Seriously, I have to start reading the blurbs on the back of books! I was drawn to The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go because I thought it was about climbing Mount Everest. Mount Everest is genre kryptonite for me. So i was a little disappointed to learn that Everest is only a small portion of the novel. But Go’s writing made up for that. He is a seriously good writer and I will read whatever he puts out next.
The Steady Running of the Hour flips back and forth between the present and a young man searching out his origins to see if he is the mysterious inheritor of millions and World War 1 and the years immediately following it. For me, Go is at his best when he is writing the historical passages. I’m not much for books about trench warfare, but Go nails it. His writing in the contemporary passages is good, but doesn’t shine like it does in the historical parts.
And much to my relief, near the end of the novel Go takes us onto Mount Everest. Like with the trench warfare scenes, Go really shows his strength here. His story telling here is absolutely wonderful. I was on the seat of my pants.
Who would like this book? I’m surprised The Steady Running of the Hours hasn’t received more positive press. As I’ve said, I found the writing to be exceptional. There are so many books about a protagonist searching into the past to uncover a hidden secret, and this novel falls firmly in that category. If that is your type of book, then this is for you. But I’d also highly recommend it to those who appreciate WWI novels, because that is where Go is at his best.