I’ve always been fascinated by tales of immortality, and this book delivers! While stories of folk like Nicholas Flamel or The Count of St Germain are full of magic and whimsy, this book takes a more pragmatic view of the situation. Our hero, Tom, was born in 1581, and he’s lived a very lonely existence since, losing first his mother, and then his wife. When he moves back to London, the weight of the past nearly overshadows his life in the present. Matt Haig weaves an incredible tale of history, love, and loss through the centuries. Tom’s introspective nature, coupled with the ultimate warning — “Never fall in love” — gave this story a weight that I haven’t encountered in other immortality stories. I love it, and you will too!— From Gary's Picks!
Tom Hazard is 436 years old, though he looks like he is in his 40s. He was born in 1581 and, unlike the rest of us; he ages only one year every 15 years. Not only does his condition keep him young, it protects him from illness. This may sound like the ultimate immortal life, but for Tom it has been a lonely and sad existence since his wife died of The Plague in 1623.
In the late 1800s, Tom discovers that there are other people in the world with the same condition and he joins their “society” for his protection (and theirs). He finds himself living by rules that make his life, well, unlivable. But, what keeps Tom going is the hope that he will be reunited with his daughter Marion, who he believes, has inherited his condition.
The story of Tom’s life through the centuries and the famous people he meets (Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald!) is mixed seamlessly with the narrative of his current life as a history teacher (of course!) in London. Tom’s observations are a poignant commentary about the current issues of the day and the meaning of life. This is an engaging and fun read for everyone.— From Terry's Traffic Light Delights
“Both incredibly poignant and unceasingly charming, How to Stop Time is the story of a man who has an abundance of time and a scarcity of love. Tom Hazard ages very slowly, so slowly that nothing feels new to him as memories from the past crowd every moment of his present. He has also discovered that time without the people we love loses all meaning. Matt Haig takes us from Shakespeare's London to the Roaring Twenties in Paris, from conquering the new world with Captain Cook to present-day Los Angeles. Scenes both familiar and exotic thrum with life, but the real magic is in how he makes us believe in this 439-year-old man who is only now learning how to live.”
— Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA