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999 of 1,043 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this one down!
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...
Published on 27 Mar 2011 by Gemma

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155 of 175 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Baffled by the Hype
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...
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Gemica


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing, thrilling read, 3 Oct 2011
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I loved this book. It was the first piece of fiction I bought for my Kindle and I couldn't put it down. I had feared that the premise wouldn't sustain the entire book, but it's brilliantly handled, sagging only in the third quarter but never to the point it becomes dull. The final twist? I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. I'll say no more, but this: buy this without delay and enjoy a real literary insight into a troubled, broken mind. Fantastic.
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68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, but didn't quite work for me, 21 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
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Before I Go to Sleep is a well crafted thriller which successfully builds the tension. However I couldn't find myself completely swept up by it because there were a few rather unrealistic plot devices which jarred with me at an early stage - the obliging husband who does nothing every evening but watch TV so that his amnesiac wife can write her secret diary upstairs, night after night; also the central character's analyst gives her a second mobile phone so that he can phone her without her husband knowing...because when he called her before (on the original mobile in her bag) her husband answered...er...surely the potential discovery of a second mobile phone in a handbag is immediately suspicious. Its absolutely clear the reason for the second mobile is for a later crucial bit of plot (it was). I'm afraid this immediately struck me as such a sloppy device that it got in the way of believability. The male author generally does well with his female first person narrator - except that the clear giveaway that S.J Watson must be a male is repeatedly given by Christine's referring to her knickers as 'panties' - almost invariably a male word for women's undergarments! I realise, given the generally rave reviews for the book that my more lukewarm response is the exception, and its clear that most readers are going to be enjoyably on the edge of their seats with this. Sadly, it didn't quite work for me as I was too aware of coincidences and devices to find my disbelief suspended
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before I Go To Sleep, 19 Mar 2011
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
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This is a creepily atmospheric book. Memories make us who we are, yet Christine loses her memory every night for reasons that are unclear either to her or to medical science.

Told mostly in the form of Christine's journal, which she starts to keep to help her figure out her life, we gradually build a picture of truths, and half truths where neither we, nor Christine, know quite who to trust. The frustration, grief and confusion she feels come flying off the page. One scene in particular affected me, where Christine revisits a psychiatric facility where she lived and sees the rambling and confused 'journal' she kept while sectioned, with the lucid prose serving to highlight how far she's come from those days.

The denouement felt slightly far fetched but it was a gripping and suspenseful read and there were enough clues dropped througout that I felt I was on a journey of discovery with the main character. Really enjoyed and would recommend.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea let down by the execution, 26 Feb 2012
By 
Mot Juste (Surrey) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
This novel kicks off with a great idea.The main character wakes up in bed next to a middle-aged man with no idea of who or where she is. It is a gripping and promising start!

But from there, I am sorry to say it goes downhill all the way.

The problem is that the author's main method of disseminating information to the reader is via a long overly-verbose (I've-been-on-a creative-writing-course) journal. It becomes extremely tedious to read. Especially as we have to endure the character discovering her wardrobe of clothes, furniture, house and son over and over again. Ad nauseum.I guess the author feels she is scene-setting and building the momentum to her finale.But the overall effect leaves the averagely intelligent reader losing the will to live and thinking yes-we-get-the-point-so-can-we-get-on-with-it-now-please?
I think it would have been a better idea if the author had employed a 3rd person narrative by best friend Claire (running in tandem with the journal) as a vehicle to relay information to the reader. That way the journal could become more terse and punchy in the way that you would realistically expect a amnesiac's log book to be.

SPOILER ALERT.The story line is a bit far-fetched. Wouldn't the police have caught up with her attacker? Would she really be discharged from a care-home to a complete stranger. Wouldn't she receive home visits from professionals who would notice her bruises?
The plot is very thin and predictable, mainly because there aren't enough characters in the book to offer an alternative denouement. Most readers will be able to figure it out. Personally I was disappointed that Dr Nash did not turn out to be her son.
The sex was toe-curlingly embarrassing. Even if her brain is 25 isn't her body supposed to be 47? As for the ending, it was hilariously wrapped up in a Enid Blyton type way. You know when the Famous Five sit down for cake and lemonade with the local bobby and everything is explained to the 9year old reader.And guess what? At the end of it, her memory miraculously returns. Seriously?

