How to Stop Time by Matt Haig: A Review

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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 forty, 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 first-hand. He can try and 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.

Review
My rating: 4.7/5
A beautiful tale of a long life filled with love, loss, and a fragile existence. I appreciated the analogy of anxiety in the plot of the novel and I think it works very well.

The main character is fully developed but I found the other characters to be a little one-dimensional. This could have been purposeful to show the fleeting lives that the main character witnesses flying past him over the centuries, however. If this is the case, it successfully conveys this idea.

I really enjoyed this novel – there is not a Matt haig novel I would miss for the world.

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