How to Stop Time

How to Stop Time

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
25
1
Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary forty-one-year-old, but he was born in 1581. Owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has seen a lot, and he now craves an ordinary life. 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. This is a wild, bittersweet, time-travelling story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change, about the mistakes humans are doomed to repeat.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperAvenue, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781443451383
Characteristics: 325 pages ;,23 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
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.

m
mova
Apr 29, 2019

Really loved this book, so well written, hard to put down. Not vampire like at all haha Highly recommend, and even better knowing that Benedict Cumberbatch is eyeballing it for a film!!

ikki_likki Apr 17, 2019

An enjoyable read, although I wondered that Tom did not accrue as much wisdom as I might have expected over the 400 years of his life to date...however this did not spoil my enjoyment of the book.

The story is very poignant, with the main character outliving his wife in the 1500s , and who knows that the new love of his life will age and die while he is still middle aged in the modern era.

a
AugustFenwick
Apr 17, 2019

I had never read this author before, but certainly will again. What an enjoyable read.

f
feralranger
Mar 15, 2019

Tom has been alive for 400 years and is still asking himself "what it is we live for"? And one of the reasons he is still asking that question after 400 years is given in an explanation that I adored early on in the book. It also shows the imagination of the author; "There were many times I had lost all hope in my search. A search not just for a lost person, but for that other thing I had lost- meaning. For a point. It occurred to me that human beings didn't live beyond a hundred because they simply weren't up for it. Psychologically, I mean. You kind of ran out. There wasn't enough self to keep going. You grew too bored of your own mind. Of the way life repeated itself. How, after a while, there wasn't a smile or gesture that you hadn't seen before."
The character of Tom is someone I really liked and enjoyed spending hundreds of his years with. And the fact that he was a history teacher in a contemporary classroom of high school students was sublime and just plain fun.
All that being said I was disappointed by the ending. It took a path that kept tripping me up.
This is a well paced book, easy to glide through, enjoyable and perfect for reading after a heavy hitter like The Overstory by Richard Powers.

r
ReadItOutLoud
Feb 15, 2019

The narration starts a little slow but by the fourth chapter I was getting more and more intrigued by what had happened to Tom and what was still in store for him. He constantly reflects on the passing of time and humanities gifts and failures in seizing the moments they are given or learning from the past. I would often pause when reading this and think deeply about my own relation to wanting to speed up or slow down some point in my life. Overall I enjoyed the chance to imagine being nearly immortal and also to think about the past in a fluid and sweeping way.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top