This book was a rare find, one that completely sucked me in to the the point where I was slowing down my reading as I didn’t want it to end. It’s definitely responsible for lifting me from a huge reading slump. From a journey through the glitz and glamour of the ages, to a dark sci-fi mystery complete with a secret society and a poignant musing on the meaning of life and love – it’s got it all. It was emotional, engrossing with humorous touches and it’s definitely a strong contender for my book of the year so far.
In a world where everyone wants to live longer, to look younger, Tom Hazard has a rare condition which would cause a scandal if revealed. He’s 439 years old, but looks in his early forties, due to a condition which means he ages at around one fifteenth of a regular human’s pace. But is it a blessing or a curse?
“It occurred to me that human beings didn’t live beyond a hundred because they simply weren’t up for it. Psychologically, I mean. You kind of ran out. There wasn’t enough self to keep going.”
Flipping between present day and various points through the ages, we learn Tom’s story; his loves, his losses and the lonely existence he’s chosen to live in order to keep his condition secret and keep himself and others out of danger. Changing his entire identity every eight years, Tom’s seen more of his fair share of drama and danger, rubbing shoulder with the likes of Shakespeare, Charlie Chaplin and F Scott Fitzgerald, but what he really wants is to live a normal life. He’s tormented by the past, to the point where he experiences severe headaches and struggles as the past blurs into his present.
“The past is not one separate place. It is many, many places, and they are always ready to rise into the present.”
In a dazzling blend of cultures and periods, peppered with references to literature, music and history, Matt Haig weaves a stunning story about life, love and living. I can completely see why this book has been snapped up for a film before it was even released – there’s something about it which just feels alive, and I can’t wait to see how Benedict Cumberbatch does it justice on the big screen. It’s the first I’ve read of Matt Haig, and I’m so pleased that this author completely lived up to the hype. In this book he offers beautiful reflections on life wrapped up in a story which seamlessly blends, sci-fi, thriller, drama, romance and history. This is one I won’t forget in a hurry, and I’d recommend it to absolutely everyone.
I received How To Stop Time in exchange for an honest review.