How to Stop Time

How to Stop Time

Book - 2018 | First Canadian edition
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Tom Hazard is a history teacher living a quiet suburban life in a Cathedral town in England. He likes his job but has no real friends, spends his time on the internet or playing the piano, and pushes away anyone who tries to get close to him. But Tom has a secret. He suffers from progeria, a condition that causes the body to age ten times slower than normal. He looks 40 but is actually 408. He won't die for another few centuries. In his lifespan he has had time to learn 13 languages, has become an expert at fighting and piano playing, but all of this has a cost. He must change his identity every few years to avoid discovery. And as he has learned the risks of love and the pain it can cause, he has turned away from other people.
Publisher: Toronto :, Harper Avenue,, [2018]
Edition: First Canadian edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781443451383
Branch Call Number: F HAI
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 23 cm

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k
king5683
Mar 22, 2021

I love Matt Haig!

n
njkstl
Mar 20, 2021

WSJ recommendation.

v
vancouverville
Mar 03, 2021

An enjoyable read that lead me to think about whether or not an extended life is a good thing. The story skips from era to era. Always interesting. Along the way the writer makes some thoughtful comments about human nature and our propensity to repeat our mistakes.

z
ZaraZ
Feb 27, 2021

Excellent! If humans would only realize that these bodies are meant to rejuvenate and live for thousands of years, they would KNOW that this book is written on the fact that this longevity is REAL. This book is very, very good. Well written. Held my attention all the way though.
if you research Jared Rand and Med Bed Celestial Chambers, you will KNOW that its possible t heal your whole body and live as long as you want to. AT an young age.

b
BARosen1112
Feb 07, 2021

Well written but ultimately uninspired, forgettable tale of a person who is afflicted with a condition that causes him, upon entering puberty, to age very slowly - it takes him about 15 years to show one year of age, meaning he never appears to be aging to his contemporaries. This causes accusations of witchcraft in his earliest centuries, and makes him a potential target of nefarious organizations. As the novel opens, our 480 year old hero (who looks to be in his early 40s) has just taken a job as an English teacher in contemporary London. From there, he flashes back and forth from key moments in his early life - that is, the first 350-ish years - and we see how those early experiences relate to his contemporary life. At the same time, he has been recruited to do missions for the Albatross Society, which is composed of other similarly slow-aging persons, and he is trying to find his daughter, for whom he has been searching for close to 400 years. Not so much a time-travel novel as it is about a man who has lived a long, sad life. Lots of people really liked this one according to Goodreads, but I wasn't one of them. It's being made into a move starring Benedict Cumberbatch, I understand.

h
humbleworm
Sep 21, 2020

How To Stop Time is a bit light on historical/technical detail but is an enjoyable read with a style similar to Graeme Simsion's works (eg: The Rosie Project, Two Steps Forward). If you're looking for films on this theme, you will probably enjoy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1922 short story), About Time (2013), The Time Traveller's Wife (2009), The Old Guard (2020) and the original Highlander (1986).

a
AaronAardvark1940
Aug 07, 2020

Another of our reading project books, this story of a man who has lived more than four centuries and of others like him in the Albatross Society presents interesting philosophical questions. We had hoped that the story would be chronological, but it consisted of two tracks, one moving continually forward in the present, and the other only sometimes chronologically over several centuries. My wife does not like random flashbacks in a story, so this book was less than successful for our joint enjoyment. But I’m an old sci-fi fan, despite not having read a lot of it in the last fifty years, so I liked the concept and puzzled over how those blessed/afflicted with anageria would succeed in the modern world, where there are sophisticated methods of tracking people.

In this novel, individuals with anageria are feared, shunned, or abused, making it difficult to establish or maintain meaningful relationships. After a period of time in one place, they move to another place, sort of starting a new life. I could not help but think about transmigration of souls, or as a Google search calls it, metempsychosis. This is an old idea that there exists within humans some non-corporeal soul that continues after death of the body. That soul then transfers into a new body and may continue for generations. Some believe that memories of earlier bodies may be recalled. Yes, these notions are completely irrational, but that progression is mimicked by the current author by having the body survive an exceptionally long time, allowing for all sorts of different roles in life to play out.

My half of the reading project liked the book.

j
julia_sedai
Aug 28, 2019

I really liked this book. It's a really interesting concept and suspenseful plot line. The historical parts were wonderful, especially since they aren't written as historical fiction, but as a modern writer putting down his thoughts. I feel like the story could have been longer and more fleshed out, but it was good as it is. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it for the movie. Recommended for people who like history, romance, and thought-provoking questions about life and purpose.

p
PiepieB
Jul 30, 2019

The synopsis behind this novel is good, but some parts failed to hook me in. Word on the street is that this will be a movie (starring Benedict Cumberbatch), and I think maybe I will like the movie better...

k
KatG1983
May 07, 2019

What would give life meaning if you lived for hundreds of years? This book is an interesting examination of what motivates us to keep moving forward. The story is fine, and I read it quickly enough, but wasn't that impressed.

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