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Gold [Kindle Edition]

Chris Cleave
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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)

The wait has been worth it . . . As with all Cleave's work, GOLD probes the limit of what its protagonists will do to identify and protect what they really cherish. And that, in Cleave's confident hands, truly is exhilarating. (Independent)

GOLD is a very good novel . . . strikingly well written . . . 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. (Observer)

Novels about sport are notoriously hard to pull off . . . GOLD , Chris Cleave's third novel, is a skilful demonstration of the form . . . This is no niche book for aficionados looking for a brief summer distraction. Instead, cycling is the backdrop for a deeper exploration of the struggle between the physical and the psychological... GOLD works as a novel because Mr Cleave manages to make the reader care about what it takes to win - or even to take part . . . The small details speak loudly . . . . Cleave knows what makes a good story. Here, his concern is not with macho physicality or crossing a line, but with the endless and enduring human endeavours: love, death and what is left when hopes and dreams are crushed or fulfilled. A book to savour long after the Olympic games are over. (The Economist)

'Cleave does a magnificent job of exploring the emotional terrain that top athletes must travel in order to become champions [...] Cleave has undoubtedly put in the hours where research is concerned, as the technicalities and the (actual) rule change that provides one of the novel's bigger twists gleam with authenticity'. (Independent on Sunday)

Cleave is excellent on the technical details of the athletic life which, along with its physical and mental demands, requires further personal sacrifices, both of privacy and happy relationships . . . This book overflows with astute perceptions. One of the most moving is the parallel drawn between the athletes' need to live in the present . . . and the more devastating necessity for the parents of a sick child to not consider the horrors the future may bring. (TLS)

The race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling as breathless as a cyclist. From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement. (Publishers Weekly)

If there's one Olympic-themed novel you ought to read this summer it's Chris Cleave's well-imagined and researched look at just what it takes to compete at the highest level. (Daily Mirror)

Extremely moving . . . It really has that same thing as The Other Hand and Incendiary, where you feel a bit lonely and annoyed until someone else you know has read it and you can discuss it with them . . . I really loved it and I do think it's one of those books that you want to talk to people about . . . no one will be able to read it then put it down with a gentle sigh. They will be pressing it on people. (Alex Heminsley, BBC 6 Music)

With its tightly plotted twists and turns this is a novel of extremes - of the heights a body can reach in pursuit of Olympic cycling gold, and of what the heart can endure in the face of love, parenthood and an ill child. Cleave's writing is nothing short of poetic and this has to be our (very early) tip for the best book of 2012. (Glamour)

The Olympics are almost upon us and if like me you are given to wondering whether it's possible to be a superhuman athlete and a simple human being, GOLD is here to help . . . What counts about this thrilling novel are the characters: the flaws and fears that fuel their need to compete, the drives and dreads that bring them together and threaten to bring them to blows . . . Cleave artfully interleaves moments of high-tensile emotion with no less taut descriptions of action on the track . . . I don't know about Kate and Zoe but Chris Cleave deserves a medal. (Daily Express)

Cleave's brilliantly plotted, nail-biting, and emotional tale dramatizes the anguish and triumphs of ambition and sacrifice, fame and heartbreak to celebrate the true gold of love. (Booklist)

If you are looking for a book to read to avoid the brouhaha of the Olympics this year but still want to get a taste of what all the fuss is about, this would be a superb choice . . . Cleave's style is highly readable, with plenty of humour and some wry similes and metaphors . . . It would take a cold heart not to be moved at some point in this book. (

Compelling, dramatic and . . . pure gold. (Scotsman)

Compelling and heart-wrenching. (Good Housekeeping)

GOLD is immensely enjoyable . . . 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)

A riveting read because at the heart of it is the unseen, private world of our greatest athletes. (Press Association)

Underpinning their stories is poignant tragedy, fierce ambition, hope, failure and a glorious twist in the tale that will take your breath away. I tore through the pages with such rabid abandon that, by the time I looked up again, it was dark outside. (Herald)

If you've read Chris Cleave's earlier novels you'll know how well he wraps searing social commentary in a gripping and engaging narrative. In GOLD he focuses his insightful gaze on the world of Olympic-level speed cycling . . . It's the perfect counterpoint to all the Olympic mania - but it's one for sports fans too. (Irish Times)

A gloriously fast-paced romp of a sporting novel that's a must-read in this Olympic year. Thrilling and deeply touching, it'll have you sobbing. (FHM)

Gold is an emotional rollercoaster ride as it explores what drives people to succeed and what they choose to sacrifice for success. (Choice)

This bestseller-bound, tightly told story is unusually compelling . . . 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. (Evening Standard)

It is a timely work of fiction, but Cleave is meticulous in his research. (Claire Byrne, Irish Times Books of the Year)

Book Description

Heartwrenching and timely, GOLD is a novel about love, family frailty and strength.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 979 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385677170
  • Publisher: Sceptre (7 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00835RN2W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Cleave's debut novel INCENDIARY was a prize-winner and international bestseller, published in 20 countries.
Inspired by his early childhood in West Africa, THE OTHER HAND is his second novel. He is married with two children, and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. He keeps a website at and can be found on

