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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  11,021 ratings  ·  2,034 reviews
What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

KATE AND ZOE met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting fo
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2012)
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Little Bee by Chris CleaveThe House Girl by Tara ConklinThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuI, Claudia by Charity BishopThe Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
Profiles in Silhouette
17th out of 108 books — 16 voters
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Read or Like to Read
100th out of 233 books — 393 voters

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Community Reviews

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switterbug (Betsey)
Reviewers who have read LITTLE BEE will feel compelled to compare the two books, not in subject matter, but in caliber or merit. LITTLE BEE was a powerful, keen, fresh, and original story that remains one of my most esteemed of 2009. GOLD has a similar architectural structure and captive writing style (but is in third person rather than first). The breaks within chapters headed in bold font are familiar, the soaring, poetic, exquisite metaphors and fluent writing resonates, and a young girl engr ...more
An alchemist is needed to make this gold!
Such a disappointment

The race was on! For me it was a race between throwing it across the room or getting to the finish. Only the fact that it was on my Kindle saved it being thrown. And only the hope that it would improve got me to the finish.

I had been so eagerly awaiting this. I had read pre-release review and interviews, so I knew that it was a change of pace to The Other Hand (aka Little Bee) and Incendiary. But I did expect the depth, the empathy, t
My screenwriter boyfriend tells me there is a certain way that stories are supposed to go, a certain formula of events, if you will. Read enough books, see enough movies, and one begins to really believe that. The trick to good story telling is to have stories go in the way that they are supposed to go without giving away, too obviously, where it is going. Gold reads in exactly the way the story is supposed to go. I could have told you from the first 50 pages where the story line should go, and ...more
This is the story to three top athletes, bike racers on the Olympic level, and what drives them. This isn't really a sports story, though you do learn a great deal about the grueling training that these folks willingly endure. It's about team mates who are sometimes friends and other times not, with a complicated past and an even more complicated present. It's about parenthood, relationships, priorities and the sacrifices that are made for love, or fear. It's about celebrity and intimacy, of the ...more
I put off reading this book – it was hearing it was about cycling at the Olympics that did it. I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I really should have known better – I’ve read Chris Cleave’s other two books. And I didn’t just enjoy it, I absolutely loved it and didn’t want it to end. I don’t have a sporty competitive bone in my body, but this book really isn’t about sport – it’s about love and the things human beings do to each other. I thought the characters were wonderfully drawn – Sop ...more
Richard Brand
In 2012 we had a Republican Senate Candidate make the claim that women who had been raped would not get pregnant because their bodies would emotionally shut down and reject the sperm. Here in this story we have the same argument in reverse. Zoe has everything wrong with her potential to get pregnant. Yet because of her deep unadmitted emotional feeling for Jack she becomes pregnant. So her emotional attachment could influence her body to become pregnant. The argument did not work for the Republi ...more
Zoe and Kate are world-class athletes; they have been rivals on the track from the very start but they are also friends. Gold follows the story of these two cyclists life leading up the 2012 London Olympics. Both women will be tested on and off the track, being pushed to their physical and emotional limits. The book follows the two through most of their professional career, starting at 19 all the way up to training for their final Olympic event.

This is a strong character driven book, Kate is th
There are quite a few very negative comments on this book. It just proves once again how different we are as readers and what our expectations are of a "good read". I gave GOLD 5 stars. I thought it was an excellent read that kept my interest level high all the way through.

It is the story of 3 world class cyclists, training for the 2012 Olympics. The 2 females, Kate & Zoe are best friends and best rivals, competing on the same team for the Gold medal. The 3rd cyclist is Jack, who ends up ma
I read this because it was Newsweek's book club's summer pick. "Gold" follows three track cycling athletes as they prepare for the 2012 Olympics, flashing back to past competitions and personal conflicts. I could tell that the book was well-researched; it was interesting to get a glimpse of the dedication and single-mindedness it takes to train for a sport at this elite level. (Side recommendation: a far superior book about professional dedication and training is Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff )

Barbara A
I thought I'd be clever and read this during the Olympics and then write up a little review, saying that I'd been clever and read it during the Olympics, and be done with it. But I'm scalded. Scorched. Drained. Breathless. Crossing the finish line won't be that simple.

This book quite literally explodes with metaphor, narrative, and fascinating, technical information. There isn't a reason in the world not to read this, unless you are (a) have ever been a parent; or (b) you are currently under th
The first half of the novel was disappointing - I just kept looking for the Chris Cleave of Incendiary and Little Bee and could not find it. Once the real tension surfaced, the author I remembered did as well. Patience is the key, and the last 1/3 will reward the reader for the build up time. Perhaps I was not as enamored with the beginning because I have some connections to the competitive spirits and dilemmas described. The novel undoubtedly connects on a different level for anyone who partici ...more
Paul Cheney
Zoe and Kate are cyclist at the very top of their game, with almost nothing to choose between them in their chosen discipline of the sprint. They have been rivals and friends ever since they were on the elite training scheme together.

