How to Stop Time
by Haig, Matt






A man with a secret rare condition that has enabled him to survive for centuries moves to London to become a high-school history teacher and considers defying his protective guardians' rule against falling in love when he becomes entranced by a captivating colleague. By the best-selling author of Reasons to Stay Alive.





Matt Haig is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, along with five novels, including The Humans and The Radleys, and several award-winning children's books. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.





*Starred Review* Tom Hazard is 439 years old! Impossible, you say? Not at all. He has a rare but not unique condition called anageria, which means he ages but very, very slowly. For every 15 years a normal person ages, he ages a single year. His condition began to manifest itself at puberty. To his ignorant, superstitious neighbors in sixteenth-century Suffolk, he appears not to age at all; this being clearly the devil's work, his mother is killed for being a witch. He then moves to London, where he meets Rose and, falling in love, they marry and have a daughter, Marion, but must move constantly before their neighbors begin to notice Tom's condition. Finally, to protect them, he must leave them and, for centuries, refuses to fall in love. But the heart has its reasons, and now, a history teacher in London, he falls in love with Camille, the school's French teacher, a fact he must keep from the vaguely sinister Henrich, head of the Albatross Society, which exists to protect albas, i.e., people like Tom. But, for various reasons, Tom's life is once again at risk. Haig's plot is obviously complex, but-a marvel of invention-it is seamlessly presented, telling an absolutely compelling story. It examines large issues-history, time, purpose, and more-but in an engagingly thought-provoking, compulsively readable way. It is, in every way, a triumph not to be missed. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





In this new novel by Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive, 2016), a man of extraordinarily long life deals with a painfully ordinary question: what is it we live for?Tom Hazard, though he has gone by many names, has an unusual condition that makes him age exceptionally slowly—he's more than 400 years old in 2017 but looks a mere 40-something. Tragic events taught him early that his seeming agelessness is a lightning rod for witch hunters and the dangerously suspicious in all eras. For protection, he belongs to the Albatross Society, a secret organization led by Hendrich, an ancient, charismatic man who's highly protective of his members and aggressive about locating and admitting other "albas" into the group. After assisting Hendrich in one such quest, Tom starts a new life in London; he's haunted by memories of his previous life there in the early 1600s, when he had to leave his wife and young child to ensure their safety. He's losing hope that Hendrich will help him find his d aughter, who he's learned shares his condition. He muddles through his days until he meets a French teacher who claims she recognizes his face. Unraveling that mystery will lead Tom to re-examine his deeply etched pessimism. Meanwhile, readers are treated to memories of his past, including encounters with Shakespeare, Capt. Cook, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Tom sometimes wallows overmuch about the changelessness of the human condition, and one might be forgiven for wondering why so much time has not done more to heal his oldest wounds. But Haig skillfully enlivens Tom's history with spare, well-chosen detail, making much of the book transporting. An engaging story framed by a brooding meditation on time and meaning. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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