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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Book Review - How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Title: How to Stop Time
Author: Matt Haig
Release Date: July 2017
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb from Amazon:

'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 to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not 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.


Writing a review of a book I've loved as much as I love this one is no easy task. How could I possibly do this book justice? It's impossible to put into words the depth of emotion 'How to Stop Time' made me feel as I was reading it, and how I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

Exquisitely written by the brilliant Matt Haig, this is a book that speaks to me on such a personal level. To say too much about it would only spoil it for others as this is a book that needs to be read and absorbed without knowing too much about it other than what the blurb tells you.

It is, without a doubt, one of the best novels about time I've ever read and, believe me, I've read more than my fair share over the years. My fascination with time and time travel began as an eleven year old when I first read 'Time and Again' by Jack Finney (still one of my favourite books of all time) and has continued right up until the present day with the wonderful 'Summer of Impossible Things' by Rowan Coleman. And now 'How to Stop Time' has joined my list of all time favourite reads and is a book I know I will return to again and again.

Matt Haig is an exceptional writer, and is someone whose work has had a huge impact on me. His previous book 'Reasons to Stay Alive' has helped me in my battle with anxiety and depression and is my 'go to' book every time I feel the darkness begin to descend yet again. I will never be able to thank him enough for writing such an astounding and insightful book that made me feel less alone in a world that can sometimes feel like such an isolating, lonely place.

And in 'How to Stop Time' he has done it yet again, but this time it is a powerful work of fiction that has stolen my heart. Exquisitely written, with characters I am unlikely to forget any time soon, this is a beautiful and moving story that will stay with me. 

A mesmerising 5 stars.

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