“Cleave goes for the gold and brings it home in his thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding novel … From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement.” – Publishers Weekly

US front cover

“Superb” – Independent

“Thrilling” – Daily Express

“Inspirational” – The Times

“Magnificent” – Independent on Sunday


UK front cover

Watch: my two-minute introduction to ‘Gold’

Watch: my publisher’s one-minute trailer for ‘Gold’

Watch: me with an actual beard, being interviewed by Richard & Judy

Watch: as I talk about ‘Gold’ on Culture Street

78 thoughts on “Gold”

  1. Hi Chris, I read Little Bee awhile ago, and then found Gold on my to-be-read pile of books stacked near my bed. I’ve devoured Gold for two days now and savoring the last few pages. I’m curious though. In the final time trial when Zoe slowed her bike and Kate’s tire rubbed hers, is this fair play in the world of cycling? If this was an Olympic event, would Zoe have won the gold and Kate would be done? Such a technical read about cycling and athletes. I had no idea! I do however have a child who lives with Cystic Fibrosis so I found your voice of Sophie very interesting. I’m sure my son minimizes his struggles so not to worry me as well. From the center of Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

  2. Dear Chris,
    I stumbled across your work entirely by accident. I read the outline of The Other Hand online, was intrigued and ordered it – I have just finished reading Gold – it is 02.22 in the morning – but it was worth it!! I have found both novels to be engrossing and satisfying reads. I look forward to starting Incendiary. It is rare for me to attach myself to a writer’s work like this as I tire of the cliches and trite recycling of ideas novelists often employ. I often just give up entirely disillusioned and frankly bored. However, your work offers a refreshing respite from this. I look forward to your forthcoming novel. I am very glad serendipity led me to your work.
    Best wishes,

  3. Dear Chris,
    I just wanted to reach out to you because I absolutely love your books! I first read Little Bee over the summer and it was awesome and touching. A few months later, I accidentally came across Incendiary and LOVED it. It may be my favorite book of all time. Just minutes ago, I finished Gold and was moved to tears. The relationships were so real and complicated and kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed English class in high school, but that’s long-gone, so I’m not able to offer any insightful literary praise, but I truly love your books because they melt my heart and leave me aching for more. When I read your books, I find myself nearly speed reading because I’m enjoying the story so much and want to see what happens next, but then, when I get to the last pages, I try to slow down and savor the remainder, and I ALWAYS read the last page several times because I don’t want your books to end! Thanks so much for your work and I hope there is more to come!

  4. Hey Chris.

    I was fortunate enough to have sat next to you when you electrified our night Book Slam last June with your readings from ‘Gold’ and, despite the tantalising Olympian glimpse you afforded us all that night and the incredibly generous and fascinating way you answered our daft Malbec-fuelled probing about your immersive research methods, I am ashamed to say it has taken me until now to actually read the damn book. Well, I rectified that in one sitting last week and *what* an experience it was – I haven’t been moved in that way for such a long time and I am humbled by your story prowess, the exemplary range of voices on show, the exquisite authenticity and humour of the disparate characters’ dialogue and the virtuoso unlocking of the arcane technical aspects of the sport for a lay audience. Plus, as a SW fanboy of many decades, you had me at the Death Star. Thank you so much for and congratulations on a truly magnificent book – I can’t wait to devour the rest of your canon, as it were.


    1. Hi Ilya – I really enjoyed Book Slam & it was an honour to meet you. Thanks for your kind and amazing comment, which has to go down as one of the best ever. You might be the first man to say that about my canon. I enjoy the work & will try to keep it up, as it were.

  5. Just finished Gold and loved it! I still liked incendiary the most but Gold is another brilliant novel. I enjoyed the gradually tightening tension and the juxtaposition of the parallel stories coming together. I hated Zoe more and more as I got through the book but there is something quite real about her that can be related to athletes.

    I was wondering how come you write from a female perspective with predominantly female characters? You convey their outlooks and grievances so convincingly, better than a lot of women do!

    1. Hi Lucy – thank you for reading ‘Gold’ – I’m glad you liked it. Thanks also for your comments about my female protagonists. I started writing from a female point of view because it was interesting work, and also in order to make sure that I wasn’t writing from my own perspective – which I considered to be a mistake for a novelist. On that point now – as in so many things – I am wondering if my original theory holds water. Perhaps one of the more useful contributions of a novelist is his or her own point of view. Certainly the novel I’m now writing has a voice that is arguably my own. I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out (and I hope you are, too!) Thanks again for your kind words.

