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Gold Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0340963433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340963432
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.5 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 www.chriscleave.com and can be found on twitter.com/chriscleave.

Product Description

Review

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. (thebookbag.co.uk)

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Chris Cleave is one of my favourite authors and I loved both The Other Hand (Little Bee) and Incendiary. Unfortunately Gold didn't quite make the same grade for me, mainly because of the intense concentration on Olympic cycling. Yes, it was topical and yes, I remember hearing that new rulings allowed only one athlete per country to compete in each event, but I'm afraid it didn't grip me and hold on tight, like his previous two novels had.

We follow the careers of three cyclists from their entry into the British cycling squad at around 18, to their eventual retirement at 32. Zoe is a hard nut, determined to win at the expense of all else, Kate is driven but has family concerns weighing her down, and Jack, who makes a dramatic entrance at the Velodrome in Manchester at the start of his career but fails to keep up the pace in terms of characterisaton. Their coach, Tom was one of the most interesting characters, along with Jack's daughter, 8 yr old Sophie, who, although suffering from leukemia, does her utmost to protect her parents from worry.
A large part of the novel concentrates on the relationship between these five people and this is where Chris Cleave excells, as ever. Only the interactions between Zoe and Kate felt a bit unbelievable from time to time, especially near the end.

I did enjoy the insight into the world of Olympic cycling, the intense, painful training, the accurate measurement of food intake and the supreme influence of the coach. I learned a lot about the rigors of training and the sacrifices that athletes must make, but the heavy concentration on sport moved this down to a 4 star for me.

However, there were many strokes of genius as befits this talented author, and I shall still be eagerly awaiting his next novel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr T VINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A more "now" book would be hard to find. And that's a good thing, surely? Well... it can be. You must have guessed it by now. The "Gold" is that of Olympic medals. The experience of Olympians, medal-winning or otherwise, is the putative subject matter, which is great... if you are interested in sport. Chris Cleave has been prescient indeed by choosing cycling as the sport in question, but the deeper focus of his novel is on the private struggles and conflicts of the athlete's lives and those around them. Subtle parallels are drawn from track to home life, from coach's pep talk to parent's placation, etc etc. All very cleverly done. There's plenty of compassion and understanding but very little action. The prose is beautiful, the matter, frankly, depressing. Superbly written and insightful as Gold is, at bottom it's just another arty book about a sick child. I love an author who can turn a phrase as deftly as Cleave does but with no summer and a double dip recession, I don't want to be reading about a Star Wars-loving kid with cancer, even if her mother is an Olympic athlete. Sorry. Best avoided.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Highly-Strung on 20 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I loved Chris Cleave's two previous novels and was really interested and excited to see a new one. As a person who has no interest in sports and struggles to comprehend sport or sportsmen and women, I guessed I might struggle as the book began. I was heartened by the human story but pretty soon the novel turned to training, more training, races, bikes and more bikes. I really tried to like and empathise with the characters but ultimately couldn't. I accept that as a sports hater, I'm probably an oddity but did find myself horribly disappointed and a tad bored with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jen on 4 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the other two books by chris cleave , so i awaited this one with absolute baited breath and set about my pre-order. I had the book and saved it to read on my holiday in the sun in August, Was i let down, oh yes I was this book was cashing in on the olympics and was predictable throughout and lacked the passions of his other 2 books.
Unless you love cycling for sport , don't bother with this one. I really did not like this book at all and I love chris cleave - Save your money fans !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was really excited when 'Gold' dropped through my letterbox, Chris Cleave's last novel 'The Other Hand' is one of the best novels that I've read in many years and I had very high hopes for Gold.

I was very dubious at the thought of a novel based around Olympic cyclists, but after reading reviews from other readers that I know well and trust, I was assured that this would not be a novel about sport, but that it would be about people and relationships.

Yes, I agree it's just just about cycling, but the world of the Olympic athlete does take up a huge chunk of the story, and to be honest I struggled with the first half of the novel. The four main characters are well-drawn but apart from the little girl, Sophie, I found it very difficult to connect with them. Zoe and Kate's relationship was a mystery to me. They are linked not just by their shared sport, but also through intricate family relationships. Zoe is a cold character who did and said nothing at all to redeem herself in my eyes, even when her full back story was revealed. I found Kate very one-dimensional, eager to please everyone, very forgiving, but lacking a back bone. It was the fact that I found their long-standing relationship unrealistic that impacted on the remainder of the story for me, I really didn't care. I didn't care if either of them qualified for the Olympics. However, I did care very much about Sophie, and her struggle with illness. Her strength of character shone through, even though I did find the 'Star Wars' connection quite irritating.

There is no doubt that Chris Cleave is a talented author - there are flashes of genius along the way, especially in the second half of the story. Some of his descriptions are emotionally stunning, but the emphasis on the world of the professional cyclist watered these down for me.

I guess this was just not my cup of tea, but it will not deter me from reading more of Chris Cleave's books.
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