Although it is not a major focus for most of the novel, the reader is given hints as to what Jack, Kate, and Zoe’s upbringings were like. What were their childhoods were like? Which character was probably happiest and why? Which character holds the most resentment? How is their upbringing reflected in their attitudes towards competition?6. In the flashback to Kate’s childhood, we see things go wrong between her mother and father. Why do you think this happened? What do you think about the way her mother was treating her? What about her father? Was he trying to protect her from something?7. Kate and Zoe’s complicated relationship creates the main focus of the book. Through flashbacks and the characters’ musings, we explore their relationship. In what ways is their relationship tested? In what ways is it made stronger? Is their relationship believable? Why have they remained friends throughout the years? Is it because, in Zoe’s case, she has no one else?8. At the end of the novel, Sophie’s health takes a turn for the worse and both Jack and the coach fellow decide not to tell Kate just before her race. Was this the best action for them to take? Was it in Kate’s best interest? Was it in Sophie’s?9. Sophie finds escapism from her situation through Star Wars. Consider ways the other characters find their escapes. What are they trying to get away from? Is it healthy?10. At the end of the novel, Zoe sees Sophie in a weakened state at the hospital and finally confronts the memory of her dead brother. What exactly about the situation with Zoe brings on the memory of her brother? Why does Zoe decide not to tell Sophie the truth about her real mother right then and there?11. The theme of loss recurs throughout the book. Interestingly, the characters that experience loss are not always worse off for it. In what ways do characters experience loss? Do they suffer for the loss or do they gain something in exchange? What sort of things do they gain?

Editorial Reviews

“Gold is indeed a sentimental novel but it has that rare gift of getting past the urban sneer to move and gratify, to stir us because it does, indeed, matter. It is bold and brave and, when you're on your way to the games this summer, and the person opposite you on the train is sobbing hot tears on to their Kindle, you'll have a pretty good idea what they're reading.” —The Guardian (UK)“Without giving away the ­melodramatic plot twist at the heart of the novel, suffice it to say that the final resolution involves enough heart-warming sacrifice to power the National Grid for a month. Gold is the kind of ­fiction usually described as ‘uplifting.’” —The Sunday Times“Gold is a story told as only Chris Cleave could tell it. And once you begin, it will be a heart-pounding race to the finish.” —The Omnivore “Emotionally arresting (and exquisitely timed) . . . Cleave shines when he focuses on the cyclists’ sacrifices, including training sessions in which they push themselves to the brink of blacking out . . . Cleave’s fine novel will give you an appreciation for all that London’s Olympians have gone through as you watch them contort their bodies, leap for the heavens or pedal round and round and round.” —Sports Illustrated “A heartstring-tugger with an adrenaline-fueled plot from the bestselling author of Little Bee.”—People “Cleave kick-starts his stories from the first breath and never takes his feet off the pedals.” —Washington Post “[Cleave's] descriptions of riding fast, world's-fastest fast, are breathtaking.” —Los Angeles Times“He is superb at communicating the excitement of a crucial sporting event, but he's also fascinated with minutiae, with the challenge of bringing tiny, precise detail to absorbing life on the page. . . . Cleave has a talent for harnessing your attention even when you're most reluctant to grant it. . . . Here is a novelist of dazzling skills capable of pushing whatever buttons he deems necessary to win the reader. But it those skills are also tempered by a profound integrity.” —The Windsor Star“Cleave is an acutely intelligent wordsmith. Some of the sentences cut so deep you want to scream out in pain and recognition... This is an inspirational and moving novel in so many ways, and everyone should read it.” —The Times“Where this novel excels is in the cycling passages. [Cleave] transports us to the start line and the blood, sweat and tears that are demanded of an Olympic hopeful. . . . You can almost taste the salty perspiration and feel the heart-stopping anxiety of racing for gold. . . .  A timely novel which looks behind the medals to explore the sacrifices and the sometimes unpalatable decisions world-class athletes make in the pursuit of that ultimate prize: gold.” —Sunday Express“Compelling and heart-wrenching.” —Good Housekeeping“Cleave does a magnificent job of exploring the emotional terrain that top athletes must travel in order to become champions.” —The Independent (UK)“. . . Gold is immensely enjoyable. It fizzes along, using a series of flashbacks to layer the story and wind up the tension until the climactic confrontation between Kate and Zoe. The writing is energetic and urgent, and, far from being geeky, the descriptions of bike racing are among the most poetic passages. Best of all are the powerful, dark moments where we glimpse the cost of obsession with something as painful as cycling.” —Financial Times“Compelling, dramatic and . . . pure gold.” —Scotsman“It is often unashamedly sentimental but Cleave is that rare creature—an Oxford graduate with an emotional IQ of Mensa proportions. Add some hard research to give his characters credibility and you have a dream team of story-telling ingredients.” —London Evening Standard