  6. I have just finished blinking back the tears as I finished ‘Gold’. I bought this as I read, raved about and loaned ‘The Other Hand’ to most people I came in contact with! I didn’t hesitate to buy ‘Gold’ after reading who the author was! I have to say the cover to the hardback is absolutely stunning, and I would have picked it up in the bookshop regardless. Chris is a very powerful author in how he is able to bring characters to life and feel as if you really know them. Truly can’t wait for your next book! Many thanks.

  7. Having read “The Other Hand” and then “Incendiary”, I eagerly awaited the release of “Gold”. A brilliant book. He really gets to feel for the characters unlike like any author I have read in the long time. Chris Cleave is my favorite modern day author.

  8. Dear Chris…Was introduced to GOLD on the cover of July’s BOOKPAGE at the library. As the Olympics were at hand I decided to read Gold…What a great decision..I was unable to lay the book down due to the intensity of the characters and the rapidity of the story line. I just finished the book minutes ago and have already ordered INCENDIARY. You are a wonderful author and I will follow your works in the times ahead.

    Thanks so much for an emotional journey in which you conveyed the true sacrifices made by the athletes who are motivated during hours of effort for only minutes on the podium

  9. Gold is a lovely book and I really enjoyed reading it (Little Bee also)! It makes you reflect on the many layers of humanity and believe we can all reach gold in our life if we have love and have faith. Sincere thanks to Chris and hope there will be many more to come.

    1. Thank you, Marie-Andree. I do hope there will be many more stories to come – I certainly still have stories I want to tell, and it means a lot to me that you’ll be looking out for them. Thank you.

  10. Hi Chris. Thanks for gold. I’ve just finished reading it and we will discuss it at our bookclub here in Perth western australia this month. I hate to say it but I relate to some of the obsessive qualities of Zoe. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been like that. I love the warm and funny switch to Sophie’s perspective. Did you have to do much star wars research or did that all come naturally. I also loved scenes in velodromes and the pure adrenaline of it. Overall it also made me think how we all escape to our own alternate realities to cope: the athletes in training, the coach in coaching and Sophie to star wars. Thanks so much and please keep writing! Regards belinda

  11. I finished Gold recently and absolutely loved it. Thank you for writing such an incredible novel and sharing it with us. Your talent knows no bounds! Best wishes.

  12. I celebrated the London Olympics by reading Gold during the course of the actual games. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of reading a book in the locale where it takes place as a companion to my travel there. I couldn’t make it to the games, but this was the best way I could bring the experience of the book to life for myself……and the read was a good one…by the end it had me pedaling to the finish line just to see how it would all resolve.

  13. I absolutely adored Gold, completely different to The Other Hand but just as enjoyable. Maybe I missed it at the end (I have a tendency to read the last chapter of a book too quickly in a rush to finish it) but I’m dying to know how Kate did in the Olympics. Did she even get there? If so, did she win a medal? Was it gold? This is killing me!

  14. I find myself telling everyone I can these days about GOLD!

    Considering talking about books is what I do for a living, it takes some doing for one book to capture my attention. I can not commend you enough for every facet of this book. Its story gripped me from the get go, the characters captured me and drew me in and I was sad when the story came to a close.

    As I mentioned in my review ( ) the personal connection you developed with Childhood Cancer is what stirred me the most. I did not think it was possible for someone to write so prolifically about a topic few dare to understand. A million “Thank You’s” as I have faith that you will spark an interest in many to learn more, and that would be an amazing thing!

  15. It was a pleasure having lunch with you at Book Passage Corte Madera. Your commentary was very insightful on you as an author and your books. It makes reading your books even more enjoyable.

    I wanted to let you know that Birthday girl Claire in Shanghai got the World Book Day edition of Little Bee. She was quite surprised with your signed greeting. I really appreciate you doing that for me.

    Now that I’m back from my trip, I look forward to reading Gold.

    I hope to see you again when your next book comes out. In the meantime, happy travels on your book tour.

  16. Your book *GOLD* was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo GOOD!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!

    I wrote a review on

    If you ‘ever’ come to the Bay Area —(San Jose/Campbell……etc.) I would love to hear you speak.

    I liked “Little Bee” very much also……(it was great also)

    but *GOLD* was just *GOLDEN*!!! (I could speak for days about this book –the characters —the story —the challenges —the choices —the drive —etc.).
    You had some wonderful —powerful lines in this book about ‘human-beings’ in general —
    What drives us? Our past? or looking into the future? Which is more powerful? –How does one say—
    What ‘is’ important is ‘knowing’ the deeper levels of people (ANYWAY) —-As a coach, a teacher, a boss, a friend, spouse, etc. —-[your book allows people to think & have fun]

    *BIKING* was the PERFECT topic to write about to look at personal suffering -personal happiness, conflicts, jealousy, anger, dysfunction, —-with the ongoing discovery of ‘purpose’ in our lives.

