02 January 2012

Book Teaser: Gold by Chris Cleave

While I thought the plot of Gold was overall a slightly less interesting read than Chris Cleave's previous Little Bee (whose central questions still haunt me: how far would you go to save the life of a stranger? how would that bind you to that stranger for the rest of your lives?), the character development and plotting are stronger here with Gold.   Cleave is certainly bold in his approach to characters--he doesn't seem to care if the reader likes his characters or not, which frees him from quite a few constructs and constraints. I didn't especially like the characters in Little Bee, and I didn't especially like the characters in Gold, but unusually that didn't make a difference in my devouring this book, which was a really fast read.

In this book, however, the writing itself is a few notches above his other books.  I've got so many dog-eared pages and I shared so many passages out loud with my husband and my extended family that my ARC is starting to look a little ragged.  I look forward to meeting Chris Cleave at Winter Institute in a few weeks! This book pubs in July 2012 and I received an ARC of it from Wendy Sheanin at Simon & Schuster--I'll be attending dinner in New Orleans with Chris Cleave and with Carol Anshaw, author of Carry the One.  Can't wait!

Here are some of the passages I marked:

On watching her competitor on television: "Kate hated the way her body still readied itself to race like this, the way a widow's exhausted heart must still leap at a photo of her dead lover."

On a sick child's trying to read the mood of her mother in Star Wars costume: "This was the thing with Stormtroopers: they only showed the multipurpose expression molded into the face plates of their helmets--a hard-wearing, wipe-clean semimournful expression equally appropriate for learning that one's souffle, or one's empire, had fallen."

On describing a falling out between friends: "In the weeks that followed, Zoe had been incandescent with remorse. That was how it had seemed to Kate--that her friend had actually flickered with a pale and anxious light that sought to expel the shadows cast by her behavior."

On the nature of time in a modern world: "Time had been restructured like bad debt. The long languid hour had been atomized. Manifestos were shrunk to memes and speeches were pressed into sound bites [sic]..."

1 comment:

  1. I have to get off my behind and read Little Bee and then I'll wait anxiously for Gold (if you remind me again in July that it's available to the masses).


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