How To Stop Time by Matt Haig (Canongate).

There has been a number of books in recent years which have focused on characters who break the usual conventions of time. If you like The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Time After Time by Kate Atkinson of The First 15 Lives Of Harry August by Claire North, then the chances are you will like How To Stop Time.

Its protagonist is Tom Hazard, who has a genetic anomaly - he might look 41 but, in fact, he ages incredibly slowly and is more than 400 years old.

He was around in Elizabethan England and survived the plague, spent time with Captain Cook in the South Seas and was a pianist in Jazz Age Paris.

But throughout that time has has had to keep his condition secret - as once people realise that he does not appear to get older, suspicions and prejudices step in and his life, and the lives of those he loves, are put in danger.

Now, weary and seeking a quiet life, he is working as a history teacher at a London secondary school, teaching people about a past he experienced and walking streets that have changed almost beyond recognition since he first saw them.

Adding to his problems is the fact he is part of a group of similar people, whose aim is to help each other but keep their condition secret - whatever that takes.

This is all good fun and Haig is good at revealing what it might feel like to have lived so long, have so many memories but see people you know grow old and die while you stay the same.

I was less convinced by the episodes where Hazard meets real historical figures like Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald - they seemed more there for effect rather than anything else.

However, How To Stop Time is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.