Gold by Chris Cleave

It’s 2012 and the London Olympics are imminent. Athletes from around the world are preparing for the biggest game on earth. Amongst them are long time rivals Zoe and Kate who share an intense friendship complicated by years of fierce competition. This will be their last ever Olympics before they must come back down to earth.

Kate has always sacrificed gold for the ones she loves, now her daughter is terminally ill but this is her last chance for the Gold medal which has always eluded her. And Zoe is a born winner whose desperate to outrun her past, but as the competition grows closer old daemons refuse to be ignored and she is forced to realise how empty her life is.

So much is at stake, but who should win?

With confidence and poise Chris Cleave unfolds this clever and witty story. He slowly peels away the layers of his characters revealing the true fears and hopes at their centre. Nothing is rushed much to the books merit, instead you will find yourself gradually drawn in, unable to put down this mesmerizing tale.

As the novels wears on we learn just how inextricably tangled both Kate and Zoe’s lives have become. Cleave taps into the true humanity of his characters and cleverly explores and challenges our idea’s of morality. On paper Zoe is surely a villain? taking any opportunity no matter how cruel to beat even her best friend. Whilst Kate the ultimate giver appears beyond reproach. But Cleave proves that nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

I actually thought I might loath a book about sports, after all my idea of physical exercise is re-arranging my bookshelf. However this book isn’t so sport heavy as to annihilate it’s reader and there really is much more at it’s heart.

For someone thus far underwhelmed by the prospect of the London Olympics my interest has being somewhat piqued after reading Gold. Cleave shone a new light on the unimaginably tough lives of top athletes showing that it’s not always what happens on the track that is the hardest.


4 thoughts on “Gold by Chris Cleave

  1. You’ve convinced me, I’m ordering it (when it’s out in Kindle). Not because I’m a sports freak (I’m sooo not) but because I loved the first book by the author I read about 2 yrs ago. So when I next have time for recreational reading it’s on my list.

    An other book, supposedly about sport but really not is Sir Terry Pratchetts wonderful ”Unseen Academicals”. So very astute an observation of human behaviour it could be a text book, was it not for it being faaaar to entertaining and cause outbursts of laughter in the library!

    • Hi Catpaw,

      Thanks for the recommendation, I loved this book so much that I will try another ‘sporty’ book. I also love books that make me laugh out loud, there just isn’t enough books like that!

      I do hope you like Gold, it’s unlike anything I’ve read for a long time and I also loved that it was based in Manchester.

      Enjoy : )

  2. I read The Other Hand by Chris Cleaves last year and loved it. Have you tried that one? If Gold is as easy to read as that was I might give it a go. Normally the idea of reading about sport and athletes puts me off.

    • I haven’t read it, no. But I have heard really good things and everyone keeps telling me too. Defintely one for the TBR list.

      Do give it ago, like you I’m not a fan of sporty lit but this has so much more to it. Ultimately I think it’s about the human mind V the human body which makes for a very interesting story. Think you’ll like this one.

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