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The Steady Running of the Hour: A Novel Hardcover – April 15, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476704589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476704586
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Justin Go has written an astonishingly vast, meticulously plotted, and beautifully told novel. In elegant, haunting prose he tells a wartime story that is at once violent and lovely, hopeful and despairing. I won’t soon forget Go’s passionate, star-crossed lovers and their deeply moving story, set against the riveting, utterly realistic backdrop of the Great War.” (Anton DiSclafani)

“A wonderful time-slip story, beautifully written with a superb sense of place. Go captures the spirit of early 20th-century England perfectly, both in the past and the present, in a novel that is exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!” (Kate Mosse)

“Ambitious…this is a remarkable work.” (Booklist)

"Go’s debut is ambitious in many ways...it depicts a love that transcends time and disdains convention; and it fluidly moves between past and present." (Publishers Weekly)

“Go’s intriguing first novel spans the 20th century… with vivid accounts of wartime France, pioneering mountaineering expeditions, and an isolated village in Iceland.” (BBC.com)

“With this debut, Justin Go deploys the elements of a caper –an unclaimed fortune, an illicit affair—in an assured literary thriller.”—Wall Street Journal Magazine

Gifted storyteller Go captures a period feel…This story is a page-turner and an impressive first work, sure to be appreciated by fans of historical and travel fiction.”—Library Journal

About the Author

Justin Go attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with a BA in history and art history. He also holds an MA in English from University College London. He has lived in Tokyo, Paris, London, New York City, and Berlin. He is currently at work on his second novel.

Customer Reviews

And while I do like some aspects of the ending, this is a bit too open-ended for my tastes.
Yolanda S. Bean
Regardless of my disappointment with the book's ending, I still loved the story and the characters overall, and I would definitely recommend giving this one a read.
Ladybug
I expected to turn the next page and find out what really happened, but the next page was blank, and that was the end; I had no idea of what was going on.
PegVan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By PegVan on May 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the story of Ashley and Imogen and their tumultuous history set against the backdrop of World War I and various countries. I was not quite so taken up with the story of Tristan, who has a short time to prove his right to inherit Ashley's secret estate. The novel goes back and forth from present day Tristan's story as he tries to find proof to give the lawyers that will make the estate his, to Ashley and Imogen's tale of love and separation during the War. Justin Go manages this technique quite well. But I felt that the clues Tristan finds are all rather too neatly dumped in his lap, and parts of his story seem almost like a fairy tale. Ashley and Imogen however, really captured my heart. I followed their story and hoped for the best, even though I knew they were "star-crossed lovers," and they would be doomed in the end.

I continued to enjoy the lengthy novel until I got to the last few chapters. And then Mr. Go completely frustrated and irritated me! In an interview, he said that he had made many outlines of the novel and knew the setting of the ending of the novel way before he finished it. I felt that the ending was contrived, confusing, and left me as a reader, totally in the dark! I expected to turn the next page and find out what really happened, but the next page was blank, and that was the end; I had no idea of what was going on. A few chapters before that, I wondered who the woman in the cafe was, and who was Anton? All of a sudden, at the end of the novel, a new character is introduced, and the reader is left to fend for himself; help!! I would love to chat with Mr. Go and see what was in his mind. Anyway, this kind of spoiled a good read for me. I don't mind being left with a few questions at the end of a novel, but I don't like being left in the dark!

So, love the book as a whole, but I sure was frustrated when I finished it. Sorry, Justin.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Roger Brunyate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was attracted to this debut novel when first hearing about it: an historical reconstruction that juggles the present and the past in settings such as London, Paris, Iceland, and Sweden, the WW1 battlefields of Picardy, and the mountains of Snowdonia, the Alps, and Everest. All are among my favorite places and subjects. Then, I thought, what if the author gets it wrong? There have been other novels of similar ambition that have been let down by weak imagination, poor prose, or simply lack of familiarity with the settings and the depth of cultural history that they carry. So a plot involving a young Californian, straight out of college, going on a quest to prove his entitlement to a huge fortune did not promise the perspective that I, as a European of a much earlier generation, was looking for. But this was my first surprise, and a most welcome one too.

For the moment that Tristan Campbell lands in Heathrow and visits the offices of Twyning & Hooper, an old firm of London solicitors, he gets the tone absolutely right. Observant but not goggle-eyed, Tristan deals calmly with what he discovers, without novelistic detours for tourism. The money has been left by Ashley Walsingham, a young officer in the First World War who later died on an Everest attempt in the twenties, to a woman named Imogen Soames-Andersson. It appears that they fell in love shortly before Ashley was posted to France, but Imogen had disappeared by the time of his death. It is possible that Imogen and Ashley were Tristan's great-grandparents; it is up to him to prove it before the limitation runs out on the trust in two months' time.

It is an artificial premise, to be sure, but Justin Go handles it with aplomb, jumping back and forth over the hundred-year gap without putting a foot wrong.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Maine Colonial TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We start off in 2004, when we meet newly-minted college graduate Tristan Campbell, who receives a letter from a London firm of solicitors, telling him that he may be heir to the long-unclaimed fortune of Ashley Walsingham--if only Tristan can prove his blood relationship, and soon. The second story thread is Ashley's; his meeting and crash-bang falling in love with Imogen Soames-Andersson just days before he is to report for combat duty in the trenches of World War I France, and his attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924.

With only two months before Walsingham's fortune will be defaulted to charitable beneficiaries, Tristan searches desperately through archives, abandoned homes, museums and other sites in London, France, Sweden, Germany and Iceland to find evidence that he is related to Imogen, Walsingham's named beneficiary. Tristan picks up a companion along the way named Mireille, and the quest for a fortune fades in importance as he becomes almost obsessed with finding out the history of Imogen and Ashley.

The strongest part of the book is its descriptions of Ashley Walsingham's arduous experiences in the trenches and then while attempting Everest. Justin Go excels at making the reader feel the cold, wet, stink, repulsion, paralyzing fear and, ultimately, numbness that the front-line soldier experienced. Then he takes our breath away on the bleak, frozen mountain, with winds roaring and the visible world reduced to nothing.

All that atmosphere evaporates when the story switches back to Tristan. I've enjoyed quite a few of those biblio/archival detective stories (like Michael Gruber's
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More About the Author

Justin Go was born in Los Angeles. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley and University College London. The Steady Running of the Hour is his first novel and is being published in twenty languages.



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