    I was engaged from page one —(then very moved by your ‘Author’s Notes’)

    Thank you!

  17. I just finished Gold. I so enjoy your books. Your writing is lyrical and your characters are so real. Thank you for stories that leave me desperate for your next endeavor.

  18. Such a great book, couldnt put it down!! Made me laugh, cry and swear out loud on a number of occasions. You can’t help but visualise the characters, i certainly built up a hatred for Zoe, altjhough was turned around by the end.
    So far the reviews have failed to mention much about Kate & Zoe’s coach but he really is an important part of the story and added a touch of humour, could tell he was an Ozzie from the outset!
    Kate is such a lovely character but on occasion i have to say i really wish i could have shaken her, to nice and decent for her own good. Jack and Sophie -what a team, Sophie has a maturity way beyond her years and i was praying things would turn out ok. Now i’m tryin gto visulaise who would play who if a film were made. Also has given be a new found respect for competitive cyclists and what they go through. Amazing.

  19. ı read little bee.thanks for this book.understanding people is so important issue.and knowing a refugee’s life gives us a lot thing about life,about sacrifice.and we can easily understand that everyone has good things by their bad sides.if we solve everyone’s good side ı hope that world will be wonderful.congratulations this author to show like success

  20. Chris!

    Gold is very good but comparing it and little bee is like comparing apples and oranges.both have their own flavour and are good for you. I would like to know why the London gold medal ended in the downstairs toilet pull, as there already was one there (the commonwealth games medal).

    During your visit to Helsinki, you told us about a person who had come to Britain as a refugee child, had lived all his life in Britain and was now coming of age and facing deportation back into his “home country”. It would be good to know what became of that intolerable situation and how his life is forming out. If you knew about this.

    Thanks again!Looking forward to your next (aren’t we readers impossibly demanding?)

  21. Chris,
    I picked up Little Bee in the airport while heading out for a vacation. From the very first page I was completely captivated and blown away with your writing style. Absolutely beautiful! As soon as I finished up Little Bee, I knocked out Incendiary in 2 days. I love reading but it is rare that I find an author that so inspires me with his style of writing. Truly incredible writing!! Can’t wait to read GOLD!


  22. Chris…I’m reaching the conclusion of GOLD and preparing the review I’ll write for’s VINE program. I haven’t been as moved by a book in some time, if ever (I have three-quarters of a century of reading behind my eyeballs), and I wanted to let you know of my enjoyment. I don’t know what the ending is yet, but I’m sure whatever it is, you will not have screwed it up. You are a real talent.

  23. Loved Gold…tayed up til 3 AM reading and cried twice. Liked it better than Little Bee and was not expecting that!

  24. Hi Chris

    I have read your first two books and found them absolutely addictive. I bought little bee last week on ebay only to find that it was the same as the other hand I was so disappointed!!! However I have given it to friend who I am sure will find it as impelling as I did.
    I look forward to the launch of Gold and please write another and another and another very soon.
    I raise my glass to you and to your gift of writing.
    Elsa xx

  25. Little Bee is an amazing experience for a reader. Your writing is medalworthy… So Gold seems an appropriate title for the next one and in an Olympic year too! On my wishlist and soon to be granted

    Good luck on the cycle challenge

  26. Belo Horizonte, 16 de junho de 2012.

    Prezado Chris Cleave.

    Eu tive o imenso prazer em ler o seu livro “Pequena Abelha”.
    Muito, muito lindo.
    Você me fez pensar e rever vários valores.
    Obrigado por isso e pelo prazer de uma história tão especial e tão comovente. Adorei e vou comprar exemplares para presentear.
    Sucesso e felicidades para você em toda sua vida. Um abraço. Tania


  27. Wow. Little Bee! My not so little younger brother still refers to himself as Will C. O. Batman the II. He turned 18 days before I finished the novel & it rocked my world. Little Bee left an everlasting impression and every person dearest to me gets an earful if they have yet to experience this amazing story. I have been checking the shelves for your next work ever since. So looking forward to Gold.

    1. Hi Laura – ha, your brother sounds fun! Glad you liked the book – and thank you very much for recommending it to your friends. I hope you’ll enjoy ‘Gold’.

  28. So excited! I picked up Incendiary a few months ago and then made it my goal to let everyone I know what an amazing book it was. Most people I know have read or at the very least heard of Little Bee, so I felt it only right I introduce them to Incendiary as well. I’m starting Little Bee this week. Can’t wait for Gold!

