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  • How to Stop Time

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A novel about love, loss and living in the moment, from the best-selling author of The Humans.

The first rule is that you don’t fall in love. There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. Because otherwise, of course, you slowly lose your mind....

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but he was born in 1581. Owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Shakespeare’s England to Jazz Age Paris to voyaging the Pacific alongside Captain Cook, Tom has seen a lot, and he now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom now has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London school. Here, he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is quickly catching up with him. The only thing Tom can’t do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild, bittersweet, time-traveling story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change, about the mistakes humans are doomed to repeat.

And about the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live.

©2018 Matt Haig (P)2018 Canongate Publishers Limited

What the critics say

"Matt Haig’s latest book, How to Stop Time, is marvelous in every sense of the word. Clever, funny, poignant, and written with Haig’s trademark blend of crystalline prose and deft storytelling, this is a book that stirs the heart and mind in equal measure. A hugely enjoyable read." (Deborah Harkness, author of The All Souls Trilogy)

What listeners say about How to Stop Time

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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I just couldn't finish it

fascinating concept but just not for me. my mind went elsewhere every few minutes while listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Possibly the worst book I've ever read

This is surely one of the worst if not the worst book I've ever read. Absolutely no plot, no character development, random useless name dropping and jusg simply uninteresting. AVOID!

2 people found this helpful

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Matt Haig is a genius!

Amazing book & so well read! I’m going to listen again immediately as I’m going through withdrawal already! Thanks for sharing your stories to make my world brighter!

1 person found this helpful

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Pulls you into the Vibe of the Protagonist

I love the concept, the history, and the character development. It was an enjoyable book. It did feel a bit slow at times, but that also adds to the experience of time being drawn out, as the theme of the book. This author is unique in his vision and talented in his writing. I'd recommend if you also enjoy this author.

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Highly recommend

This is one of those stories that makes you question your values and priorities and how you think of the world around you and your place in it. I could will forver love thise kinds of stories. Love the characters, love the concept and story and the philosophical talk. Maybe I missed a few things but I found very little foreshadowing, and it seemed like the ending played out almost too fast. It felt rushed but it also felt like it really fit the message of the story as well.

The narrator really felt like a perfect fit for this story and the different voices were entertaining too.

Side note- I suggest this book if you liked the midnight library. I didn't enjoy it as much but it was still very good.

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Narration was so rich!

I really love the author's. It is the second book that I listen to from him and both were amazing. The story is well rounded and all questions are answered, leaving you with questions about your own life and existence. Just breathtaking.

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Interesting and thought provoking. And comforting

Loved the book. i thought it was a great read as we come through covid

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I love all things Matt Haig

This book is a wonderful reminder of appreciating the time we have as well investing in the future through empowering our children.

The future is you. <3

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Enjoyable.

I'm a sucker for a good immortality story and this one was quite good. The Midnight Library was an absolute masterpiece of insight into the human experience.
This is my second Matt Haig book and I really like his style and voice.

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Incredible acting; story dragged

Narrator was fantastic! Did English, aussie, scottish and American accents seamlessly. Story could have been 2-3 hours shorter. Lived for 400 years, managed to meet and get to know EVERY significant historical figure? Shakespeare, Thomas Cooke, etc. Etc. And enough already with the philosophy at the end... live in the moment, don’t fret about the past or future. I was frustrated and bored by the end... yada yada yada, golden rule; love like you will never be hurt, people and relationships is what make us alive....

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  • Margaret
  • 2018-04-03

engaged and enriched

Loved The Martian and didn't expect to feel so engaged by this novel. But I loved every minute of it. I didn't really want it to end. I often find books that move forward and backward in time very difficult to follow, but because the author provided dates and places, I found it easy to follow even in audio format. a wonderful piece of Escape literature that made me think about the human Condition.

1 person found this helpful