Having said that I think with a partial re-write it will translate into a terrific film, similar to Jagged Edge.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The joy of reading!, 23 May 2011
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J. K. Vaughan "ASD mother" (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
I haven't enjoyed reading a book so much in years. I'm usually so completely busy with work, life, home, and just about everything else there is that I rarely have time to sit and have a good read. Then I can't find anything to read that holds my attention right to the end . Many people will be appalled by my admission that I often read the end of a book before I finish it because I get bored and impatient.

However, for the first time in a very long time I read this book right through to the end without flipping to the back pages. I was so gripped by the excellent story and the great writing that I grabbed every spare minute to sit and read it and completed it in a record breaking two days.I would joyfully have read it in one sitting had it not been for the irritating distractions of normal life having to continue!

A great story with an unpredictable twist. I thought I had got it towards the end but how wrong I was!

I'm really looking forward S J Watson's next book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excruciating, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
Painful in the extreme. The politicians are trying to come up with new sentences to empty the prisons and being forced to read this would be a more challenging alternative.
Geez, how many times does the author think we'll get excited at her repeated declaration that she "will tell her husband all about Dr. Nash and the diary" (we are supposed to scream out, pantomime/Punch and Judy stylee "OH NO!! DON'T TELL HIM!!" ) then providing some lame excuse for changing her mind (at which, presumably, the reader is meant to breathe a sigh of relief).
I won't even risk inflicting it on someone else by donating it to a charity shop.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The one star was for the price., 2 April 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
Before I go to sleep....I could have wrote this after I had gone to sleep...There is no style to the writing,It's amazingly basic,descriptions are trite and have little to no imagnination...The characters are as thin as a piece of Co-Op ham and it's incredibly inconsistent,for instace the first couple of chapters are all about the characters fear,anxiety and struggle when she awakes to find she doesn't know where she is,how old she is,who she is living with and so on...That kind of adjustment would take up the whole day no matter how many times it happened (which is irrelevent anyway because every morning she awakes with the same problem) unlet for purely plot advancement reasons this all becomes a breeze for her to digest and the author decides to skip these strong feelings which is fine for the reader as they've already gone through that but she hasn't (or has but doesn't remember)...It's preposturous and I don't even care what the twist is,I don't care about the character enough..I haven't read crime fiction for a while but is this how it all is now?...I reckon the twist is on the very last page;Ghostwritten by David,aged 4 and half.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Before I go to sleep, 9 Oct 2011
I bought this book after reading it's very good reviews on amazon. Some people obviously loved it but I'm afraid I hated it. I found it boring, repetitive, unbelievable and just plain irritating. it might have been ok as a short story but dragging it out into a full length novel makes it dreary in the extreme. don't waste your money or your time on it.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Before I Go To Sleep, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
Before I Go To Sleep? Before You Put Me To Sleep more like. Reading this was a truly soporific expeience.

The narrator, Christine, drags the reader through her frustratingly repetitive life in a frustratingly repetitive prose style that made me want to eat my own head. Christine has an awful life; she suffers the same pains and frustrations each and every day of her life in her state of chronic amnesia. But frankly, did I give a damn? No. The characterisation is woeful. I couldn't identify, sympathise or empathise with this woman. The supporting cast is equally two-dimensional and dull. The language and writing style disappointingly clumsy. As for the plot? Sadly ridden with holes, unbelievable situations and weak construction.

Simply forgettable - if you forgive the irony.

Step away from this book now and pick up something decent - We Need To Talk About Kevin is in a different league.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent..., 10 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
There is no doubt this was an enjoyable read, so much so that I managed to finish it in a period of a couple of days. However, judging by the rave reviews given you would think it was one of the best books ever written, which couldn't be further from the truth. "Decent with a great twist at the end...." is as far as I would go. Credit must be given to the author, firstly as it is his first published work, and secondly because he somehow manages to keep you gripped despite a fairly average plot with his clever use of suspense and trickery regarding who the villain of the piece is. Obviously I don't want to give much away but it was a shock when everything unravelled at the end.

I'm no literary critic, but there is definite room for improvement as the language used is fairly basic judging by the fact I didn't have to use my kindle dictionary more than a handful of times, and also the detail of some of the more action filled scenes was also fairly standard compared to other novels out there at the moment.

Overall a good effort, and as a bonus I learned a great deal about those who suffer from amnesia, but like those reviewers who haven't allowed themselves to get carried away with the hype I won't be reading another book by SJ Watson in a hurry. Give it a try anyway I'm sure you will enjoy it just ignore the marketing blurb and allow yourself to judge it for what it is - a good first effort by a new writer.

Thanks for reading my review.
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