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"Inventive and heartfelt and unusual. . . . [How To Stop Time] made for a great summer read." —Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
"Compelling and full of life's big questions, How To Stop Time is a book you will not be able to put down." —Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project
"Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories." —Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
"Haig remains a keen-eyed observer of contemporary life. . . his dialogue has snap and charm." —The New York Times
"A wry, intriguing meditation on time and an eternal human challenge: how to relinquish the past and live fully in the present.” —People
"[How To Stop Time] is fantastic" —Brad Thor, New York Times bestselling author of Spy Master
“A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post
"Time is all about the moments, not the space between them. Haig has done a fine job of capturing a few beautiful ones like butterflies in a jar — instants of love or rage or heartbreak. And one of them is even the night that Tom Hazard spent drinking ale with Shakespeare." —NPR
“The central character of the poignant new novel How to Stop Time is 41-year-old Tom Hazard, a man who has been alive for centuries, and who moves every eight years in order to avoid detection. As he settles into a new life in London, he realizes that the one thing that would derail his (very long) life—falling in love—might just be worth it.” —Southern Living
"A time traveling love story… [and] a coming-of-age tale that continues for centuries. It’s The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, yet manages to be even more unique.” —HelloGiggles
"How to Stop Time is a clever, beautifully crafted novel about love, history, and the tangled mess that comes with trying to live a human life of any length." —Bustle
"Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin." —Jeanette Winterson, author of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
“Haig has been gifted with a rare ability, which is to make the far-fetched – and even ridiculous – seem believable. His books tickle your mind and tug on your heart, and their pages slip by with beguiling ease. . . How to Stop Time will provoke wonder and delight.” —The Guardian
"But How to Stop Time is also a considered, heartfelt document, as you might expect from an author who wrote an internationally bestselling memoir of depression, Reasons to Stay Alive. It unfolds its secrets carefully: an action-packed but often sad story for slow, long-term thinkers. Wrapped inside this sci-fi school sitcom premise is a poetic manifesto of what really matters in the long run. One that Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg would do well to read." —Mashable
“The lively creativity of Matt Haig continues to delight and enchant readers. In How to Stop Time, he offers a well-drawn cast of vivid characters embroiled in an inventive, fast-paced story that successfully blends fantasy, romance, comedy and adventure.”—Shelf Awareness
"Matt Haig is astounding." —Stephen Fry
"Inventive, exciting, moving and bursting with insight about history, time and what it is to be human." —Kate Williams, author of Becoming Queen Victoria
"I loved How to Stop Time, it’s a beautiful and necessary book. I feel very lucky to have read it. It is magical, intriguing, and at times, very sad. A triumph." —Marian Keyes, author of The Woman Who Stole My Life
"I am in concert with Haig’s fans as I read the book, turning pages for the story but also stopping to underline passages. I want to remember the lines. I want to read out loud to someone. Nothing like a love that lasts 400 years." —Publisher's Weekly
“How to Stop Time is a bittersweet story about the meaning of life.”—Kirkus
"An addictive, time-travelling tale which unfolds at a cracking pace" —The Bookseller, Book of the Month
"An engaging story framed by a brooding meditation on time and meaning." —The Austin American-Statesman
"Full of Haig’s trademark humour and humanity, this is a wonderfully entertaining ride through centuries of adventure. Gloriously heart-warming." —Sunday Mirror
"A story you’ve been longing to read . . . Haig’s proficiency in writing for children has lent a gentleness that cuts to the very heart of this work and its readers." —Evening Standard, "The Best Books to Read This Summer"
"How to Stop Time is a worthy addition to the time-travel canon, hugely entertaining, quietly funny and, at its best moments, contemplative and brooding." —John Boyne, Irish Times
About the Author
- ASIN : B072Q8WX9K
- Publisher : Penguin Books (February 6, 2018)
- Publication date : February 6, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2485 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 333 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,933 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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How To Stop Time is my favorite book of 2018. The author Matt Haig has written a masterpiece about a man who does not age. Tom, the lead protagonist lives for centuries yet remains young in appearance. When we think of time today, we never think there is enough. But what if time was endless? What if we had an infinite number of tomorrows? This book is a glimpse into the way we think about time and the meaning of memories mixed with a fear of the future. It took me three days to read this novel, not because it was hard to read but because I did not want to finish. I have gained a new perspective about life. How often can you say that about any book? I can promise you, “How To Stop Time” will not disappoint and will leave you inspired. My Dad lived to 91 and I remember at his funeral the number of people who told me that he had lived a good long life. Honestly, it made me furious because I wanted more time. 91 years of age was not enough for a beloved father who I thought would live forever. This book reminds me that Dad does live on, in the beauty of a hymn he loved, the joy of watching my grandson recite the family prayer at dinner, my daughters laughing at something Dad said years ago because in cherished memories is the precious revelation that love never dies. For that, I am grateful. Read this book!
