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Before I Go To Sleep Hardcover – 28 Apr 2011

4,274 customer reviews

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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 (4,274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

S. J. Watson's first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success. A bestseller around the world, it won the Crime Writers' Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year.

The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014 and is now available on DVD.
S. J. Watson was born in the Midlands and now lives in London.

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,128 of 1,183 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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376 of 407 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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250 of 283 people found the following review helpful By Gemica on 22 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I sometimes wonder whether I am reading the same book as some of these reviewers. The last time I was as disappointed in a book as this was The Da Vinci Code, with which Before I Go to Sleep has much in common.

BIGS is poorly written - 'she turned to him, he turned to her'; I'm amazed they weren't perpetually dizzy - and the inconsistencies and absurdities in the plot were gob-smackingly awful. It reads exactly as it is - a first attempt by someone who has been 'taught' how to write.

SPOILER ALERT - if in spite of this review you still intend buying this book, look away now.

No-one would write in a journal as Chrissy has written - that much detail? No way. Could anyone actually believe that a patient as seriously compromised as this would be allowed to discharge themselves and live without medical supervision? Could you believe that Chrissy could actually have been handed over to 'someone' without any checks being made? Can you believe that a medical professional could behave the way Dr Nash does throughout? Why didn't Adam realise for 4 months that his mother was AWOL? Why, when Claire asked Chrissy to describe Ben, did she first ask about the colour of his hair and not the fact that he had a bloody great SCAR ON HIS CHEEK??? Worst of all, if Claire knew about Chrissy's 'affair', including where they used to meet, why did the police not pursue her lover as a possible culprit in her attack? Clearly they weren't discreet, would he have been so difficult to find?

And there are more - so many more- gaping great flaws, but I wasted time reading it, I don't want to waste any more time reviewing it.

Ok if you've read this far and haven't already bought the book, take my advice - don't. Want a really good 'psychological thriller'? 'We need to Talk About Kevin'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. K. M. Kelleher on 19 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had real high hopes for this book, originally I thought that it was based on a true story, but it quite quickly became obvious that it is fiction.

The story is about a woman who is unable to form new memories, and wakes every morning having forgotten the past 20 years of her life. She is encouraged to keep a journal by a Dr that she is meeting with secretly.

I'm going to try to word this in a way that doesn't ruin the outcome for others.
The idea is a great one, but there are so many holes is the way that the story is put together. The journal is meant to be written just before Christine sleeps. and she then read it the next day to remind herself of her own life story.

Firstly, it seems that her husband goes off to work every day and leaves a wife who is vulnerable, has dinner with her and then leaves her alone whilst she writes her journal (remember the journal is a secret)
Christine writes substantial amounts in her journal, and then proceeds to read it all the next day, after being informed by the dr where it is. She would have to spend the whole day just reading and writing. In my view, it would be impossible to adjust to your own situation every day and do that much reading.
Some of the language structure made it obvious that a man wrote this.
The level of detail that Christine writes in her journal is completely unrealistic. Stop reading now if you don't want to know anything of the end ... The journal is destroyed in a fire, and yet the detail is remembered ... minute detail.

The end was actually very predictable, I think that it was meant to be a twist but actually was quite obvious.
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