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Before I Go To Sleep [Hardcover]

S J Watson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,555 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 April 2011

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...'

Welcome to Christine's life.

Quite simply the best debut novel I've ever read. - Tess Gerritsen

Brilliant in its pacing, profound in its central question, suspenseful on every page - and satisfying in its thriller ending. - Anita Shreve

A deft, perceptive exploration of a fascinating neurological condition, and a cracking good thriller. -Lionel Shriver

A terrific first novel - well-written, genuinely unsettling and psychologically very plausible. Thrillers seldom come much better than this. Loved it, read it in one - Joanne Harris

An exceptional thriller. It left my nerves jangling for hours after I finished the last page - Dennis Lehane

So high-concept, so ambitious and so structurally brilliant. It's so rare to read a thriller that's perfect in every detail, but this one definitely qualifies! - Sophie Hannah

A deeply unsettling debut that asks the most terrifying question - what do you have left when you lose yourself? - Val McDermid

A truly amazing debut. The central character, Christine, is beautifully drawn. It's hard to imagine a more compelling, believable and sympathetic portrayal of a damaged human being. I loved it from start to finish. - Mo Hayder


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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: 14.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,555 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,211 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

Review

"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, crimesquad.com

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

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

"Spectacular."--She

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
1,011 of 1,057 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this one down! 27 Mar 2011
By Gemma TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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327 of 349 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Debut 21 Feb 2011
By Victoria VINE VOICE
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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175 of 198 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Baffled by the Hype 22 Jan 2012
By Gemica
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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129 of 146 people found the following review helpful
By joc66 TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The central character of this haunting first novel is Christine, a woman who wakes up each morning with her mind trapped years in the past, and no recent memories with which to make sense of her world. Each day she must be told that the man she is living with is her husband, and so much more about her life since her memories stopped, and each day, relive the heartbreaks and some of the happy moments as if they were happening anew. Gradually, with the help of a doctor, Christine manages to reconnect some of her past life using a journal to record what she knows about her life, and the writer cleverly puts the reader into the position of Christine, as she reads this journal and tries to make sense of the present in the context of her past. Our memories are an integral part of who we are, and the way we connect one day with the next. Without them, life is bleak, disconnected and confused. The writer really does convey the tragedy of amnesia very well, and on top of this has created a cleverly structured and menacing thriller. The pages turned quickly and easily and although the twist in the plot is perhaps relatively easy to guess it still feels shocking when it is revealed.
An excellent first novel which I thoroughly recommend.
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