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Gold by Chris Cleave (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This is a brilliant book. A novel that is based on cycling, but don’t let that put you off, even if you have no interest in sport, because this is a truly engrossing story of rivalry, love and friendship. The main characters, Kate and Zoe are rivals and friends over almost 13 years, both vying for London Olympic Games sprint cycling selection. Jack, also an Olympic sprint cyclist is married to Kate, but their daughter, Sophie, suffers from leukaemia. Tom, an experienced cycle coach has been guiding the girls for the 13 years and most of the book takes place over the space of four days in April 2012 in the lead up to the selection.
Cleave captures the pain of training and sacrifice that these Olympic athletes must submit to, to maintain their prowess. It also explores the hidden demons of all four of the adults as well as getting beneath the outward confident face of the Sophie. I found it captivating and although I wanted to know the outcome, in a way, I didn’t want the novel to end such was the involvement with the characters.
  camharlow2 | Jun 20, 2017 |
Wonderful. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
I definitely enjoyed this book but it might not be for everyone. Some very dysfunctional characters but that seems to be the case with a lot of books these days. The story wasn't very predictable, which is good. I was actually a little surprised by the ending - it was not what I was expecting. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
I read this after reading Cleave's excellent novel, Little Bee. I found this disappointing in comparison. It was interesting to get some insight into the demands of high-level competitive cycling, which is undoubtedly similar to other high performance sports. However, I found the characters rather one-dimensional. The emotionally troubled super star. The emotionally balanced super star. The man caught between them. The coach who blew his big moment by a hair's breadth. Little development here. ( )
  bookfest | Oct 25, 2016 |
Saying I liked this book is a bit of a stretch for me, but there were parts of this book that were better than just okay. I didn't real care for the pace of Cleave's storytelling or the cadence was off or something, but there was just something about this book that did not do it for me. I though the characters were developed superficially. However, there were a few really well developed lines in this book: Sophie feeling that she could survive cancer but perhaps not her parents, the truth that caring for a sick child is the Olympics of parenting and the idea that the permutation of "gold" can be risen in many different forms. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Go for Gold if you want to enter into some Olympic spirit via the ups and downs of a tight-knit group of characters. However, if you find yourself unmoved by the kind of technical details contained in, "he prodded questioningly at the minimalist opening mechanism of the apartment’s high-gloss olive-lacquered sliding front door", then this may not be your idea of a winner.
 
This might have been the “North Dallas Forty” or “Ball Four” of an obscure Olympic sport — sharp, revelatory, funny. ­Instead it’s “Beaches” on bikes.
added by geocroc | editNew York Times, Bruce Barcott (Jul 13, 2012)
 
Gold is in every sense a taut novel about three intimate, sharply drawn characters – lovers, rivals – training for cycling gold medals at the 2012 Olympics.
 
Like most novels about sport, Chris Cleave's Gold isn't really about sport. Sport as an activity, of course, is unbeatably thrilling if you're a participant or a fan. The problem is, if you're neither of those things, it can be the most astonishing bore.
added by geocroc | editThe Guardian, Patrick Ness (Jun 8, 2012)
 
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.
added by geocroc | editThe Observer, Alex Preston (Jun 3, 2012)
 
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Just on the other side of an unpainted metal door, five thousand men, women and children were chanting her name.
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Cyclists Zoe and Kate are friends and athletic rivals for Olympic gold, while Kate and her husband Jack, also a world-class cyclist, must contend with the recurrence of their young daughter's leukemia.

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