Gold

Chris Cleave

Gold

Usually, this is where we'd tell you what this book is about.

But with Chris Cleave, it's a bit different.

Because if you've read THE OTHER HAND or INCENDIARY, you'll know that what his books are about is only part of the story - what really matters is how they make you feel.

GOLD is about the limits of human endurance, both physical and emotional.

It will make you cry.

GOLD is about what drives us to succeed - and what we choose to sacrifice for success.

It will make you feel glad to be alive.

GOLD is about the struggles we all face every day; the conflict between winning on others' terms, and triumphing on your own.

It will make you count your blessings.

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. 3.4 out of 5 based on 13 reviews

Gold

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 384
RRP
Date of Publication June 2012
ISBN 978-0340963432
Publisher Sceptre
 

Usually, this is where we'd tell you what this book is about.

But with Chris Cleave, it's a bit different.

Because if you've read THE OTHER HAND or INCENDIARY, you'll know that what his books are about is only part of the story - what really matters is how they make you feel.

GOLD is about the limits of human endurance, both physical and emotional.

It will make you cry.

GOLD is about what drives us to succeed - and what we choose to sacrifice for success.

It will make you feel glad to be alive.

GOLD is about the struggles we all face every day; the conflict between winning on others' terms, and triumphing on your own.

It will make you count your blessings.

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 Other Hand by Chris Cleave.

Reviews

The Daily Express

Christopher Bray

Cleave paints in his back stories with a dauntingly light touch. The bulk of the book races by in a flurry of dialogue yet here and there it changes gear and slows down, the better to give us an insight into motives and moods.

01/06/2012

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The Independent

James Urquhart

As a cyclist myself (albeit casual rather than insanely competitive) I recognise the exhilaration and kick of a sport that combines extreme exertion with considerable speed close to the ground and other hazards. Cleave captures the heady balance of sharp motor control and vulnerability to the threat of bone-crunching, life-threatening impacts both in the velodrome and out, weaving between vehicles. He cleverly reinforces this collision of freedom and danger with an artfully withheld strand of Zoe's back-story ... exhilarating.

23/06/2012

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The Evening Standard

Jackie Annesley

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.

28/06/2012

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The Observer

Alex Preston

Gold is a very good novel. Perhaps I should have told you that earlier, but its publishers seemed so keen on the whole withholding information thing. In the whipsaw ride of emotions that he takes us on over the book's 300-odd tightly packed pages, Cleave positions himself alongside David Nicholls and Rose Tremain as a modern-day novelist of sensibility: their books are driven – as Gold's blurb so neatly surmises – more by what we feel than what we think.

03/06/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Alexandra Heminsley

It all seems so simple, and the parallels a little obvious, until Cleave introduces Sophie's voice. Star Wars obsessed, and more than aware of the impact that her illness is having on her stressed and exhausted parents, Sophie attempts to navigate the effects of chemotherapy through fantasy and role play, hoping that she can hold her nerve long enough to allow her parents to compete. Her perspective makes for almost excruciating reading, yet is so powerfully direct that any remaining quibbles about reading a sports book are hurled aside.

17/06/2012

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Times Literary Supplement

Leyla Sanai

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.

20/07/2012

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The Times

Matthew Syed

Cleave is an acutely intelligent wordsmith. Some of the sentences cut so deep you want to scream out in pain and recognition. Much of the characterisation is blisteringly clever, too, and you begin to care deeply about the protagonists, what they are going through, and where they might end up ... What follows is jarringly simplistic. Zoe is fierce and implacable in conversation — and Tom realises, apparently in a flash, that he has a driven winner on his hands. Kate is shy and more equivocal — and Tom fears that she might lack the killer instinct on the track. And so on. The very notion that you can make profound inferences about a person’s sporting ambition or on-court psyche from general chit-chat is gratingly silly.

26/05/2012

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The Guardian

Patrick Ness

If [the] summary sounds a bit soapy, well, it is, and the twists and emotional breakdowns that await only get soapier still, finally verging on the implausible, or at least the Hollywood. Cleave, however, is such an energetic writer that most of the time it doesn't matter. Gold flows with the vitality of the sport it covers. Cleave is very good on the mechanics of velodrome cycling and the gruelling training necessary for it, and his supporting characters are fun and memorable

08/06/2012

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The Financial Times

Tom Robbins

Such is Cleave’s commitment to factual contemporary detail that some phrases seem rather too faithfully copied from his reporter’s notebook (“Zoe was sitting on a $12,000 American prototype race bike with a matte black monocoque frame made from high-modulus uni-directional carbon fibre”). But this is emphatically not a book aimed solely at readers of Cycling Weekly. Despite being tethered to the real world with all that detail, Gold is at heart a sentimental, pop-fiction page-turner, just waiting for a Hollywood adaptation.

15/06/2012

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The Sunday Times

Adam Lively

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.

03/06/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Caroline Greene

Cleave’s writing style suggests that he enjoys the practical mechanics of his subject, but there are times when concrete, industrial images just can’t work. We learn that the lack of suitable partners for Zoe, is due to the "howling vacuum" in which many men live, but to emphasis the point we have: "This new breed of men with cyclonic souls that sucked like Dysons and never needed their bag changing in order to keep on and on sucking". What?

15/07/2012

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The Evening Standard

Carolyn Kellogg

Part of the problem is that Cleave doesn't have enough characters to fill his stage. There are no additional bicycling rivals, no other coaches, no trainers, no local shopkeepers, no other parents of sick children, no doctors (except for a handsome one who spends a few hours with the sexually voracious Zoe). It's unusual for a novel of this size to have such a scarcity of texture; there are few minor characters with whom the main ones can interact. There isn't anywhere for them to go except to circle back on themselves.

22/07/2012

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The Daily Mail

Harry Ritchie

It’s notoriously difficult to write about sport from the inside but Cleave just about succeeds. However, he can’t overcome a greater problem - that it’s even more difficult to make sport a compelling or engaging read.

31/05/2012

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