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 'Gold' - but not first for me 18 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Topical around the Olympics - someone had to do it - but for me this was too contrived. Few characters and the 'cute' child was overbearing, however sad her situation. Some limited insight into the psyche of Olympic Athletes but limited because of lack of characters for comparisons. Not my favourite book - more of an easy read. Disappointing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really disappointed 2 April 2013
By Rachel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the other hand. Seriously disappointed by this. The writing is contrived, the characters are not believable athletes to anyone who knows anything about sport, the story is far fetched.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a book about cycling 5 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Honestly, the blurb on this book is SO annoying! "We're not going to tell you what it's about... it will make you cry... it will make you feel glad to be alive..." Oh, leave it out! It's a book about cycling, for heaven's sake. Okay, so it's also about love, betrayal, ambition and parenthood, but when it comes down to it, there's a lot of cycling. And no, it didn't make me cry or feel glad to be alive, or any of the other overblown claims from the publisher. Aargh!

I picked this book to review because I'd absolutely loved The Other Hand by the same author. But when I started reading and realised that the gold of the title meant Olympic gold, my heart sank. Perhaps that's why the publishers have gone for the mysterious blurb? I wouldn't have chosen it if I'd known the subject, that's for sure.

Anyway, the story is about professional cyclists and rivals, Zoe and Kate. Zoe is hard as nails, fiercely driven and ruthless. Winning means everything to her. Kate is also a brilliant athlete, but softer and kinder. She is married to Jack and they have a little girl, Sophie who is very ill. Zoe is single and likes it that way.

The novel charts their paths towards gold via a series of Olympic Games. The hope, the glory, the frustration and despair - it's all there. If you're into cycling, you'll probably love it. For me, though, the best-written parts of the novel were the scenes with Jack and Sophie. Although Sophie seems a lot older than her eight years - she is too mature to be realistic, I think, in the way that she shields her illness from her parents - the tenderness and gallows humour in these scenes was absolutely spot on. I loved her Star Wars obsession too.

An interesting look into what makes a professional athlete tick but overall, Sophie and Jack aside, it left me unmoved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sluggish 9 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A bit on the slow side for me. The story never really got off the ground I found it sluggish and needed to keepm on having a go to get to grips with it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Blend of Theme and Story 29 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I chose this book for my book club to read mainly for its topicality, although then a couple of the readers also recommended Cleave's previous novels. Yes it's about the Olympics in 2012 and cycling - and it's completely fascinating to get into the minds and bodies of athletes at this level - but it's also a heartbreaking story of a love triangle. The characters are so vivid, the prose so smooth, the unveiling of the history of the relationships and what's really at stake perfectly paced. I read The Other Hand next, and loved it even more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to usual standard 8 May 2013
By Jean
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been engrossed in Chris Cleaves's other 2 books but this one was disappointing.
The timing of publication to fit with the Olympics was a good strategy, but the book was a let-down-I found myself skipping over much of the story-a very average read and I wouldn't recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok 9 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not as good as The Other Hand but wasn't a difficult read so was easy to get through.

Wouldn't recommend to a friend but I don't feel like I have wasted my time reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as On the Other Hand 21 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I had enjoyed 'On the Other Hand' but I am disappointed in this one. Perhaps the subject matter just doesn't appeal to me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 21 days ago by Jenny
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written but for me it didn't come up to ...
Nicely written but for me it didn't come up to The Other Hand maybe if I was more into competitive sports/or star wars I would have enjoyed it more
Published 1 month ago by vmac
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fabulously written; a most unusual topic and very interesting.
Published 1 month ago by Denise Young
2.0 out of 5 stars dull and predictable
Dull and predictable with flat one dimensional characters, not one to recommend unfortunately as it came highly recommended, just my view though, you give it a try.
Published 3 months ago by FeeG
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really about cycling, which is good.
I'm not entirely sure why I picked this book up. It's not my usual fare at all. Telling the interwoven stories of the lives of three Olympic cyclists it has far too much sport in... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Cleave.....astounding writing as usual...
Fantastic read.... never been interested in velodrome before, but learned a lot. Also, heart-breaking and so well written. Read more
Published 6 months ago by audrey mckie
4.0 out of 5 stars What is the real gold - wealth and fame or family and health -...
Set against the backdrop of the Olympic Games of 2004 (Athens), 2008 (Beijing) and the not-yet-happened-when-book-written 2012 games in London, the author has, once again, taken... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kiwiflora
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Cleave is a brilliant writer.
I have read 'The Other Hand' and 'Incendiary' by this extremely good author and was delighted to find his third book 'Gold'. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Wendy
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read
Not the best book I have read but an easy read good for holiday reading. Set in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics so very current and shows a different side to sporting events. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Christina Keating
5.0 out of 5 stars well written novel full of dark and light
I gave this novel five stars because of it's beautiful writing and engaging story.
It is a book about fear, anger and pushing oneself to the ultimate of ones ability. Read more
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