THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2017 BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARD FOR POPULAR FICTION
Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.
Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
How good is this book? Benedict Cumberbatch was signed to star in the film adaption even before its release. Matt Haig has updated a fairly familiar idea—a band of immortals battling their extraordinary fate—and carved a deeply affecting, totally charming novel. The story's lead, Tom Hazard, is a man who's been alive for centuries and lived everywhere (we particularly loved the pages spent in Elizabethan London), but he has always struggled to get over a forbidden love from Shakespearean times. Tom's plight had us bewitched from start to finish.
Tom Hazard doesn't age. Or, he does, but very, very slowly. He was born in France in 1581, but like other "albatrosses" (those who carry the burden of living forever), a century to him passes like a decade or less. In this enthralling quest through time, Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive) follows his protagonist through the Renaissance up to "now," when Tom works as a history teacher in London. As Tom goes on various recruiting missions for the Albatross Society, the setting of the story moves from Shakespeare's Globe to F. Scott Fitzgerald's Paris to Bisbee, Ariz., and other far reaches of the earth. The main rule of the Albatross Society is that, in order to stay protected from a group of scientists who want to study and confirm the existence of the albatrosses, an albatross cannot fall in love. And yet, all the while, Tom nurses a broken heart and searches for his long lost daughter, Marion, who is also an albatross. "Humans don't learn from history" is one of the lessons Tom learns, and, despite everything he witnesses over the expansiveness of history, nothing can cure him of lovesickness. His persistence through the centuries shows us that the quality of time matters more than the quantity lived.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A nice escape...
Bought this book on a Thursday and had finished it by the Sunday. At first I found the short chapters annoying but it results in making the book ‘hard to put down’ as you can rattle through it quite quickly. I’d definitely recommend this as a great holiday book and the idea behind it is original. Great story line that’s well written. If you’re in doubt about buying it then I’d say that it’s definitely worth taking a punt on.
How to Stop Time transported me to an earlier period in my own life, a time when I used to love books and reading. Thanks for helping me find my way back Matt.
I loved this book, it’s such a good read because it’s so relevant to our lives today. All we are today is a collection of our past and this book does it’s best to show you how to stop time. A book that gives you hope, especially hopeless romantics.