Summary

'I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about 40, but you would be very wrong.'
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 firsthand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom mustn't do is fall in love.
How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.
©2017 Matt Haig (P)2017 Canongate
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Critic reviews

"A rollicking time-hopping fantasy... How to Stop Time will provoke wonder and delight." (Observer)
"Hugely entertaining." (John Boyne, Irish Times)
"Outlandish...heartwarming, perceptive prose." (Anita Sethi, Daily Telegraph)
"A rollicking time-hopping fantasy... How to Stop Time will provoke wonder and delight." (Observer)
"Hugely entertaining." (John Boyne, Irish Times)
"Outlandish...heartwarming, perceptive prose." (Anita Sethi, Daily Telegraph)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Joanna on 07-02-18

Loquacious

Would you try another book written by Matt Haig or narrated by Mark Meadows?

No

What will your next listen be?

A fast moving exciting adventure with humor and hopefully some uplifting pieces within the story

Any additional comments?

I have just been reading the reviews for “How to Stop Time” and wonder why I feel so out of step with the majority of the comments. A literary critic would, no doubt, rave about this book, but for me the overuse of similes and metaphors turned this book into a turgid navel gazing collection of time jumping vignettes, so much thinking and remembering, not a lot of doing i.e. finding his daughter.

I found Tom to be a pathetic character who had never grown up, for a man that has lived for over 400 years he appears to have stopped thinking for himself and learnt nothing from his experiences – every small bit of happiness overshadowed by grief/despair and “woe is me”. I would have expected an individual over this length of time to have grown and matured learning from the different experiences and people met over the years and yet he hasn’t - 400 years living in fear – what a waste of time!

I have come to the possible conclusion that this book should be read rather than listened to and would probably appeal to those who enjoy reading Non Fiction or Mindfulness and Wellness books; discovering the hidden meaning within! As you can no doubt ascertain from my comments, I didn’t empathise with Tom, I found the book to be self-indulgent and depressing and spent a lot of time shouting “Get on with it”.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kaggy on 17-07-17

Superb as I expected from Matt Haig

I don't suppose any people expect to learn lessons on how to have a wonderful life from a novel about a man who is over four hundred years old, but believe me you will when you read this story. However, please don't fear that this is a boring preachy affair. In fact it is a wonderfully entertaining story that skips across the centuries at a cracking pace and brings us to a conclusion that is satisfying and not wholly predictable.
I am a huge fan of Matt Haig's writing and this is every bit as good as my two big favourites The Humans and The Radleys. I'm sure the forthcoming film will be marvellous but the excellent narration of this book by Mark Meadows will be a hard act to follow.

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38 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Anon on 22-05-18

Ugh.

Great until I realized it was a conceptual ripoff of Claire North's "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August", a book which handled almost identical fundamental issues only in a much more engaging and thought provoking way. And yes, I realize most things are derivative to some extent, but this was unsettling in its proximity. The only thing that prevents North from having an infringement claim is the mere fact that instead of reliving the same life over and over dozens of times, Haig just has his guy live one continuous life. Otherwise the secret society, the scientists trying to find them, the lost love, the examination of mortality... etc etc etc. All poorly executed aping of North.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Katie S on 05-08-18

Beautiful story; amazing reading

I’ve been a fan of Matt Haig’s for quite a while. This book blew me away. Such a compelling story, read by an amazing actor. This is a must-listen!!

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