Time must have a stop

311 pages

English language

Published Jan. 24, 1944 by Harper & Brothers.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (1 review)

Sebastian Barnack, a handsome English schoolboy, goes to Italy for the summer, and there his real education begins. His teachers are two quite different men: Bruno Rontini, the saintly bookseller, who teaches him about things spiritual; and Uncle Eustace, who introduces him to life's profane pleasures. The novel that Aldous Huxley himself thought was his most successful at "fusing idea with story," Time Must Have a Stop is part of Huxley's lifelong attempt to explore the dilemmas of twentieth-century man and to create characters who, though ill-equipped to solve the dilemmas, all go stumbling on in their painfully serious comedies (in this novel we have the dead atheist who returns in a seance to reveal what he has learned after death but is stuck with a second-rate medium who garbles his messages). Time Must Have a Stop is one of Huxley's finest achievements.

23 editions

A quiet mystical parable

4 stars

There's a fair amount of character development to begin with, some of it seems extraneous but without it, the pace of the book would flounder. Aldous remarked that this book was his most successful attempt of fusing story with ideology. At the heart of the story lies a very simple ethical dilemma which is framed between asceticism and hedonism. The young would-be poet, Sebastian is our protagonist caught between two family ideologies wedged in between two world wars. There are some shining moments where Aldous uses language and convention masterfully. The end I found was a bit too didactic but considering the length of the story, it worked in a kind of contemporary parable. Huxley's writing doesn't disappoint, but at times it strays from strengthening points to instead fill in genealogical gaps. There were times I was lost in the book, and other times I was lost elsewhere. There are …