Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Stop Time” as Want to Read:
How to Stop Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Stop Time

by
3.86  ·  Rating details ·  47,589 ratings  ·  6,027 reviews
"The first rule is that you don't fall in love, ' he said... 'There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.'"

A love story across the ages - and for the ages - about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to lea
...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published July 6th 2017 by Canongate Books
More Details... edit details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
    How to Stop Time
    by
    Release date: Jun 11, 2019
    NOW IN PAPERBACK!

    “A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post

    How to Stop Time t
    ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 50 copies available, 9127 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 11 - Jun 30, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about How to Stop Time, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Cristine Tanjuakio No, it's nothing like "The Time Traveller's Wife." There is no time travelling involved. He (the protagonist, Tom Hazard) basically has a rare…moreNo, it's nothing like "The Time Traveller's Wife." There is no time travelling involved. He (the protagonist, Tom Hazard) basically has a rare condition that causes him to age very slowly - 1:15 in years if compared to an average human being. He's lived for centuries, he's 400+ years old. (less)
    Nat K Hi Crumb, not in the traditional sense. Tom (the main character) doesn't "step back" in time, but rather, he lives for an inordinately un-natural…moreHi Crumb, not in the traditional sense. Tom (the main character) doesn't "step back" in time, but rather, he lives for an inordinately un-natural amount of time (several hundred years). It's a fabulous book, one of my favourite reads from last year. Enjoy!(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    3.86  · 
    Rating details
     ·  47,589 ratings  ·  6,027 reviews


    More filters
     | 
    Sort order
    Fishgirl
    Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    I guess I should straight off the bat tell you what happened when I finished reading "The Humans." And yes, I know this is supposed to be a review about "How to Stop Time." Bear with me. So, I finished "The Humans" and I a)wept b) started it again immediately c) spent the next two years giving it to everyone on my gift list and basically insisting everyone read it. My ace in the hole has always been this - "If the road gets rocky (and everyone's road gets rocky sometimes) I can re-read "The Huma ...more
    Emily May
    Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2018, sci-fi
    This is my second book by Matt Haig and, to be honest, it's probably going to be my last. Everything from his writing style to his characters to his (lack of) plot doesn't seem to be working for me.

    How to Stop Time is about Tom Hazard who looks like your average forty-something guy but actually has a rare condition that makes him age slower than the average human. So he's around five-hundred years old. Wow, sounds interesting! Right? Except that's kinda it. There's very little story or forward m
    ...more
    Elyse Walters
    Library Audiobook......

    Something must be wrong with me......This is the novel everyone is raving about?

    I’m doing it again......Throwing in the towel....NOT GOING TO FINISH....

    It’s NOT that anything is morally wrong with this book —- there are even some wise messages and heartfelt moments — but mostly I was kinda bored.
    I would never call this ‘fiction nonsense’ ( cough cough)- like the last book I didn’t finished where I was pounded over the head by a guy, ( not really - haha - but a little), f
    ...more
    Joachim Stoop
    Review coming up in about 400 years
    Angela M
    Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    4+ stars

    I’m captivated by a good time travel story and while this is not a time travel story in the strictest sense, I was reminded of a few favorites - Jack Finney’s Time and Again , Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife . I couldn’t help but think of all three of these at the very beginning of the story : “The first rule is that you don’t fall in love”, he said. There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No
    ...more
    Larry H
    Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    4.5 stars for this one.

    "If you saw me, you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong. I am old — old in the way that a tree, or a quahog clam, or a Renaissance painting is old."

    Because of a rare medical condition, Tom Hazard has been alive since the 1500s. Born into a wealthy French family, he has traveled all over the world, assumed many different identities, and led a life characterized by adventure, trauma, emotion, and loneliness. Tom has performed with Shakespeare,
    ...more
    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    There comes a time when the only way to start living is to tell the truth. To be who you are, even if it is dangerous.

    So, I'm breaking the rule of not sharing a quote on an ARC book. You kind of have to know if you are going to read this one...do you like pretty flowery writing? It's pretty full of that.

    Tom is old. Very old. He just does not look it. He has been alive for centuries. No, he isn't one of those sparkly vampires.


    He has a condition that causes him to age much slower than the normal
    ...more
    Annet
    Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
    You have to choose to live...
    Exceptional story, out-of-the-box subject: 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... Imagine, living in times of Shakespeare, Napoleon, up to today.... And try to be invisible, as people may be looking for you.... And whatever happens, don't fall in love.
    A story about love and making choices. I like this writer.
    Recommended!
    Diane S ☔
    3.5 An engaging story about a man who is 400 years old and will continue to live hundreds of years more. Tom Hazard, a man now living in current times, but remembering his love who lived so long ago, and his daughter, who he has long been searching. His daughter, who like him, is able to live a long time. There are interesting forays back in time, historical happenings as Tom remembers. The witch trials in England, playing to lute and meeting Shakespeare, playing piano at Ciro's, and many others ...more
    Phrynne
    Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 5000-books
    I am giving this five stars because I enjoyed it enormously and I finished it in one day! I love time travel and although this was not that really, it had the same effect and was just as pleasing.

