Book Review: Gold By Chris Cleave

This is the first book I read because it showed up in a friend’s list of books on Goodreads, which I just joined because I am having a hard time finding books that I want to read.

Gold by Chris Cleave

While the story revolves around two Olympic athletes, I would have enjoyed it even if I wasn’t reading it during the pre-Olympics hype, and while the athletes are velodrome bicyclists, I would have enjoyed it even if I wasn’t reading it during the Tour de France.

I don’t like the summary on Amazon and think it may reveal too much, but I pretty much agree with this Publisher’s Weekly review on the author’s website:

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.

I found the book to be well-written, fast-paced enough to keep me turning the pages (or swiping them on my iPhone Kindle App), and engaging enough to make me care about the characters and what happens to them. The main “conflict” between the two athletes was intriguing—on the one hand, they are (nearly) life-long friends, while on the other hand they are fierce competitors in the same Olympic event. Instead of asking if a man and a woman can be “just friends,” this book explores whether two women can compete and be friends at the same time. While my work is more collegial than competitive, I do know women who work in more cut-throat environments and feel that their female colleagues are their worst enemies.

Have you read any good books lately?

Are you on Goodreads?

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9 Responses to Book Review: Gold By Chris Cleave

  1. I am on GoodReads!… Have you read Unbroken? That's pretty awesome, you should check it out!

  2. Yep, I'm on goodreads too:… I recommend "This is Where I Leave You" – just read it this month and it was really great. Other recs are on my goodreads page 🙂

  3. Leah @ Chocolate and says:

    I'm currently reading "Death Comes to Pemberly" – kind of a sequel/murder mystery to Pride and Prejudice. Great if you enjoyed P&P!

    I've also heard great things about "Gone Girl", and it is next on my list.

  4. I'm glad you suggested this book. A friend told me the other day that I "have" to read "Little Bee" too so both are on my list. And…totally not trying to be "that person" that links their own blog in the comments but I just did a post on books you should read in 2012 so you might enjoy taking a look:

    I LOVE books and do reviews frequently!

    • Coco says:

      I don't mind blog links when they are so relevant. 🙂 I did see your post but I'm mostly a fiction fan – although I agree with your book #2.

  5. Tenecia says:

    I'm currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I also read These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf and really enjoyed it.


  6. Coco says:

    It sounds like I should put Gone Girl on my list!

  7. Miz says:

    skimmed skimmed as I just downloaded the book last night 🙂
    anything great? no
    light and trashy? J.Weiner's newest…

  8. Beatnik Mary says:

    I loved this book! I wasn't so sure if I liked his previous book, Little Bee, but this one was a real winner for me (oh, groan, pardon the pun).
    I hope you don't mind me doing this, but I'm hosting a giveaway for this book in August 2012 on my blog, Maybe your readers would be interested?

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