Friday, June 15, 2012
'Gold' by Chris Cleave - A new cycling novel! The London Olympics! Female Track stars! It's all here.
Would you Adam and Eve it?
There is a new cycling book about to hit shelves and it's not a biography, coffee table photo tome, training diary, dietary or travel guide. It's a novel. It's a 'domestic' story. It's a love triangle.
Zoe and Kate are best friends and both at the top of women's track sprinting. Kate is married to Jack, top men's sprinter, and they have an eight year old daughter named Sophie, who escapes her chemotherapy in a Star Wars dreamworld. The London Olympics are looming and they all have a last chance to win their own gold.
It's a great read. I will admit that if it didn't have the cycling element I wouldn't have gone near it. 'It's not all about the cycling'. The racing is really a background, a world within which these events and emotions revolve and an impetus to drive them on. The real themes racing through the pages are love, success, parenthood, loss and the price of victory.
Most of all it's about time. Our whole lives are measured in degrees of time - the difference between the colour of your Olympic medal, between success and failure, between love and loss, life and death can be a thousandth of a second. These characters have all learned the importance of such small moments.
'That was what he had lost by: one-tenth of a second, one-eighth of an inch of time. That was the thinnest they could dice it, back in the day, and anything closer was called a tie. In those days they still left a fraction of a second for the idea that what God had joined together, no man should split apart.' - 'Gold' by Chris Cleave
I know this is a bike centric blog - believe me the passages regarding the riding are written well. Chris does ride.
There are two elements I struggled with though. The book is written in a series of scenes. Each separated by a title stating location and time. Surely this is something the reader can do for themselves, at times it felt like an instruction for a screenplay.
This is a book I wanted to read for one reason but enjoyed for another altogether. I hope you will do the same.
Chris Cleave has a website here: Chris Cleave.
'Gold' is released in the US in July 2012.
Thanks to Kelly Welsh at Simon and Schuster.