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Before I Go To Sleep [Hardcover]

S J Watson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,192 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,725 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,072 of 1,121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this one down! 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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348 of 373 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over Hyped - Mediocre Fiction 13 Oct 2014
I thought I would revisit this book with the upcoming release of the movie to see if my opinion changed from the first time I read it. It didn't. I may be in the minority (again) but this book was a very average read, totally over hyped in my opinion, the movie will probably actually be better than the book.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Sounds awesome right? And in execution I was hoping it would be. But the book itself delivers a rather mediocre bit of entertainment. Initially I was drawn in to the plot and keen to see what was going to happen to Christine, as she lost her memories of each day when she slept, keeping a diary so that she can remember the next day what she had lost. And I was trying to assess the husband, you know, the one she has no memory of? I was keeping my eye on him all the time.

I actually found the middle part of this book quite boring, it got repetitive and whilst it builds up to the finale, again, the ending let it down, it could have been so much more, SO much more! Bah humbug, not enough for this reader. Nope. Sorry. Not sinister or psychologically twisted enough.

A very "okay" read, I honestly do not know what on earth the fuss is about, but then again I often feel that way about books that are the "bees knees" to everyone else. Am I going to see the movie? Oh yes, because I have heard it actually is better than the book. So that's a good start.

You decide on this one, many have been in love with it and enthralled by it, many have not. Which side of the fence do you fall on?
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent concept, poor delivery 3 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The concept is excellent but it is poorly written - such a disappointment. Definitely a page turner (I read it in a day), but this is the result of futile hope that the writing will improve in line with the plot as the book progresses. Watson successfully picks up the pace in the final chapter, ‘Today’, making it the most exciting section of the book.

The style throughout is VERY repetitive. Yes the protagonist has amnesia, and yes continually reminding the reader of certain things, as if for the first time, is effective to a point. But reading certain details in excess of 10 times, as the author tries to hammer this home, becomes boring. Finally, the way metaphors and questions are spelled out is as patronising as it is uninspiring.

If only the writing had been as inspired as the plot!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars recommend
Only just started reading it ..but enjoying it so far
Published 2 hours ago by Caroline Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting with a sting in the tail towards the end
Published 3 hours ago by Christine Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very good read could not put this book down
Published 4 hours ago by mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book, can't wait to see the film now. Kept you guessing all the way through.
Published 4 hours ago by Maureen Green
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't want to sleep!!
Oh my goodness - I couldn't bear to put this down! Kept me guessing!
Published 5 hours ago by Annie M
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
brilliantly written and a real page turner - you get totally immersed with the characters and not until the end do you realize what is happening
Published 16 hours ago by Megz
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
Not usually a fan of thrillers but so glad I read this! Absolutely could not put it down and finished it in 2 days. Highly recomend it!
Published 18 hours ago by Sarah Mirfin
3.0 out of 5 stars As with so many books the ending seemed rushed and far fetched just to...
Sorry,but what started as interesting seemed to get a bit too drawn out for me, and the outcome predictable. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by Joanie
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best thrillers I've ever read and I'm amazed that...
Well done S J Watson! The book is gripping from start to end and what Christine goes through is unimaginable. Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Sparrowhawk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant. i really enjoyed this.
Published 1 day ago by Karina Traynor
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Incredible book, BUT.... 1 19 Sep 2011
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