Kate is married to Jack, another British cycling star who has been a gold medal holder in the past. With Kate they have a daughter Sophie, who is a Star Wars nut, but she is tragically suffering from Leukaemia. Kate and jack are flat out with her care and training a
Jessica Woodbury
I feel bad about this. I know people are really excited for this book. And I expect most people will give this book 4 or 5 stars. But it had problems I could not get past.

Gold is about 2 world-class cyclists who are training partners and friends in addition to being rivals. Zoe is cold and focused, Kate is warm and willing to sacrifice her sport for her family. Kate's sacrifices happen an awful lot as her daughter, Sophie, has leukemia.

Cleave has in the past shown some pretty impressive plottin

Este livro, o primeiro do autor Chris Cleave que li, surpreendeu-me bastante.

Mal comecei as primeiras páginas, deixei-me levar pelas ondas literárias, absolutamente deslumbrado com a arte da escrita. E não só a escrita também a história em si que achei muito interessante: os treinos intensivos do ciclismo para os Jogos Olímpicos, a intensidade das emoções quando se vence ou se perde numa corrida, a relação entre as duas ciclistas rivais que pedalavam lado a lado como amantes precisando uma da o
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't mind the Sad Stuff
Sh*t happens.

Sometimes it's your fault. You make bad decisions. You decide to push when you shouldn't. You sleep with the wrong person. You have unprotected sex when you should have used a condom. You say hurtful things to someone when you should have kept your mouth shut.

Other times, the sh*t is just the universe's random happenings. Your child gets cancer. Your mom commits suicide. A car runs over the only person who ever really loved and understood you.

This story of Chris Cleave's is personal
Jenny Shank
I try to avoid reading other reviews of books I’m reviewing until after I’ve turned my review into my editor. The only exception to this is when I want to double check that my reading of a murky plot point was correct. Gold was the first novel by Chris Cleave I’d read, and I knew that he had a reputation for writing literate and popular books, so I was surprised when I found the opening pages of it so off-putting.

Often my first impression of a book is the one that I carry through to the end of i
I am not particularly interested in sport, neither as participant nor spectator so if I hadn't been swept away by Chris Cleave's previous writing, it is doubtful that I'd have picked up a novel with 3 Olympic cyclists as key characters. Anyone who passes over Gold for this reason is passing up on the chance of a whirlwind of a reading experience so don't let those miserable memories of despotic PE teachers put you off and give your brain a gentle work out in the process.

So, let's set the (Olymp
Chris Cleave tem 3 livros publicados até à data, dos quais apenas me faltava ler este Menina de Ouro. Recordo Pequena Abelha com muita saudade, por ter sido um livro fantástico, que me emocionou bastante. Incendiário também foi um bom livro, apesar de me ter cativado menos. As expectativas para este livro eram boas, mas temperadas por essa leitura menos entusiasmante.

Menina de Ouro é um livro que conta a história de um trio de jovens talentosos no ciclismo, que veem as suas vidas pessoais e prof
Kara Yi
Eh, it was a very bland/okay book... it was just basically a series of events happening one after another. Bike race, Sophie's sick, another bike race, Sophie gets sick again.
I can't believe anyone hasn't mentioned how SELFISH Zoe is!!! I couldn't stand her one bit. So she goes and sleeps with her best friend's husband, trains hard even though she's pregnant with his baby with complete disregard to the baby's health, dumps the sick baby onto her best friend (who gives up her life to take care o
Paul Samael
I'm all for authors trying something different rather than just ploughing the same furrow - so all credit for Chris Cleave for doing that here. And I did try to put aside expectations based on my enthusiasm for Chris Cleave's previous 2 novels, Incendiary and The Other Hand (Little Bee in the US). I also think Chris Cleave is an excellent writer who is capable of producing exceptional material - but I'm afraid Gold just didn't work for me.

Zoe and Kate are 2 rival cyclists in the run-up to the 20
Elphaba J
(Tenho muita vontade de dar 5 estrelas...)

Ora aqui está uma sinopse que não engana…
Este é, com toda a certeza, um livro extraordinário, concebido para marcar e sensibilizar ao descrever na perfeição o conflito entre os desejos e idealizações do Ser com a realidade dura a que por vezes a condição humana está sujeita quando levada ao limite.
Muito especial, esta é uma ficção que nos conta várias histórias singulares, que se unificam com primor e se tornam inesquecíveis pela sua proximidade ao real.
Gostei tanto, tanto deste livro... Já tinha adorado o "Pequena Abelha", este é igualmente bom... Aconselho vivamente!!

(Passaram doze horas desde que acabei de ler o livro... Já o deixei arrefecer e estou agora pronta para escrever um bocadinho mais sobre ele...)