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How to Stop Time is a thought-provoking read. Matt Haig envisions a world where a small group of individuals age at a much slower pace than the average human. While the main character, Tom Hazard, looks 41, he is actually centuries old. To avoid being institutionalized or treated as a medical research subject, Tom has moved around his entire life staying nowhere more than 8-10 years. When the book opens, Tom has decided to return to London and teach history at a local low-income high school. He is tired of constantly being on the move and wants to have an ordinary life. As his quest for a normal life unfolds, we are taken back and forth in time to learn about the many places and people Tom has experienced over his long and storied life.
I loved the history aspects of the story. In his lengthy life, Tom met Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Captain Cook and many others, and their encounters were so much fun to read about. Haig focuses on relationships and their importance in people’s lives. He also observes that humans are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past, a sentiment that addresses what the United States is experiencing right now. I don’t generally quote books in my reviews, but I felt that the following statement completely encapsulates what we are going through right now: “The lesson is that ignorance and superstition are things that can rise up, inside almost anyone, at any moment. And what starts as a doubt in a mind can swiftly become an act in the world.” His recognition that humans are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past is a sobering and timely statement.
I enjoyed How to Stop Time. Occasionally, I was ready for it to move along a little faster but overall it was a very entertaining read.
Top reviews from other countries
If ever a book deserved 5 stars it's this one. I devoured this book and struggled to tear myself away from it but the kids needed feeding, the boyfriend needs attention & I suppose I had to sleep 😒
This book was so well written that I had to keep reminding myself I was reading a work of fiction and not an autobiography. I got completely caught up in Tom and his story. The author effortlessly took the story from present day to varying times in Tom's life but it never felt confusing or strange. You totally believed it.
The voice and atmosphere of each point in history was captured vividly and I could really see Tom there doing those things. Those little details, minute touches of information about things that actually happened, made it all the more real.
I loved this book so much I was genuinely sad for it to end. I could've kept reading about Tom's life for much longer. This is one of those rare books that changes your perception, makes you think about life in a different and stays with you long after you've read it. I know this is a book I'll read many times over.
Parts I liked:
First - the good stuff. The historical sections were really interesting and opened up worlds I didn't know about; the part about the witch hunts and his mother were especially haunting and engaging. The premise is interesting and novel, almost like time-travel but without the narrative problems often encountered in time travel stories. It's an effective but simple concept that really makes you want to read it to find out what happens. Some of the writing is very beautiful and touching and there were parts which genuinely moved me - I found the part towards the beginning where Rose dies really heartbreaking.
The not so much parts:
Despite the good points, I often found it a chore to read. I can't really put my finger on exactly why - I just didn't really care about most of the characters (aside from what I've mentioned above). The main character in particular is exceptionally whiny. The premise is a good one but I don't think it has been executed in a very engaging way. I find with Matt Haig's writing I am often very aware of the authorial voice, which slips into ponderous/pretentious at numerous points. He is determined to tell the reader how to approach life, and he does this in quite a clunky way. Some of the lines are clearly meant to be breathtaking "oh I never thought of it like that" type lines, but I think this just takes the reader out of the story. All these added up to me giving up on the book - not really deliberately, but I just picked it up more and more infrequently and found it a chore whenever I did so, until eventually I just stopped picking it up. I like Matt Haig and I like some of his other books (in particular "Reasons to Stay Alive" which is wonderful). This just didn't do it for me, sorry.
Positives though, I enjoyed the early years, the time of witches, witch-finders and suspicion, and the evoking of British towns and cities at various times in history. Also the little insights into how people used to think, like rotten and blackened teeth were once a sign of prosperity, as those people could afford sugary treats. But it is to long, and it did feel a tiny bit preachy at times, and the current day stuff was very plain, rather dreary at times. So not all bad, just not that great either. Apparently Benedict Cumberbatch is attached to a possible film.
In parts, it was quite fun for its depictions of different historical periods, its worldbuilding around the concept of these “albatrosses” as the long-lived ones call themselves, and its meditations on what he practical and psychological effects of a life like that would be.
But I thought it was pretty flawed in several ways. Firstly, it couldn’t resist the obvious trap of having the hero participate in far too many famous historical events and meet far too many famous historical people than was remotely believable. I was much more interested – and much more able to suspend belief – when it came to scenes of him living a normal life in medieval or Tudor times.
Secondly, after centuries of forsaking love, partly to avoid being hurt, partly due to the rules of his society, it was hard to see what suddenly attracted him to his modern day love interest. It felt rather sudden and forced. And thirdly, I found both her and modern day him so over-exaggeratedly right on in their interactions with each other and with the students at their school.
Overall, this had an interesting premise which it partially delivered on, but I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it.