    Tom Hazard has a condition which means he ages very slowly indeed and in this story he is well over four centuries old. How to Stop Time alternates chapters from the present with others from his extensive past. When I was reading the past I had to keep reminding myself he was living it at that time and
    ...more
    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    4 original and captivating stars to How to Stop Time! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    If you are looking for something a little different, this is it! I always shout from the rooftops when I find an original book! I’ve read nothing even remotely like How to Stop Time. Tom Hazard looks like he’s 41 years old, but he’s been alive for centuries due to a condition that causes him to age slowly. Luckily for Tom, he has a support group of people like him, and the number one rule of the group is that you cannot fall in love f
    ...more
    Holly  B

    An enjoyable book about Tom Hazard, a very old man (400 y/o), but you wouldn't know it by looking at him! He looks to be somewhere in his forties. He is stricken with an unusual "condition". His condition makes him an "alba" which means he could be in danger of being discovered (never aging). Is this a blessing or a curse?

    The past and present alternate as we learn how Tom began his journey, and where it will take him over the years. We find out who Tom has loved, the tragedies he has endured, an
    ...more
    JanB
    Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: edelweiss
    4.5 stars - I loved this one!

    Most of us have heard of progeria, a condition that is characterized by accelerated aging. Young children with the disorder have the appearance and medical conditions of the very aged. In this book Tom Hazard has the opposite, a condition called anageria, where the aging process is slowed down. Tom is over 400 years old but looks to be in his 40s. He can expect to live close to another 600 years. It’s a rare condition, but there are others like Tom.

    For a culture that
    ...more
    Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    4.5 Stars

    If you were to call him by name, you could call him Tom Hazard, but the truth is that over the years, he’s been known by many names, having to change his identity before the truth catches up with him, reveals him to be who he is. Reveals what makes him different than any other man who appears to be around forty. The truth is slightly more than that.

    In “this life” Tom teaches history in London at a comprehensive school (a secondary, state school) to young men and youn
    ...more
    Whispering Stories
    Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Tom Hazard, just one one the names he has been know by, is 439 years old. He has a rare condition called Anageria, meaning that his body ages at a very slow rate. For every 15 years of his life, his body ages just one, a condition that began during puberty. This means that he now looks like a man in his 40s.

    He has lived through many periods in history, met a lot of famous people from the past, and seen plenty of inventions brought to life.

    There is a secret organisation set up to protect the peop
    ...more
    Esil
    Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    Barely 3 stars.

    I feel like I’m in a bit of a fiction reading slump. Or maybe I’m just not picking novels that are not a good fit for me. It’s good to take a chance every now and then, but it sucks when I end up with little enthusiasm for a book that seems to be making others quite happy.

    I rarely read books that are surreal or have magical elements. But sometimes I do and sometimes they work. How to Stop Time has a good premise. Tom is one of few people in the world who ages at a far slower pace
    ...more
    Carol (Bookaria)
    What if you could live for a 1,000 years? How would you choose to live? What will be your threats? Joys? These are the questions this book attempts to answer, all from the point of view of Tom Hazard.

    Tom, our main character in this journey, has lived for over 400 years. He was born around Shakespeare times and has lived through some of the most important events in history. He is a member of the Albatross society, a society of men and women like him whose main rule is to live in anonymity and to
    ...more
    Richard
    Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: current-lit-uk
    To me, Matt Haig is one of those writers that can’t do much wrong. He’s the sort of bloke, along with others such as Jonathon Coe and David Nicholls, I’d like to have a pint with and put the world to rights. Somehow the cultural references in his books always hit the spot and there is a humanity, humour and generosity that that gives one faith in ........ um ........ fellow blokes.
    How To Stop Time concerns Tom Hazard, Born in 1566 with a condition that makes him age extremely slowly. We join him
    ...more
    Siobhán Mc Laughlin
    Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
    This book was so bad it actually did stop time for me - stopped time on my reading, bigtime. I've been trying to finish it for the past three weeks or more...! Just the thought of picking it up was too much. (Just as there are some books you can't put down - there are books you can't bloody pick up - and this, for me, was one of them.)

    Honestly. What a farce. Sorry Matt Haig. I do enjoy your writing. But I should have known better after reading 'The Humans.' Although I loved the idea of it, I was
    ...more
    Carol
    The Hook - Many fine and rave reviews by my GoodReads friends including this one by convinced me to scoff up this book toot sweet, or as kindly corrected by C., tout de suite. It was this line in Gail's review that was the clincher.

    ”I can only liken this to the feeling one gets after a long, hot and dry summer spell which is broken by a torrential downpour of rain. It is, quite simply, a breath of fresh air and just wonderful.”

    The Line(s) - ”Forever. Emily Dickinson said, is composed of nows. B
    ...more
    ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
    3 Stars.

    Easy and likeable but somewhat unsatisfying read.

