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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



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Gold

by

Gold Cover

 

Staff Pick

Chris Cleave's Gold is a departure from his previous two books: there are no horrific scenes of violence, but rather a tightly woven tale of friendship, family, and, surprisingly, unrelenting ambition. Sounds a bit incongruous, doesn't it? Yet, in Cleave's intertwined tale of three Olympic hopefuls and the child that binds them together, it all makes sense and dovetails beautifully. Can friendship coexist with explosive rivalry? What stands in the way of — or, alternately, fuels — a blinding passion? If you lose the very thing that gives your life meaning, can you survive afterward? In Gold, Cleave explores the stop-at-nothing determination to win and doesn't let up until he reaches a heart-stopping climax.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The latest novel from Chris Cleave — the award-winning and international #1 bestselling author of Little Bee — is “a heartstring-tugger with an adrenaline-fueled plot” (People) that asks: how much are we willing to sacrifice for the people we love?

An instant New York Times bestseller in hardcover and Martha Stewart Living, USA TODAY, and Newsweek/Daily Beast book club pick, Gold is a “brilliantly plotted, nail-biting, and emotional tale that dramatizes the anguish and triumphs of ambition and sacrifice, fame and heartbreak” (Booklist, starred review).

If your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold. With her child facing a life-threatening illness, the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams?

In glorious, elegant prose, Chris Cleave examines the choices we make when lives are at stake and everything is on the line.

Review:

“A heartstring-tugger with an adrenaline-fueled plot from the bestselling author of Little Bee.People

Review:

“Like the best-selling Little Bee, Cleave’s new book, Gold, is highly emotionally charged....Cleave immersed himself in the world of track cycling and makes the most of his research in scenes of stunning athletic endurance, but it’s the trials of the human spirit that are his real material in a novel meant to move you. And it does.” New York Daily News

Review:

“If Olympic medals were awarded for dramatic stories about what drives athletes to compete and succeed, Cleave would easily ascend the podium. Gold does for sport racing what Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild did for high-risk adventure: It demystifies its allure, giving readers an inside track on a certain type of compulsive mindset. But Gold is also about time, ambition and love, three life forces continuously jockeying for supremacy. Novels, like racing, depend on careful pacing, and Cleave calibrates his performance with the skill of a real pro, carefully ratcheting up the intensity as he finesses curves and heads into his final laps....Cleave spins a doozy of a plot, with enough drama and sentiment to sustain a soap opera. His characters are humanized by their struggle with their personal demons....With Gold, Cleave unleashes megawatts of power in yet another triumphant dash toward literary success.” NPR

Review:

“Cleave's great gift is his ability to write moving fiction that also provides original, contemporary insights....Gold is a real winner of a novel.” USA Today

Review:

“Cleave kick-starts his stories from the first breath and never takes his feet off the pedals.” Washington Post

Review:

“Cleave again displays a remarkable aptitude for rendering female characters with startling realism, one of the strengths of his previous novels (particularly 2009’s Little Bee). He conjures Sophie’s traumatized yet resilient young mind as deftly as he does the complex interior narratives of high-strung Zoe and the more philosophical Kate....In these breathless portrayals of sport and spirit, Gold illuminates the stories of courage, loss, and commitment that are behind each of the seemingly invincible Olympians we root for every four years.” Elle

Review:

“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.” Sports Illustrated

Review:

“Chris Cleave’s latest novel lives and breathes, sweats and suffers at the harrowing place where ambition collides with sacrifice. That it arrives on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games in London is perfect timing on the part of Cleave and publisher Simon & Schuster, but Gold would be first class anytime, anywhere. It’s an adrenaline-fueled drama about winning and losing, in the velodrome and daily existence, an explosive exploration of the cost of success and the way sports competition can spill unhappily into life. It will force you to reconsider the definition of “victory,” and it will leave you breathless....Cleave proves again that if writing were an Olympic sport, he’d be vying for a medal.” Miami Herald

Review:

