Originally published: January 2018 (This edition)
Author: Matt Haig
Published by: Canongate Books
Set in: London, Paris, Los Angeles, Byron Bay
Genre: Science Fiction / Historical
Page count: 325
Reading dates: 23-28 May 2018
Star Rating: 5/5
“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.”
Tom Hazard has a secret – he was born in 1581 and he has been aging very slowly ever since. When we meet Tom he is a 41 year old history teacher in a London school. But we soon find out he has lived a very long life, changing his identity every 8 years and moving on so no one ever knows his secret.
This book was great – I really enjoyed it. Tom isn’t immortal – he just ages very slowly, approximately 1 year for every 15 he has been alive and his condition gives him the added bonus of a heightened immune system. He isn’t the only person like this – others like him belong to the Albatross Society and they live an isolated life, not telling anyone their secret because they believe it will be dangerous to them, recruiting others to the society as they become aware of them.
What I liked was the story of Tom as a history teacher being interspersed with his life throughout history. He has managed to meet a few very famous historical figures throughout his life and this could be corny but works well.
Benedict Cumberbatch is attached to star in a film version of “How to Stop Time,”. The film rights have been acquired by Cumberbatch’s production company SunnyMarch and Studiocanal. Should be good!
About the author:
Matt Haig was born in 1975 and has written both adult and children’s novels, including The Humans, The Radleys and A Boy Called Christmas. Non fiction work includes Reasons to Stay Alive which is his memoir about his manic depressive disorder. A new non fiction book, Notes on a Nervous Planet is due to be published in July 2018 and is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.