    Tom Hazard has a terrible case of existential angst brought on by the fact he's existed for over 400 years. His life is controlled by The Albatross Society, an organization for people with Tom's disorder, anageria, which causes a person to age at a very slow rate, leading to lives that can last for a millennia. The head of the society is Heindrich, a controlling and manipulative man who has set out a series of rules for himself and the o
    ...more
    Liz Barnsley
    Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    How To Stop Time is a beautiful work of fiction – you know I read a lot of books (this is actually book 120 for me of 2017) and I don’t think I have ever read an author that just grasps and conveys the vagaries of human nature quite like Matt Haig does – in a way that makes you feel like he is writing just for you. The emotional sense of his writing is enduring and never anything less than compelling no matter the story being told or the premise that starts it.

    So there is that – and How To Stop
    ...more
    Marialyce
    Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    5 truly wonderful stars

    Your life is a gift. We are all given a certain amount of time to make the most of it. In some cases the years spread out before us while for others their time here is cut short. “Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be LIVED. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically LIVED.”

    Tom Hazard has time. In fact he has loads of time. You see Tom has a special condition which allows him to be a semi immortal. He ages slowly, ever so slowly, and
    ...more
    Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
    This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

    How to Stop Time is a book that is going to be talked about for a while. It made headlines when Benedict Cumberbatch signed on to star in the movie adaptation before the book had even been released.

    After reading the description and seeing it virtually everywhere, of course I had to see what all the fuss was about.

    Tom is old. He looks forty but is actually more than four hundred. He's part of a small group of people who age about fifte
    ...more
    Bianca
    I'm throwing in the towel at the 70% mark ... I can't take it anymore. I can't believe this is the same author as the one who wrote The Humans.

    After reading and enjoying The Humans, I was eager to give this one a go, despite the fact that "time travel" and other such concepts don't necessarily float my boat, but I was willing to sail away with it.

    I got the audiobook for this, as I enjoy British accents, plus, it was easier to fit in with other reading.

    Honestly, I was getting murderous thoughts
    ...more
    Victoria
    Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    ...we aren't just who we are born. We are who we become. We are what life does to us.

    Entertaining AND introspective, what more can I ask of a book? A meditation on mortality and the significance of time, all the while providing precious moments in the 400-year history of one man, once a lute player at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and currently teaching history, one that he lived.

    To talk about memories is to live them a little.

    While not a time travel story per se, it does take us from the gritty s
    ...more
    Cindy Burnett
    Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    4.5 stars

    How to Stop Time is a thought-provoking read. Matt Haig envisions a world where a small group of individuals age at a much slower pace than the average human. While the main character, Tom Hazard, looks 41, he is actually centuries old. To avoid being institutionalized or treated as a medical research subject, Tom has moved around his entire life staying nowhere more than 8-10 years. When the book opens, Tom has decided to return to London and teach history at a local low-income high sc
    ...more
    Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    5 timeless stars...

    ...this ended so lovely..

    Timeless, elegant, exquisite, thoughtful and a sweet surrender. This was one of my favorite reads of the year thus far.

    Tom has lived a long time. A really long time. He does not age at the same rate as regular 'mayflies'…normal mortal humans. He is not immortal, but every human year equals and affords him many more than normal. When others are turning grey, he not so much shows but the earliest sprouts of plume to shave. Soon, he outlasts his friends
    ...more
    Ron
    Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: time-travel, sci-fi
    The answer is in there. How to stop time, I mean. Somewhere in the middle of the story, and then a little differently at the end. What is said may not be what you expect, but it's a good saying for sure. True and meaningful. It evokes feeling. So did this book. I get the impression that when Haig writes he is thinking about real life as much as how the words placed on a page speak to the reader - not simply to the story. Therefore, they say a little more. They have meaning. I'm not saying that t ...more
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Clean Reads: Clean or not? How to stop time by Matt Haig 2 26 May 31, 2019 11:35AM  
    Time Travel: How to Stop Time: 01/01/2019-02/28/2019 48 110 Feb 07, 2019 03:00PM  
    Leander Readers: Final Thoughts - January 6 20 Jan 29, 2019 11:09AM  
    Leander Readers: First Impressions - January 9 22 Jan 14, 2019 12:25PM  
    6,317 followers
    Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, rive ...more

    Readers also enjoyed

    • The Underground Railroad
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
    • An Ocean of Minutes
    • The Outcasts of Time
    • Here and Now and Then
    • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
    • Eternal Life
    • All Our Wrong Todays
    • The Very First Damned Thing (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #0.5)
    • The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel
    • Time and Time Again
    • The Table of Less Valued Knights
    • The Curiosity
    • All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir
    • I Still Dream
    • Scoop!
    • Daniel O'Thunder
    • The Lost Time Accidents
    See similar books…
    “And, just as it only takes a moment to die, it only takes a moment to live. You just close your eyes and let every futile fear slip away. And then, in this new state, free from fear, you ask yourself: who am I? If I could live without doubt what would I do? If I could be kind without the fear of being fucked over? If I could love without fear of being hurt? If I could taste the sweetness of today without thinking of how I will miss that taste tomorrow? If I could not fear the passing of time and the people it will steal? Yes. What would I do? Who would I care for? What battle would I fight? Which paths would I step down? What joys would I allow myself? What internal mysteries would I solve? How, in short, would I live?” 129 likes
    “Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don't expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.” 120 likes
    More quotes…