02 July 2012

Gold ~ Chris Cleave

 < OK >

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, the sharp observations, the bittersweet storytelling that I found in both of them.  But that was not to be.

The storyline followed the rivalries of Olympic cyclists.  It gives backgrounds of the main protagonists via flashbacks.  But the storyline itself is predictable and saccharine, and the dilemma seems so contrived.  The language was often cliched and clumsy.  Characterisation is set out at the beginning and doesn't get any development.

Where the child in The Other Hand had cute characteristics, the child in Gold is cloying.  I was amazed in both of the previous books at how well Cleave writes female voice, but in Gold I didn't quite believe in Kate.  As a highly competitive athlete, she lacked verisimilitude.