HOW TO STOP TIME by Matt Haig
From Shakespeare's England to jazz age Paris to surfing in Byron Bay, a wild, bittersweet, time-travelling story about love, loss and living in the moment.
'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 is a history teacher living a quiet suburban life in a Cathedral town in England. He likes his job but has no real friends, spends his time on the internet or playing the piano, and pushes away anyone who tries to get close to him.
But Tom has a secret. He suffers from progeria, a condition that causes the body to age ten times slower than normal. He looks 40 but is actually 408. He won't die for another few centuries. In his lifespan he has had time to learn 13 languages, has become an expert at fighting and piano playing, but all of this has a cost. He must change his identity every few years to avoid discovery. And as he has learned the risks of love and the pain it can cause, he has turned away from other people.
How to Stop Time is his story.
Matt Haig's Tom Hazard has a few tricky problems with which to contend - being 400 years old comes with baggage. Get into a Haig book for a good time that's laced with a fortifying dose of wisdom. And stay tuned for news of his new book, the ink on which will hardly be dry when he moseys in to Bendigo August 10-12.