- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Export/Airside - Export/Airside/Ireland edition (July 5, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782118624
- ISBN-13: 978-1782118626
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Stop Time Paperback – July 5, 2017
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“A masterpiece. . . . Matt Haig is a supreme talent and a writer to cherish, and The Humans is undoubtedly his magnum opus.” (The Guardian)
“A wonderfully funny, gripping and inventive novel.” (The Times (UK))
“Delightful.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Funny, clever and quite, quite lovely.” (Sunday Times (London))
“Funny, poignant, and full of heart.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“An absolute corker of a novel: very clever, and very moving, and that rare and precious thing -laugh-out-loud funny.” (Daily Mail (UK))
“Extraordinary.” (Independent (UK))
“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 Coraline)
“Matt Haig is a novelist of stunning talent, with a laser eye for the absurd and endless reserves of compassion. (Parade Picks)” (Parade)
“Quick-paced, touching, and hilarious.” (Library Journal (starred review)) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
MATT HAIG suffered a breakdown in his early twenties. After battling depression for a long time he turned to writing, and he now believes that reading and writing books saved his life. His novels include the bestsellers The Last Family in England, The Radleys and The Humans, which in Canada was a Costco Buyer’s Pick and has sold approximately 15,000 copies. His books have been translated into thirty languages. All his novels for adults have been optioned for film. Matt lives in York with his wife and their two children.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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He has lived through many periods in history, met a lot of famous people from the past, and seen plenty of inventions brought to life.
There is a secret organisation set up to protect the people like Tom, called ‘The Albatross Society’, run by a man who is very, very old, Hendrich. The society gives protection to its members by moving them to new areas every eight years and providing them with new identities, plus they also kill anybody who discovers the truth about them.
Hendrich asks for one thing in return, ‘favours’ whenever he requires them. He also gives a word of warning to members of The Albatross Society; ‘Never Fall in Love’.
It is 2017 and Tom is now working as a history teacher in a London comprehensive school. With his knowledge of the past, he is very efficient at his job.
London is a place where he has lived once before, a place that holds many memories for him. It is a place that in one sense makes him feel at home, whilst in another haunts him.
Tom only has one wish in life, to be ordinary.
How to Stop Time, is one of those books that you get to the end and then sit back trying to take in just what you have read. This is a powerful novel about life, and living. Two very different things.
The book is very touching, and you can’t help but feel for Tom, a man who may have been alive for many years but one who can’t live a normal life. Imagine never being able to get close to anyone, never being able to tell anyone about yourself, and then every eight years you have to become someone else and move far away to start all over again.
The book makes you think about your own life, the actions that you take, and the choices that you make. Life is a learning curve, and even Tom is still learning.
The story goes back and forth in time, as you travel with Tom through different periods of his life. You get to witness history thorough the eyes of the man who has lived it. You also get to see the mistakes that people have made, over and over again. Sometimes the past isn’t so different from the present.
There is an honesty in Matt Haig’s words. A rawness that touches you, and whilst giving you a heart-warming feeling, they can also send shivers down your spine. The way that he looks at life, and sees not only the good, but the horrors that are created is unique.
This is a book about not taking yourself, or anyone else for granted. It’s about accepting, and understanding that life is precious, and we are the chosen few to experience it.
Just to emphasis how good this book is, it hasn’t even been released yet, but the film rights have already been bought and Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to play Tom. I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to be able to fulfil the role.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
The premise sounds rather well-worn and dodgy; Tom Hazard was born in the late 16th century but has a condition which means he ages very slowly, so that by the present day his body is in its early 40s. The first thing to say is that this is emphatically *not* another book about what it might mean to be undead; it is a book about what it really means to be alive. It's a cracking story, beautifully told. We get stories of Tom's life from the time of Shakespeare, of 1920s Paris and so on, interwoven with the present day when he has become a history teacher in a London comprehensive school, close to where he had a dearly-loved wife and daughter 400 years ago. Haig manages this brilliantly and also introduces a tense plot involving a society of people like him which may go to extremes to protect its members.
Tom has an ordinary life in many ways, but experiences far more of it than normal. We see the struggle to decide on a life's course, the pain of loss as those he loves die and the persecution of the "different," for example, and there are well-nuanced questions about what it means to live well; should we choose hedonism and self-preservation, or humanity, love and engagement with others, along with the pain it brings? There is real richness here, and I marked lots of passages which I liked – far too many to quote here. The whole thing is thoughtful and very touching in places but with a lovely sprinkling of wit and wry comments which made me smile (and actually laugh in some places) without ever interfering with the story or the serious points being made. I love the way he writes about love, the way he writes about history, the way he writes about music…and so on, and so on.
It is unusual for me to gush quite so much about a book, but I did think this was exceptionally good. I can recommend it very warmly indeed.
(I received an ARC via Netgalley.)
Most recent customer reviews
Will leave you thinking about certain passages long after you have finished reading this gem.
Seriously never wanted this book to end...Read more
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...Read more