Format: eBook, 368 pages
Publisher: Bond Street Books
ISBN: 978-0-385-67716-5 (0-385-67716-2)
Pub Date: 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?
“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.”
“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.”
“A heartstring-tugger with an adrenaline-fueled plot from the bestselling author of Little Bee.”
“Cleave kick-starts his stories from the first breath and never takes his feet off the pedals.”
“[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.”
“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.”
“Compelling and heart-wrenching.”
“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.”
“Compelling, dramatic and . . . pure gold.”
“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
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 bestseller, and a reader and book-club favourite. Chris Cleave lives in London with his French wife and three mischeivous Anglo-French children.
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