How to Stop Time


How to Stop Time is my latest novel. It is published in the UK by Canongate and will be published on 6th February 2018 by Penguin in America.

It is a Sunday Times Bestseller and is a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. It’s also winner of the 2017 Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Popular Fiction.  

SunnyMarch and Studiocanal have acquired the film rights to How to Stop Time. Benedict Cumberbatch is attached to star and executive produce through SunnyMarch, along with Jamie Byng, CEO of Canongate.

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back his to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.


“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

“Compelling and full of life’s big questions, How To Stop Time is a book you will not be able to put down.” —Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project

“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” —Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

“Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.” —Jeanette Winterson, author of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

“Haig has been gifted with a rare ability, which is to make the far-fetched – and even ridiculous – seem believable. His books tickle your mind and tug on your heart, and their pages slip by with beguiling ease. . . How to Stop Time will provoke wonder and delight.”  —The Guardian

“Matt Haig is astounding.” —Stephen Fry

“Inventive, exciting, moving and bursting with insight about history, time and what it is to be human.” —Kate Williams, author of Becoming Queen Victoria

“I loved How to Stop Time, it’s a beautiful and necessary book. I feel very lucky to have read it. It is magical, intriguing, and at times, very sad. A triumph.” —Marian Keyes, author of The Woman Who Stole My Life

“I am in concert with Haig’s fans as I read the book, turning pages for the story but also stopping to underline passages. I want to remember the lines. I want to read out loud to someone. Nothing like a love that lasts 400 years.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“An addictive, time-travelling tale which unfolds at a cracking pace” —The Bookseller, Book of the Month

“Full of Haig’s trademark humour and humanity, this is a wonderfully entertaining ride through centuries of adventure. Gloriously heart-warming.” —Sunday Mirror

“A story you’ve been longing to read . . . Haig’s proficiency in writing for children has lent a gentleness that cuts to the very heart of this work and its readers.” —Evening Standard, “The Best Books to Read This Summer”

“How to Stop Time is a worthy addition to the time-travel canon, hugely entertaining, quietly funny and, at its best moments, contemplative and brooding.” —John Boyne, Irish Times