How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

fter Midnight Library, I wanted to read more of Matt Haig’s works. Overall, while this was fun and interesting at times, I preferred Midnight Library.

I liked a lot of stuff from this novel. I liked the protagonist Tom and I could understand him. I also enjoyed the light supernatural magical realism aspect of being a very long living person. The concept of the novel was fascinating. I liked the chapters in the past as well. It was a mix of historical fiction and modern fiction. There were some interesting supporting characters too, but most of them were as developed as the protagonist. I wanted to know more about all the interesting female characters.

What did not work for me as much in this novel was the suspense and psychological thriller aspect. The villain was very one dimensional. The whole Albatross society aspect seemed to detract from the history of Tom’s life. While it was a sort of impediment to his character growth, it actually felt unnecessary in the novel. I do not think Haig needed this mafia stuff to tell the story of an older man who was heartbroken. The storyline took time away from interactions between Tom and the other characters. I rather the book had more of Tom’s self reflections of his life. The ending was abrupt too. I was left with questions at the end because the ending felt so hurried.

Being that this was an earlier book than Midnight Library, I saw that Haig has developed as a novelist. I will read more from him in the future.

Read June 9-12, 2021.

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