How to Stop Time is the latest novel by British adult and children’s author Matt Haig. The novel focuses upon Tom, an ordinary looking 41 year old man. Tom though has a rare condition that has seen him live though Elizabethan England, jazz age Paris, New York, currently as an ordinary run of the mill History teacher in a London comprehensive. Tom, clearly, is anything but ordinary, his condition means that he does not age at the same rate as you and I. The novel is a journey of losing and finding oneself, and looks at how long it really takes to learn how to just live.
I read How to Stop Time in just two days, which is testament to Haig’s writing as I rarely read novels so quickly. It was a brilliantly unique story, with a concept that I had not come across before. So, Haig had my attention throughout. It was so interesting to get to know a character who had found himself in such varied eras and setting, as we are so used to a character living in just the one. This I think allowed to a better understanding of Tom as a character and what drove him. But also demonstrated how little changes in terms of family and desires as time goes on. Seeing how far Toms character had progressed and what he had been through in his life really saw me routing for him to find his daughter and to find his peace.
Although from the outset I did find one or two parts of the How to Stop Time pretty predictable – more so about reveal of a ‘bad guy’. I do not feel, like some novels, that this took away from the overall story and ultimately its end. This is because Haig includes an added twist that perfectly steals the show and leaves you feeling a little bit shocked. Which i find is the perfect ending to such a well written, unique book.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading How to Stop Time. This is because it really does make you think about how you live your life, and how you are spending the little time that you have on the planet. I think we are all guilty of underestimating the short amount of time we are given and therefore I would recommend this novel to just about anybody. But even more so because I genuinely haven’t come across many other authors who have touched upon this particular concept. Though, if I am wrong here and you know of novels that do, please share I would love to check them out!