    1. Hi Veronica – thank you very sincerely for your support. I stand or fall by whether people recommend my stories to each other. I hope you’ll enjoy Little Bee and Gold.

  29. Just pre-ordered my copy of Gold in the US… looking forward to it and will try and attend the reading in San Francisco. Been biking around the Bay Area lots in the last few years, so looking forward to the narrative.
    Sounds like you’re doing great and hope to see you soon!

    1. Hey Pete! Thanks so much – would be great to see you in SF – and maybe go for a ride if you have time? Cheers – Chris

  30. I’m 160 pages into Gold, courtesy of amazon vine. Impressed so far. Four very closely observed characters. Narrative almost as fast as the bikes.

  31. I’m 200 pages into Incendiary, and don’t want it to end. It’s so good I want it to be the book I read in and out of work everyday. I now can’t believe it’s been sat on my shelf for so long, not being read, after I read The Other Hand about two years ago and loved that too. I got so excited about there being two more when I came across your website – Little Bee and Gold – and looked forward to dashing out to buy both. Until I read that Little Bee is The Other Hand and Gold isn’t out yet. I was so disappointed. I’d already said to myself as soon as I’d finished Incendiary, I’d go out and get another one of your books. I cannot recommend you enough. I am loving your books. Please never stop writing.

    1. Hi Vicky, I’m so glad you feel that way about my stories. Thank you. If I may return the compliment, I think the job of a reader is just as hard as that of a writer. The characters gain their life in the interaction between the writer’s brain and the reader’s brain. If the characters seem real to you, it’s because you are capable of breathing life into them. Not everyone can do that. As a writer I get excited that I can write for such engaged and creative readers: your kind works mean a lot to me. All good wishes – Chris

  32. YES! I have done nothing but rave about you for the last 6 months to anyone who will listen and iv just voted Incendiary best book iv ever read in the world book night survey, so i am SOOOOOO very pleased to hear you have a new book comming out. Wish i could run out and buy a
    copy this weekend…… hurry up June 🙂

    Thankyou so much for writing such inspiring and frankly raw novels. I only have to think about them and i get shivers and goose bumps. I read a lot, so this really is a big deal to be top of my list. Il keep recommending you.
    Thanx again

  33. Dear Chris,
    I’m so excited to learn more about GOLD! I’ve loved ALL your work, and furthermore tennis has been a huge part of my life, so I can’t wait.
    I don’t suppose you have any upcoming London appearances in March, do you? I’ll be visiting for a week. If not, I hope you’ll be making some US appearances this summer …
    Can’t wait to read, and then to recommend, your newest work!

    1. Hi Alison, thank you for your kind words – I hope you will enjoy GOLD. Wishing you a great visit to London! I won’t be doing any events that month – I’m doing events in the UK and Canada in June, then US in July, ANZ in August / Sept, then US and Canada again in October. I’ll be posting the events on this site as soon as they’re confirmed, and hope to meet you at one of them! All best – Chris

  34. Hi Chris,
    Just finished reading the proof of Gold – and am proud to say i will be sponsoring your book within our Waterstones Birmingham branch. Really enjoyed the novel – you never seem to let the literary world down. The Other Hand is my all time favourite book – i couldn’t recommend it enough. Hope to see you do a signing in our store soon – i will definitely be promoting the book with the critical acclaim it deserves!

  35. Hi Chris,
    Little Bee found its way to me via the St. Croix Animal Shelter Flea Market here in the US Virgin Islands. I read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. Little Bee, Sarah and Batman are going to stay with me for a long while. Thank you for bringing to life such a beautiful story. I look forward to reading Gold and the many other stories waiting patiently inside you.

  36. I’m an independent bookseller in Tampa and I just finished Gold. It’s only January, and I’m pretty certain I’ve found my favorite book this year! Really well done. It’s brilliant and beautiful, and has also got me really looking forward to London 2012 cycling! Thanks very much for the words!

  37. Chris,
    I picked up Little Bee as an after thought in an airport book stand. I saw a picture of you on the back cover, and thought to myself, how exactly can a man narrate a woman, much less one that is from a very different race and nationality – but the cover was pretty, and there were endorsements stamped all over, so I thought at worst it couldn’t be too bad. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I’ve just emerged from your book – it was one of the most beautiful and moving stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of immersing myself in – and in addition raised my level of awareness. Thank you.

    Late to the game,

  38. Received news this week that the grant I wrote for MORE Little Bees for my classroom has been funded! Woot! And now we have Gold to look forward to?! Fabulous way to start the new year, I must say. Only one thing would make it even more amazing: autographed photo of you for our classroom wall. Just sayin’. Keep on writing, CC. You rock.

