Scott's Book Review

How to stop time by Matt Haig

Scott

Matt Haig (http://www.matthaig.com/) has a broad range of literary output across adult fiction and non fiction, children’s literature, young adult vampire novels, and a candid autobiographical account of fighting depression ‘Reasons to stay alive’.

In 2017 Haig offered this uplifting tale ‘How to stop time’.

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. He was born on 3rd March 1581. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot. The terrible fate of immortality, of course, is that one survives to see everything you’ve loved suffer and die. The loneliness is unbearable.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom adopts the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts pretending he hasn’t 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.

Enter the irresistible Rose, a 17th century market apple seller. The romance described is both touching and full of comedic detail. Enjoy also the knowing encounters Tom has with Shakespeare, Captain Cook, F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Josephine Baker.

How to Stop Time is a crazy, bittersweet tale about giving up the self in order to gain fulfilment, about the certainty of change and about the painful process of learning about human life. I think you may find truth in it. I think you may enjoy it.

Check if this mood boosting recent fiction is in stock at your local library here by consulting the online catalogue at https://www.sllclibrary.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH

336 pages in Canongate Books

First published 2017

ISBN  978-1782118619

Matt Haig

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