Gold wins a medal for impressive timing: Chris Cleave’s adrenalized novel — which breathlessly tracks the complicated friendship and furious competition between two speed cyclists, Kate and Zoe, as they train for a fictional London 2012 Olympics — arrives just a month before the opening of the actual London 2012 Olympics....As Cleave demonstrated in his best-seller Little Bee, he is a full-hearted writer.” Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“Cleave has the extremely rare power of making you smile with lively language and clever observations while he is thoroughly, irreparably breaking your heart.” Newsday (NY)

Review:

“In Gold, as with his previous work, Cleave writes with tremendous heart, displaying a keen eye for life’s absurdities, sorrows, and triumphs. The story is riveting, the characters unforgettable. Gold has everything you could ask for in a story: adrenaline-soaked racing, wretchedly human decisions, laugh-out-loud moments and quietly heartbreaking ones.” Bookpage

Review:

“Chris Cleave is a writer who goes for your throat and doesn't let go....The rivalry that powers the book is the competition between the closely matched Kate and Zoe, which takes place on and off the course. That they also develop a friendship, uneasy and fraught but still real, is a testament to Kate's generosity, as well as Cleave's talent as a writer. He writes women, particularly wounded women, with great empathy and skill.” The Oregonian

Review:

“Moving and compelling....The millions of readers of Little Bee can attest that despite the delicacy of his prose, Cleave doesn't deal in half measures or subtle strokes — he goes straight for the heartstrings. Every page of Gold is drenched with an urgency of feeling that generates the same emotional pleasure as a great moment in sports, where we simultaneously witness triumph and failure in the starkest, most dramatic terms....Gold will likely resonate most with readers for the way it unveils the ordinariness surrounding the extraordinary.” Nashville Scene

Review:

“Cleave goes for the gold and brings it home in his thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding novel about the world of professional cycling....Cleave expertly cycles through the characters’ tangled past and present, charting their ever-shifting dynamic as ultra-competitive Zoe and Kate are forced to decide whether winning means more to them than friendship . . . Cleave likewise pulls out all the stops getting inside the hearts and minds of his engagingly complex characters. The race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling breathless....From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement.” Publishers Weekly (boxed starred review)

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.” Library Journal (starred review)

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.” Booklist (starred review)

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 (UK)

Synopsis:

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?

Synopsis:

It's the ultimate test of a mothers love...

If your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe — who has everything to lose — to get it. Now her child is facing a life-threatening illness, and the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams?

About the Author

Chris Cleave is the author of Incendiary and the #1 New York Times bestseller Little Bee. He lives with his wife and three children in Kingston-upon-Thames, England. Visit him at ChrisCleave.com or on Twitter @ChrisCleave.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781451672732
Author:
Cleave, Chris
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130430
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.38 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Gold Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781451672732 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Chris Cleave's Gold is a departure from his previous two books: there are no horrific scenes of violence, but rather a tightly woven tale of friendship, family, and, surprisingly, unrelenting ambition. Sounds a bit incongruous, doesn't it? Yet, in Cleave's intertwined tale of three Olympic hopefuls and the child that binds them together, it all makes sense and dovetails beautifully. Can friendship coexist with explosive rivalry? What stands in the way of — or, alternately, fuels — a blinding passion? If you lose the very thing that gives your life meaning, can you survive afterward? In Gold, Cleave explores the stop-at-nothing determination to win and doesn't let up until he reaches a heart-stopping climax.