Do Chris Cleave eu espero sempre secura, aspereza e ao mesmo tempo doçura. Este autor tem uma forma de nos pôr perante histórias difíceis e dolorosas de uma forma meiga e doce. E isso é bom, porque acaba por nos sossegar. Mas, ao mesmo te
I’d give this book a 2.5. There are few plot details in this review and no spoilers.
Gold is, to put it simply, the story of best friends who are competing for the spot at their last Olympics. Always dramatic, sometimes tender, rarely amusing, Gold is less about cycling and medals, and more about surviving. This was my first Chris Cleave book and probably my last.
Let me start with this: Gold had an amazing opening. I love the Olympics. I love the energy behind it that is unlike any other sporting
Sofie Vanmaele
In the Olympics of storytelling, Chris Cleave would surely win the gold by more than a wheel’s length. Magnificent feat about rivalry & friendship, courage & sacrifice. The non-linear narration and shifting viewpoints enrich the story and its characters with each page you turn. It got to the point where I started looking forward to the bedtime reading session from breakfast onwards. You find yourself racing to the finish and being left with a kind of momentary sadness afterwards, only en ...more
Neide Parafitas
"Menina de Ouro" foi o 1º livro que li do autor Chris Cleave.

O livro apresenta-nos Zoe e Kate, duas ciclistas profissionais que são amigas, mas que não deixam de ser também rivais. Física e psicologicamente não poderiam ser mais diferentes: Zoe é enérgica, misteriosa, extremamente competitiva e uma pessoa com traumas de infância, o que veio a toldar a sua maneira de ser. Kate, por sua vez, é doce, sensível e dedicada à família. Ambas têm o sonho de ganhar os jogos olímpicos!!

Jack é o marido de K
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Zoe, Kate and Jack all emerge as talented young sprint cyclists, and go on to train and challenge at the highest level, with that ultimate aim, Olympic Gold. This story follows them as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics, and throughout the novel we are taken back at intervals to learn what happened when they were young, to discover how they all first met, and what has happened at other key turning points in their lives, including Athens and Beijing, to bring them to where they are, and ma ...more
Last year I read Chris Cleave’s ‘Little Bee’ (aka On the Other Hand) and it was an ‘A’ read for me so leaped onto GOLD as soon as I got the chance. While this is a story of two top bike racers, Zoe and Kate, competing for the chance to win Olympic Gold, it is not really just a sports story. It is about team mates who are friends off the track and deadly combatants on the track. While the reader does get to see the gruelling training, sacrifices and just what top athletes put themselves through t ...more
Chris Cleave is definitely one of my favourite living authors; a real wordsmith who knows how to make his characters truly complex and real, and the story lines engaging with the odd twist thrown in, and I've been anticipating the release of his latest novel since last autumn.

However, I wasn't that taken with "Gold" when I was about a quarter into it. Firstly, the cynic in me didn't appreciate the timing of the book's release ("coinciding" with the dawn of the London Olympics) thinking "oh no,
Simon Lipson
Cleave is popular and his books sell, so what do I know? I hated The Other Hand but decided to give this one a go because I was interested in the sports rivalry theme. Cleave actually does a decent job of getting into the minds of focused sports people and some of his descriptive passages are fine - especially those depicting the physical and mental processes of athletes during races.

But...this is a schmaltzy, mawkish load of tosh, with one dimensional characters and a central friendship that do
Tanja Berg
2/5* - I HATED this book. Melodramatic and uninteresting from one end to the other. You may or may not get a review after I've digested Friday's bottle of wine, but it will NOT change the rating. Except possibly to a 1/5. There's an extra star added for the people who might actually enjoy this book. Can't believe I finished this. I feel sick just thinking about it.


Kate and Zoe, saint and sinner, both bicyclists hoping for a medal in the 2012 Olympics. They met when they were teens and have
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Challenge Fac...: Amy & Marty ~ Gold 4 12 Jul 05, 2013 10:57AM  
Would you have stayed friends with Zoe? 4 45 Apr 27, 2013 02:51PM  
Were you a Sophie? 7 37 Apr 18, 2013 02:00AM  
Jack (Warning SPOILER Alert) 5 42 Sep 10, 2012 05:44PM  
Book Blog Networking: Giveaway of Gold by Chris Cleave! 1 8 Aug 18, 2012 07:17PM  
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Chris Cleave was born in London and spent his early years in Cameroon. He studied experimental psychology at Balliol College, Oxford. His debut novel, INCENDIARY, won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and is now a feature film. His second novel, LITTLE BEE, is a New York Times #1 bestseller with over 2 million copies in print. GOLD is his thir ...more
More about Chris Cleave...
Little Bee Incendiary Chris Cleave Ebook Boxed Set: Little Bee, Incendiary, Gold Gold: Sneak Preview with Bonus Essays Something to Read About: A Book Club Sampler from Simon & Schuster

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“Her life was one endless loop that she raced around, with steep banked curves so she could never change or slow down. It just delivered her back to herself, over and over and over.” 9 likes
“Looking after a very sick child was the Olympics of parenting.” 7 likes
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