From the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library.
“A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post
“She smiled a soft, troubled smile and I felt the whole world slipping away, and I wanted to slip with it, to go wherever she was going… I had existed whole years without her, but that was all it had been. An existence. A book with no words.”
Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom 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. Tom has lived history--performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.
Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.
How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
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 taken a fairly familiar idea—a band of immortals battling their extraordinary fate—and turned it into a deeply affecting and totally charming novel. The story follows Tom Hazard, a man who’s been alive for centuries and lived everywhere (we particularly loved the scenes spent in Elizabethan London). Tom has always struggled to get over a forbidden love from Shakespearean times—and his 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.
i felt that the beginning was a bit slower but all those pieces were hugely important to the full puzzle. as the reader, we needed to understand tom as well as he understood himself which, was difficult considering the plot but it was explained so well! very heart warming and EXTREMELY thought provoking. another wonderful book!
Another great one from Matt
Very enchanting book for anyone who loves history with a blend of fantasy and romance. Although I do not consider this a love story in a traditional sense but a book about society and their constant obsession with other times except those they’re currently living in. Although the climax wasn’t the strongest part of the story the journey there made it worthwhile. I couldn’t put this book down and loved the changing of timelines to drive the narrative.
Time is only in the mind-
Always enjoy reading books that spark the need to be introspective. This one invokes contemplation of how to live a full life and recognizing the small moments…… no matter how many years you may have.