Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Chris Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption.
Gold is the story of Zoe and Kate, world-class athletes who have been friends and rivals since their first day of Elite training. They've loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, consoled, gloried, and grown up together. Now on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, both women will be tested to their physical and emotional limits. They must confront each other and their own mortality to decide, when lives are at stake: What would you sacrifice for the people you love, if it meant giving up the thing that was most important to you in the world?
Chris Cleave's emphasis on relationships is at the heart of the book. His ability to make us care about his characters is his great strength. We may not always like the choices the characters make, but Cleave at least lets us see their motivations. Of course this doesn't necessarily absolve them of guilt but we at least begin to understand their actions and see the characters for who they are – flawed human beings. (Reviewed by Lisa Guidarini).
Starred Review. From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement.
Starred Review. Cleave's latest novel demonstrates the determination of three extraordinary athletes in a story about true sacrifice... [Their lives are] so intertwined, so complex, that the outcome is sure to be a surprise. Close on the heels of his international best seller Little Bee, British author Cleave has written another story so riveting that it is impossible to put down.
Starred Review. Readers galvanized by best-selling Cleave's previous politically scorching novels (Little Bee, 2009) will be surprised by his foray into the world of Olympic bicycle racing until they discern just how psychologically gripping a tale this is... Spanning the Athens, Beijing, and looming London 2012 Olympics, 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.
Starred Review. In weaker hands this would seem a bit contrived, but Cleave knows how to captivate with rich characters and nimble plotting
The Times (UK)
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 Observer (UK)
Strikingly well written... [Gold] 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 onto their Kindle, you'll have a pretty good idea what they're reading.
The Guardian (UK)
[Cleave] is such an energetic writer... Gold flows with the vitality of the sport it covers... An entertaining ride.
The Daily Express (UK)
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... Chris Cleave deserves a medal.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Diane S. Gold What an emotionally intense and powerful read I found this to be, who knew? When I first started reading this novel I thought "Super, a book about Olympic caliber cyclists" which was for me of interest in and of itself. Yet this book was... Read More
The first velodrome was built around 1870 in Brighton, England. The word velodrome derives from velocipede (Latin: fast foot), which is the term used to describe any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels; and drome, from the Latin dromus meaning racecourse.
There are thousands of velodromes in the world, both indoor and outdoor, located everywhere from Europe to Tahiti which vary in shape, size and materials used - inexpensive tracks are usually made out of concrete, tarmac or even cinder, while world class tracks tend to be made out of timber or synthetics; but to be considered an Olympic or World Championship velodrome the track must be 250m, consisting of two steeply banked semi-circular bends connected by two straight stretches. The banks aim to match the natural lean of the bicycle through the curve, so that the bikes stay more or less perpendicular (i.e. at 90°) to the track even when curving at speeds of 50+ mph.
Track bikes have only one gear and no brakes, adding both to the thrill and the danger of...
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...