Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

The Steady Running of the Hour

by Justin Go

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1851763,896 (3.16)31



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
The ending of this book is SO BAD it completely overshadows the other 80–90% which is actually pretty good. Admittedly, the character development left a lot to be desired… but I’m willing to put up with that for a good historical mystery. Which this (mostly) was. It reminded me a bit of Possession by A.S. Byatt. (A novel I love and can’t recommend highly enough)

Please don’t read the rest of this if you don’t want spoilers. Tristan Campbell, a recent college history(?) graduate, has the McGuffin of a ridiculously large inheritance dangled in front of him, if he can find proof that his grandmother was the love child of star-crossed WWI lovers Imogene and Ashley. Tristan goes to London, Paris, Germany, Sweden, and finally Iceland in pursuit of the truth. He digs through libraries and archives, uses all of his savings, he sleeps outside, he goes without food, he hitchhikes, he steals a boat, ransacks an old house, begs a German postal worker…. the list is endless. And then he finally… FINALLY seems to have reached the answer and the end of the road, opens the door…. AND THE BOOK ENDS.

( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Another one I started and liked but then it fizzled for me. (Via Audio).
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Got to the end and was very disappointed. A lot of build up for nothing. This is my book club book so I am very curious to see how the discussion goes and what other readers got out of the book. It did not do much for me. A long, long, story with no real ending or much meaning (for me). ( )
  carolfoisset | Dec 6, 2015 |
My partner got me The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go. I'd never heard of it. Sometimes it's fun to dive into an unknown book!

Tristan Campbell receives a letter from a solicitor in London. He is told that there is an inheritance that he may be entitled to. But there are complications. The stipulations of the will state that whomever receives the inheritance must be directly descended from a particular person. This lineage must be proven. Oh, and there's a time limit.

Tristan embarks on a journey, both literal and figurative, to discover if he is indeed descended from the person specified in the will.

He discovers Ashley Walsingham, the writer of the will and a mountaineer who also fought in World War I. He also learns about the love of Ashley's life, Imogen.

Told from Tristan's point of view in the present, and Ashley and Imogen's point of view in the past, Tristan learns about Ashley's part in the war, his love for mountaineering, including one of the first expeditions to climb Mount Everest, and Ashley and Imogen's love affair.

A bit of a mystery, a love story, mountaineering and war history, a travelogue...this kept me turning pages and wanting to find out Tristan's heritage almost as much as he did! Fun!

You can read this review - and others - on my blog here:
http://notthenewyorktimesbookreview.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-steady-running-of-h... ( )
  lisalangford | May 26, 2015 |
Tristan Campbell, a recent college graduate, is notified by secretive London solicitors, that he may be heir to a huge fortune. All he has to do is prove that he is the great-grandson of Ashley Walsingham, a World War I officer and mountaineer, and Imogen Soames-Andersson, a wealthy Bohemian. And he has less than two months to prove this biological connection. He sets off across Europe tracing the footsteps of the two people who may be his ancestors.

The chapters alternate between past and present. In the present, the reader follows Tristan in his backpacking across Europe. In the past, we have the romance between Imogen and Ashley and the latter’s experiences in World War I and in an expedition climbing Everest. There are certainly parallels between the two stories: Ashley and Tristan are both obsessed – Ashley with climbing the world’s tallest mountain and Tristan with uncovering the truth. The two also have to choose between love and what they perceive to be their duty, a choice forced on them by the women in their lives.

It is these women who arouse my ire with the author. They are anything but fully developed realistic characters. Both Imogen and Mireille, Tristan’s love interest, are vague in their motivations and selfish and manipulative. Tristan meets Mireille in France and they strike up a platonic friendship, though with some intimations of further possibilities, and she pleads with him to abandon his quest. Since their relationship is not developed into some great love affair, her pleas come across as those of an overwrought harpy. Imogen’s behaviour is also unconvincing; one can understand her fear that Ashley will be killed in the war, but when he survives, her treatment of him seems just bizarre.

Another issue with the novel is that there are just too many improbabilities. Just as Tristan reaches a dead end, he encounters someone who, despite the locale, speaks perfect English and is able to provide another vital clue. These chance meetings even allow him to find documents. Tristan acknowledges the unlikelihood of his finds: “Surely it is beyond all notions of luck to have found those letters.” Later, he adds, “It was impossible. It required the gathering of whole constellations, a harvest of countless stars funneled into a single cup and rolled out, a pair of sixes, a million times in perfect succession.” But we are to believe that “If it seemed improbable, maybe that was only [our] own narrowness of vision”?!

And then there’s the ending or lack thereof. The author gives so much detail about unimportant events, but then abandons the book. His cutting away from the locked room in remotest Iceland is inexcusable.
I can certainly guess as to what happened, but to take a reader on a long and detailed search only to leave him/her adrift at the end reeks of manipulation.

This book tries to be a love story, a mystery, and an adventure quest. Unfortunately, it is not successful as any of these. The romances do not come across as believable. The secrecy around the mysterious will is also questionable. And the pace for an adventure quest is just too slow.

I regret the steady running of the hours wasted on reading this novel. ( )
  Schatje | Oct 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"In this mesmerizing debut, a young American discovers he may be heir to the unclaimed estate of an English World War I officer, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the elusive truth. Just after graduating college, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco. It contains the phone number of a Mr. J.F. Prichard of Twyning & Hooper, Solicitors, in London -- and news that could change Tristan's life forever. In 1924, Prichard explains, an English alpinist named Ashley Walsingham died attempting to summit Mt. Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. But the estate was never claimed. Information has recently surfaced suggesting Tristan may be the rightful heir, but unless he can find documented evidence, the fortune will be divided among charitable beneficiaries in less than two months. In a breathless race from London archives to Somme battlefields to the Eastfjords of Iceland, Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of the First World War and the pioneer British expeditions to Mt. Everest. Following his instincts through a maze of frenzied research, Tristan soon becomes obsessed with the tragic lovers, and he crosses paths with a mysterious French girl named Mireille who suggests there is more to his quest than he realizes. Tristan must prove that he is related to Imogen to inherit Ashley's fortune -- but the more he learns about the couple, the stranger his journey becomes. . . . Part love story, part historical tour de force, Justin Go's novel is utterly compelling, unpredictable, and heartrending"--". . . A young American discovers he may be the heir to the estate of an English WWI officer and alpinist, left unclaimed for nearly 80 years, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the true story of the officer's love affair with the woman who may or may not be his great-grandmother"--… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
62 wanted
4 pay2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.16)
1 1
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 4
3 11
3.5 4
4 14
5 3


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,345,027 books! | Top bar: Always visible