How to Stop Time by Matt Haig


I would like to thank Netgalley and Canongate books for this ARC for my honest and unbiased opinion.

My Review:

I give this a 5*

How would you feel if you lived longer than anyone else ? Not just a few years older, but, centuries older.  This is what has happened to Tom Hazard.  He has a genetic condition that causes him to age slower than most people.  He is over 400 years old yet looks 41.  He has only loved one person in his life, apart from his mother, and that is Rose.

This story follows Tom as he re-lives, through flashbacks and memories,  his childhood, growing up and falling in love with Rose, his hunt for the elusive Marion, his role within a secret society up to present day.  We soon learn that Tom is not alone with this condition, there are several others and some older than Tom.

Tom has lived through wars, the plague, loss, betrayal and new beginnings many times.  He is not allowed to fall in love, that is the number one rule the secret society has placed on him.  He is not allowed to make his condition known, another rule.  While he is with the society they will protect him, they will help him start a new life, in a different place.  He starts a new life often because as people around him age, it would become suspicious if he didn’t.

This is a great book that makes you think about not taking time for granted.  There are several things I have taken from this book.  It is a book that makes you think.   The characters have been well written, and the main story line, I think, is a great idea.  So many times when we are given centuries old persons, they are then linked with vampires and the like.  This story is so far away from that type of plot, it makes it a refreshing read.  I would recommend this book to readers of historical as well general fiction.

Time is what you make of it.  You cannot live in the past, though you can learn from it.  Once you realise time is what it is and that you have no control over it, then it no longer rules you.  The future is what you make it.


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.


Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 6th 2017 by Canongate Books
Original Title How to Stop Time
ISBN1782118616 (ISBN13: 9781782118619)
Edition LanguageEnglish