First reactions to GOLD

By on 12-14-2011 in Background to the novels

Booksellers’ first reactions…

“As with Little Bee, Chris Cleave has written a novel that encompasses love, compassion, and tragedy through which emerges the goodness of mankind and the importance of friendship. One reads the pages of Gold like they were racing Kate and Zoe on the track of the velodrome—fast, unstopping, breathing hard until the next page where you have to hold your breath to see who wins the heat….Emotionally stunning, brilliantly written…You will hold on for the ride.”
—Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

“I do not how Chris does it—he makes you feel every little nuance and detail…You feel as if you have known [the characters] all your life… I loved this book and cannot wait to pass it around to all of my colleagues at work. Gold medal to Chris Cleave for writing an amazing book!”
—Toni Ness, Barnes & Noble, Grand Rapids, MI

“Gold is about parenthood, relationships, priorities, and the sacrifices that are made for love, or fear. It’s about celebrity and intimacy, the trials of competition on your head and heart, and about figuring out who you are and remaining true to that….Gold runs through a gauntlet of emotions that will not leave that reader untouched. More simply, this is a marvelous and enveloping read.”
—Jackie Belm, Tattered Cover, Denver, CO

“Chris Cleave has scored another ‘gold’ with his latest novel….Like Little Bee and Incendiary, it is impossible to describe; rather, it is one of those rare books you can’t wait to put into the hands of the reader and say, ‘Trust me on this one.’”
—Beth Black, The Bookworm, Omaha, NE

“Chris Cleave is a wonderful storyteller and Gold is as compelling a read as Little Bee….You will love these characters who are struggling to understand what is the right choice to make….I became so engaged with both Zoe and Kate that I didn’t know what to hope for.”
—Jeanne Costello, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

“I truly loved and enjoyed Gold! Chris Cleave has written another terrific story that will not disappoint his Little Bee fans and will only broaden his fan base. And how could you not love Sophie?”
—Susan Barthold, Barnes & Noble #2782, Willow Grove, PA

“Chris Cleave is already one of the luminaries of modern fiction and his talent shines just as brightly as the title in Gold. In a novel centered on the world of competitive cycling, he gives all of the work and trauma of that elite society but, more importantly, shows us the same work and trauma involved in the ordinary lives of his characters, particularly eight-year-old Sophie, who suffers from leukemia and demonstrates the same determination and courage of the world class riders. This is a novel that inspires, informs, provides sadness and exhilaration and shows empathy for the human condition that is rare. It is a reading experience not to be missed.”
—Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

“Gold vibrates and rattles the psyche—and made me gasp, smile and cheer. Chris Cleave has done it again!”
—Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA

“Using the microcosm of Olympic level biking and all the sacrifice that the athletes make for one shining moment, juxtaposed with the very real threat of losing a child, Cleave has ripped my heart out again with a family story where the lines are blurred and at the end there is only life left for us to ponder.”
—Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

“Gold by Chris Cleave is as riveting as an Olympic race for a gold medal.”
—Patricia Sanders, Barnes & Noble #2940, Towson, MD

“Gold is a heartbreakingly wonderful novel. Cleave has written a breathtaking, multi-layered tale that has everything a good book needs: love, friendship, suspense, heart-pounding races, twists, turns, humor and of course, Star Wars references. I found myself holding my breath in anticipation of the next page wondering where the story would go and unable to put the book down until I read just one more page. Cleave has an unbelievable talent for writing about characters you fall in love with and want to keep reading about. I don’t know which character I love the most, but I didn’t want their stories to end…And how can you not fall in love with Sophie? Gold is destined to be a bestseller. Like Little Bee, when you finish the book, you want to talk about it…you want to tell someone they HAVE to read this amazing book.”
—Eric Sample, Barnes & Noble #2305, Cedar Hill, TX


  1. I really loved the last review of the book. Gold sounds like a really great novel, and I’m interested to check it out!

  2. Hi Mr Cleave I will not comment about Gold novel but I will comment about THE other Hand Novel,M a young gal from the South of African continent and have been touched by d way u write,the more I read the more the book is getting interesting I would love to read more of your work. I like reading I wish my country can become a reading nation.thank you for sharing ur wonderful work God bless!..

  3. Hi Thobeka, thank you for reading The Other Hand – I’m delighted you’re enjoying it! Your message meant a lot to me – thanks.

  4. Thanks JP – hope you will like it.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I am a former asylum lawyer and am reading The Other Hand. Many people told me I would like it, given my former work, but I avoided it for a long time because returning to those memories can be rather painful. I stopped working in the field when I had my first child (nearly 10 years ago) because I knew I could not fail to bring my work home with me. I expect the experience will never leave me and I often think about my clients and the way they were treated not only in their own countries but in the UK, where they had hoped to be welcomed. I particularly love the relationship between LB and Yevette, and your portrayal of the interpersonal relationships and the mindset of a person who has experienced such suffering and agony is poignant.

    Thank you for taking the time to see the people behind the headlines.


  6. Hi
    I`m your fan from Iran,i can`t explain my feelings when i was reading both of your Novel,espacially incendiary,i am a mother and wife and if i didn`t know i could think that it has writen by a woman,heart breaking and wonderful,i was crying most of the the other hand i read those novel on kindle but i can`t find Gold in kindle list i don`t know how i can find it but hope able to read soon,truly i can`t wait for reading!
    you lit up my whole life with your books,thank you


  7. I just finished reading Gold. This is one of the best books I have ever read! Thank you for Sophie, Zoe, Kate, Jack & Tom. I cried thru most of the last 40 or so pages but absolutely loved it.

  8. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  9. Just finished Gold, after absolutely loving Little Bee. Loved Gold too, especially the pacing, and non-linear storytelling. I was wondering on what your take is on the following question: I am having a hard time with why Kate and Jack would have wanted to be friends with Zoe? What were her redeeming qualities? She just didn’t seem like a good friend at all, at least not one that I would want, even knowing where her struggles originate. They knew that she was manipulative and didn’t completely trust her, so was it that they felt bad for her? That they had no other friends and were just too involved in each other’s lives because of racing and Sophie? I just felt like they let her get away with too much while continuing to be her friend, which I just didn’t completely understand. Wonderful writing, I look forward to reading more.

  10. Just finished reading Gold and enjoyed it – but one question – Why is there no resolution for Tom? I liked his character very much –


  11. I read Little Bee and absolutely loved your style of writing. Then I found Incendiary and once again was amazed by your literal talent. You have such a different, unique style of writing that is like no other. Then I was lucky enough to meet you at the Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, MA on July 10th and found you to be an extremely interesting guy. After my trip back home to the Olympics, which I might add, were amazing, I am now half way through reading Gold. (hope you got to see the cycling pass your house!) Having met you and listened to why and how you write the books that you have, it makes Gold all the more enjoyable as I can now “hear” you reading it and feel I can relate through a somewhat more personal connection.
    I had not heard of The Other Hand until visiting your website, but will definitely be purchasing it very soon.
    Thanks Chris for your books, they are incredibly written and like I said when I met you, at times you actually write in specific “English” terminology which living in the US now I don’t hear these sayings anymore. They are a distant memory until I read a line in your book which then makes me laugh, brings back memories and also makes me feel a little bit like I am back at home. I am sure you don’t even realize the phrases that I am referring to but want you to know it is pure British, and bloody fabulous!

  12. Through further investigation I have just realized that Little Bee & The Other Hand are one of the same!! Oh well it just means once I finish Gold I will have to wait for the next book to be written…

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