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How to Stop Time

How to Stop Time

Blurb

Tom Hazard has a deadly secret.

Despite appearing to be a history teacher in his early 40s, Tom is actually several centuries older than that. He has a rare condition which means he ages much slower than other humans. He has seen some extraordinary things and also lived through some heartbreak.

Tom is finding it increasingly difficult to keep memories of the past at bay and he is in danger of breaking the cardinal rule: Don’t Fall In Love.


Our Review

It is easy to see why How To Stop Time is being developed into a film, everything about the book screams that it is ideal for that purpose.

This is the first Matt Haig book I have read and I was pleasantly surprised. How To Stop Time was a real page turner and despite being very busy I found myself finishing it in a day.

Tom Hazard has a deadly secret.

Despite appearing to be a history teacher in his early 40s, Tom is actually several centuries older than that. He has a rare condition which means he ages much slower than other humans. He has seen some extraordinary things and also lived through some heartbreak.

Tom is finding it increasingly difficult to keep memories of the past at bay and he is in danger of breaking the cardinal rule: Don’t Fall In Love.

‘I am old.

That is the main thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about Forty, but you would be very wrong.’

Tom was born more than 400 years earlier in March 1581 in a chateau in France. The condition he has develops around puberty and causes him to age only one year for every fifteen or so that pass. In addition it helps protect him from most viral and bacterial infections.

One of the main rules Tom lives by is this:

‘The first rule is that you don’t fall in love,’ he said. ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be ok.’

Tom receives this advice from a man named Hendrich. Hendrich has the same condition as Tom and has founded a group for others like him called The Albatross Society. Hendrich picked the name because at the time the Albatross was believed to have a long life-span. He calls himself and others like him ‘albas’ for short and offers them protection and new identities every eight years but in order to receive this he must carry out a task for Hendrich in between each new placement.

Hendrich says they need to follow the rule on falling in love to avoid falling prey to a shadowy company in Berlin that wants to use them for anti-ageing testing.

Tom has thought about leaving the Albatross society many times but has been searching for someone for centuries without any luck and knows that Hendrich will probably have better luck than him at finding her. That is what keeps him involved with this man who deep down he feels contempt for.

“That was the depressing thing about knowing other albas. You realised that we weren’t superheroes. We were just old. And that, in cases such as Hendrich, it didn’t really matter how many years or decades or centuries had passed, because you were always living within the parameters of your personality. No expanse of time or place could change that. You could never escape yourself.”

Tom’s latest identity sees him returning to London as a history teacher. Whilst there he fights to keep the past at bay and to stop himself from breaking Hendrich’s rule and falling in love.

Matt Haig takes the reader on a journey to times when people believed in witchcraft, a meeting with Shakespeare, and a journey to America. His writing really manages to bring the past to life. 

How to Stop Time reminded me of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and also elements of The Green Mile. I enjoyed reading it and following Tom Hazard’s journey through time.

 

 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4.3/5

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