"Review" by , “A heartstring-tugger with an adrenaline-fueled plot from the bestselling author of Little Bee.
"Review" by , “Like the best-selling Little Bee, Cleave’s new book, Gold, is highly emotionally charged....Cleave immersed himself in the world of track cycling and makes the most of his research in scenes of stunning athletic endurance, but it’s the trials of the human spirit that are his real material in a novel meant to move you. And it does.”
"Review" by , “If Olympic medals were awarded for dramatic stories about what drives athletes to compete and succeed, Cleave would easily ascend the podium. Gold does for sport racing what Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild did for high-risk adventure: It demystifies its allure, giving readers an inside track on a certain type of compulsive mindset. But Gold is also about time, ambition and love, three life forces continuously jockeying for supremacy. Novels, like racing, depend on careful pacing, and Cleave calibrates his performance with the skill of a real pro, carefully ratcheting up the intensity as he finesses curves and heads into his final laps....Cleave spins a doozy of a plot, with enough drama and sentiment to sustain a soap opera. His characters are humanized by their struggle with their personal demons....With Gold, Cleave unleashes megawatts of power in yet another triumphant dash toward literary success.”
"Review" by , “Cleave's great gift is his ability to write moving fiction that also provides original, contemporary insights....Gold is a real winner of a novel.”
"Review" by , “Cleave kick-starts his stories from the first breath and never takes his feet off the pedals.”
"Review" by , “Cleave again displays a remarkable aptitude for rendering female characters with startling realism, one of the strengths of his previous novels (particularly 2009’s Little Bee). He conjures Sophie’s traumatized yet resilient young mind as deftly as he does the complex interior narratives of high-strung Zoe and the more philosophical Kate....In these breathless portrayals of sport and spirit, Gold illuminates the stories of courage, loss, and commitment that are behind each of the seemingly invincible Olympians we root for every four years.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “Chris Cleave’s latest novel lives and breathes, sweats and suffers at the harrowing place where ambition collides with sacrifice. That it arrives on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games in London is perfect timing on the part of Cleave and publisher Simon & Schuster, but Gold would be first class anytime, anywhere. It’s an adrenaline-fueled drama about winning and losing, in the velodrome and daily existence, an explosive exploration of the cost of success and the way sports competition can spill unhappily into life. It will force you to reconsider the definition of “victory,” and it will leave you breathless....Cleave proves again that if writing were an Olympic sport, he’d be vying for a medal.”
"Review" by , Gold wins a medal for impressive timing: Chris Cleave’s adrenalized novel — which breathlessly tracks the complicated friendship and furious competition between two speed cyclists, Kate and Zoe, as they train for a fictional London 2012 Olympics — arrives just a month before the opening of the actual London 2012 Olympics....As Cleave demonstrated in his best-seller Little Bee, he is a full-hearted writer.”
"Review" by , “Cleave has the extremely rare power of making you smile with lively language and clever observations while he is thoroughly, irreparably breaking your heart.”
"Review" by , “In Gold, as with his previous work, Cleave writes with tremendous heart, displaying a keen eye for life’s absurdities, sorrows, and triumphs. The story is riveting, the characters unforgettable. Gold has everything you could ask for in a story: adrenaline-soaked racing, wretchedly human decisions, laugh-out-loud moments and quietly heartbreaking ones.”
"Review" by , “Chris Cleave is a writer who goes for your throat and doesn't let go....The rivalry that powers the book is the competition between the closely matched Kate and Zoe, which takes place on and off the course. That they also develop a friendship, uneasy and fraught but still real, is a testament to Kate's generosity, as well as Cleave's talent as a writer. He writes women, particularly wounded women, with great empathy and skill.”
"Review" by , “Moving and compelling....The millions of readers of Little Bee can attest that despite the delicacy of his prose, Cleave doesn't deal in half measures or subtle strokes — he goes straight for the heartstrings. Every page of Gold is drenched with an urgency of feeling that generates the same emotional pleasure as a great moment in sports, where we simultaneously witness triumph and failure in the starkest, most dramatic terms....Gold will likely resonate most with readers for the way it unveils the ordinariness surrounding the extraordinary.”
"Review" by , “Cleave goes for the gold and brings it home in his thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding novel about the world of professional cycling....Cleave expertly cycles through the characters’ tangled past and present, charting their ever-shifting dynamic as ultra-competitive Zoe and Kate are forced to decide whether winning means more to them than friendship . . . Cleave likewise pulls out all the stops getting inside the hearts and minds of his engagingly complex characters. The race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling breathless....From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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)
"Review" by , “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.”
"Synopsis" by , 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?

"Synopsis" by , It's the ultimate test of a mothers love...

If your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe — who has everything to lose — to get it. Now her child is facing a life-threatening illness, and the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams?

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