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Before I Go To Sleep Hardcover – 28 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (28 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857520172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857520173
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,518 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

S J Watson was born in the Midlands, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years.

In 2008 Watson was accepted into the first Faber Academy 'Writing a Novel' Course, a programme that covers all aspects of the novel-writing process. Before I Go to Sleep is the result.

Now sold in over 30 languages around the world, Before I Go To Sleep has been also been acquired for film by Ridley Scott's production company, Scott Free, with Rowan Joffe to direct. Filming is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Product Description


"It's exceptionally accomplished...The structure is so dazzling it almost distracts you from the quality of the writing."--Guardian

"S J Watson's debut doesn't put a foot wrong... brilliantly simple... Unforgettable."--Financial Times Weekend

"Before I Go To Sleep is an astounding piece of work... a tour de force, a haunting tapestry woven from a single woman’s ragged thoughts, desperate to make sense of the past she constantly forgets... This is writing of the highest calibre."--Chris Simmons,

"A taut and terrifying novel, with a grip of steel."--Woman & Home

"An unsettling, compulsive thriller...A truly gripping read."--Marie Claire


Book Description

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

An original, haunting, and deeply chilling debut.

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1,085 of 1,136 people found the following review helpful By Gemma TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Before I Go To Sleep is an excellent psychological thriller. I found myself reading this book into the small hours, and really had to tear myself away from it and go to sleep. It's an unmissable read and I can't recommend it enough.

The book is based around Christine, who loses her memory when she goes to sleep and has to start afresh everytime she wakes up. It's quite thrilling seeing it from her own eyes as each day she wakes up and can't figure out where she is, and everything has to be explained to her by a man who carefully explains to her that he's her husband. She begins to keep a journal, writing down what happens to her each day as recommended by her doctor who calls her each day to remind her of her journal and where it's hidden. Each day she reads what's previously written in her journal, and is extremely confused as she can never remember the previous entries.

As the book progresses you begin to realise something isn't right, and you know who it must involve but you can't figure out why. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next, and it was a brilliant read. I highly recommend this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura Hartley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure why, but when I picked this up about a year ago in the charity shop, I was under the impression that this was a young adult book, but I can assure you, it is not. Before I Go To Sleep is a chilling thriller about a woman who suffers from a severe form of amnesia that means that everytime she falls asleep she loses most of her memories and wakes up thinking that she is still in her mid-twenties. She has absolutely no recollection of the accident that caused her amnesia or the fact that the man she wakes up next to everyday is her husband, Ben. Every morning Ben explains the situation to her and Christine keeps herself busy in the house until Ben comes home from work. One day, she receives a call from a young doctor who wishes to try and help her regain her memories. She starts seeing him in secret, her husband would not allow her to see any more doctors for fear it would 'distress' her further, and he suggests that Christine should start writing a diary of everything that she has learnt each day so that she read it back to herself later. In this way, Christine starts to remember more and more of her past and as she re-reads past diary entries she starts to doubt the people that she trusts and wonders who is really telling the truth. This story is about Christine's journey to finding her memory.

This book starts off with an exchange between Dr Nash and Christine as he returns her notebook to her. She has already been writing in it for a few weeks and finally decided that she was ready for Dr Nash to read its contents, though of course, when she woke up that morning, she had no recollection of ever giving him the notebook, or that it even existed.
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355 of 382 people found the following review helpful By Victoria VINE VOICE on 21 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I honestly can't gush enough about this book. This is the best debut novel I have ever read - the kind of thriller that gets under your skin and crawls into bed with you at night, refusing to let you shut your eyes until you read just one more page...just one more page....

The premise is a very interesting one. Christine wakes every morning in a strange bed next to a strange man, with no recollection of how she got there. But the bed is her own, and the man is her husband - and when she looks in the mirror she is somehow twenty years older than she had expected. Thanks to an accident when she was 29, Christine goes to sleep every night and has her memory erased. (Yes, this does sound like 50 First Dates, but I assure you that this storyline is darker and more thrilling than a RomCom!) Her loving husband patiently explains her situation to her every day, and her doctor tries to unlock whatever is keeping her memories hostage in her brain. I don't want to give too much away aside from that, but needless to say it emerges that not everyone is telling Christine the whole truth.

This book had me absorbed from the very first chapter. You are immediately drawn into Christine's situation, experiencing her confusion, and imagining yourself in the same nightmare. I don't get as much opportunity to read during the week as I would like, but I managed to read this in two and a half days because I was glued to it. I disagree with the reviewers who said the ending was a little too neat - I sat gasping and exclaiming for the last 60 pages or so, having heart palpitations as the story came together. An absolute must-read and a fantastic achievement for the author - I believe the film rights have already been sold.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By iandliz on 28 Feb 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of Christine, who wakes up each morning as a middle-aged woman with no recollection of the previous 20 years of her life after being seriously injured in her late 20s. She lives with her husband, Ben, and reads and writes a journal each day in order to try to piece together her life. It soon becomes clear that Ben isn't the caring, devoted husband that he at first appears and Christine has to work out each day who she can trust and who she can't...

The start of the book is very good. The first descriptions of Christine's confusion when getting up in the morning to when she discovers her journal were excellent and set the book up for an exciting and compelling read. But then the book loses its way a bit. The journal becomes the basis of the novel and as such it is implausible that Christine has time to write, covertly so that Ben doesn't find out, at such length each day as well as having to read it all. But there were so many other holes in the plot - where were social services for a start? - that I started to get really annoyed with it all. The story trundles along until it reaches quite an exciting climax, with a twist that is as subtle as a sledgehammer. The ending disappoints too - I still don't understand how those people ended up in the ambulance with Christine! - with everyone gathering around Scooby-Doo style to go over what happened and going off to live happily ever after. It wasn't completely dreadful, it is very readable and sucks you into the story but it falls apart completely when you start to consider any aspect of it in any depth.

This book had so much promise. The basic idea is very original, scary and makes for an exciting thriller but momentum is quickly lost and the characters and relationships between them are one-dimensional and dull. With all the hype and having been chosen for every book club going I would have expected this to have been amazing - it could have been but it isn't.
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