How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.

This book. THIS BOOK. 

I was ranting about how much I loved it from the first few pages. So much that one of my friends had to get the book too.

And I think I've ranted so much that I don't know what to say anymore.

How to Stop Time is one of those books that has the power to leave you absolutely speechless. It's one of those books that, when you finally look up from it, it takes you a while to get back to reality. It's one of those books that I don't know if I'll find a book I enjoyed to read as much as this one.

I picked it up while I was on holiday because I had seen all of the love for it turning up on Twitter. I hadn't ever read anything by Matt Haig before this - I only followed him on Twitter because of his tweets on mental health. But I'm so glad that I bought this one.

Tom is interesting, to say the least. I'm not sure how you would begin to describe him. He's over 400 years old, currently a history teacher, and in search of his daughter. He's relatable, as Haig has used Tom's character to show signs of mental illness, and has used the fact that he is an alba and ages slowly to mirror the fear of mortality. And most of all, he's mourning throughout the novel - for the loss of both the woman he loved and his missing daughter.

I don't know what I expected when I picked up this book. Possibly a bit of a romance, especially from the first page pointing out that one rule for albas is that they can't fall in love. I was expecting some sort of novel about a forbidden love, which as much as I love novels like that, it can be a bit cheesy. But Haig has turned the idea of forbidden love on its head, and has created a masterpiece about the loss of love, and living past love.

One quote from How to Stop Time really got me. It really made me think:

'Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don't expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.'

I love this. I love that Haig managed to stick in the idea that books are a form of salvation in a novel which is about a man finding himself.

I connected with this because personally, books are a salvation and they are a way to get through anything.

I'm definitely off to find some more of Matt Haig's novels as soon as I get down my massive pile of books I need to read. He's amazing and has got a way to somehow get absolutely anyone hooked on his books.

Have you read How to Stop Time? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

If you haven't... WHY?!

UK Links

Amazon UK

US Links

Amazon US
Barnes and Noble

But please buy from local bookshops if you can!


  1. I absolutely adored this too and didn't want it to end. I completely agree with you - and Matt - that books are salvation.
    You must read some of his other books, my favourite is The Humans, possibly one of the best books I've ever read.


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