    1. Hi Cecilia – I’m very grateful to you for your kind words and for teaching my book in your classroom! Thank you. Where would I send photo / goodies?

  39. Greetings Chris!
    We have alerted Cambridge, Minnesota of your upcoming novel “Gold” and all send you our best! We can’t wait to read your new book.
    Judith Kissner
    Scout & Morgan Books
    Cambridge, Minnesota

  40. İ just finished the incendiary today! it was amazing last year i read “the little bee” too and i both cried at the end of these 2 books. Can’t wait to buy your 3rd book i hope that it was as good as the other ones! God bless your hands and give the energy for non-stop writing. Thanks for the big pleasure of reading novels like this!

  41. Chris,

    Your writing has been unbelievably inspirational and has encouraged me to begin writing my own novel. I am eagerly waiting the release of your newest book – I have thoroughly enjoyed each of your previous ones.

    1. Hi Alexander – thank you for this very kind message. I’m delighted that you’re now writing too! All good wishes for your work.

  42. Dear Chris

    I am doing nanowrimo (or rather, am trying to do it) and received the message you wrote to all of us foolish writers. Thanks for it; it really helped me keep going. I also was delighted to see who you were, as in the Chris Cleave who has written some of my favourite novels. I am so glad you have written a new one; hopefully it’ll appear on the bookshelves in Cape Town soon. And perhaps you will appear here too?

    Best wishes


  43. Dear Chris,

    I stumbled upon Little Bee in an airport book store – as soon as it was published and the book moved me so deeply- left me sleepless, feverish and desperately angry. Since then I am a relentless fan, urging all my friends who love reading as much as me that they need to absolutely read the book. Unfortunately being a single mom – looking after [and with the greatest plesaure and greatest privilege] my 14 year old, walking our dog and of course, working has not allowed me to get hold of your other books, the other factor being ‘based temporarily’ in the Netherlands, where English versions of the latest are a rarity. Do keep writing –

  44. I’m very glad to read, that there is a new book of you!
    I’m looking forward to buying it. Hope it will be translated soon in Dutch!
    Love your way books!

  45. Hey there!
    I just finished reading the dutch version of Incendiary. I had to read it for a school purpose but I can tell you that I liked it very very much!
    It was the first book i’ve finished since the Harry Potter series and you’ve made me into reading again.
    I immediatly bought Little Bee but have yet to read it.

    I’m happy your new book is finished! Now go on a well deserved vacation!
    Greets from Belgium

  46. Chris,

    Good for you for taking on the Spandau Ballet story. New Wave New Romanticism has been neglected by literature for too long.

    Seriously – congratulations.


  47. I am extremely happy that there will be a new book by your hand. The other two novels were brilliant, and I love the sense of humour & (complex) simplicity of your characters. Could you perhaps tell me when the book will be available (in English ofcourse, I don’t mean the translation) in Holland?

  48. I am very excited for this next novel. I have read Little Bee more times than I can count and often find myself reflecting upon it, and always recommending it to my friends and family. I loved all of the characters and the play within the different female perspectives. I will definitely be picking it up on the day that it comes out, because I am sure that it will make me think as much as Little Bee and Incendiary have! Thanks for your work.

  49. Yay, I’ve been looking out for news of your next book and am delighted to read that you’ve finished it. Well done! Thanks for working so hard on it – I hope you get a bit of a break now, eh? I’m already confident that I’m going to fall in love with ‘Gold’ as I have with your other books. Thanks also for your kind words to us (your readers) – that’s very generous.

  50. I am excited to read Gold. Just finished Little Bee. What a beautiful creation. Little bee now lives in me. In my own suburb, doing things as small as making coffee in my coffee maker, I hear myself saying, “This is a good trick”. You are an amazing talent fine tuned into the largest dangers of our time but able to find them in the smallest details of the days. And to you Chris, This IS a good trick. I wish you much luck and success, but mostly happiness.

  51. Hello
    I´m from Brazil. I loved the little Bee´s history. It´s very beautiful!
    Whrite about brazilian´s children too. You will love.

    1. Thanks very much, Dave! Will send you a proof as soon as they’re ready. If you like it, let’s do a special edition…

  52. Hi Barbara – thank you so much. I’m delighted you liked the book and I hope you’ll enjoy the new one just as much.

  53. Read Little Bee this Sunday. Bought book at Indie book store in Putnam, CT USA. Had to walk away from book in first couple chapters same as with Kite Runner. I can cope with adults in trouble but children are another matter. I stayed with the book. Loved it–all of it. The 4 year oldsIknow act and think like Batman. Amazing truths you tell. Will find your other books. Thank you. Keep writing.

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