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1,009 of 1,055 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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172 of 195 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson, 28 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Kindle Edition)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ran out of steam.., 2 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Kindle Edition)
For a while, I was thoroughly absorbed in this unusual story of an amnesiac who had to begin her life every morning. But half way through the book it seemed to run out of steam and become predictable so I felt myself saying 'yeah yeah, hurry up and get on with it' or words to that effect! As a first book, I applaud it but I felt the characters could have been more deftly drawn, as I did not care much about any of them, not even the poor amnesiac Christine. Great beginning, saggy middle and predictable ending.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A MASSIVE CON, 3 April 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Kindle Edition)
I was completely gripped by the first half of the story, so much so that I ignored the flaws in the plot and implausible plot devices. But as the more plot became more & more ridiculous, I started to get VERY ANNOYED.

There are plenty of examples of the stupid nonsense contained in this story within in these reviews. One that particularly annoyed me was the idea that this woman's "husband" can come home from a hard day at the office, be too tired to talk to her, does not care that she sits in a separate room, but still be an obsessive psychotic who waited & watched her for years.

And they can afford to live in a 3 bed house in Muswell Hill on a teaching assistant's salary. Ludicrous!

Basically I think this author is a con man. He has come up with a good idea for a story that really draws you in, but he then insults the reader with what is THE WORST ENDING I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE.

Seriously I want my money back. Who do I complain to?
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning: switch off your brain before you read!, 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Kindle Edition)
Off to a good start with a gripping scene, we are catapulted right into the centre of the story with Christine totally lost in an unfamiliar setting. She suffers from amnesia. Right there, we know what the story is about. Good.

Yet, despite a very good premise and original idea (an attempt at evaluating what reality and truth really mean), I found the final result deeply disappointing.

While the format of having most of the story told through Christine's journal creates a very specific angle, it also regurgitates a lot of the same material over and over again (this might "set the mood" but at the same time is a danger element of boredom) and is also unrealistic when you come to ask yourself whether you'd be able to actually write that much and that precisely each day, then also have the time to read what you wrote before AND still have a life on the side to actually do things... Leave that aside then and just accept it...

The story still has too many holes in it (would the medical profession really lack that much attention? Would she have so few friends to care about her?) and a very obvious ending that becomes clear at about 70% down the book. I found myself then skipping ahead on many pages to finally reach some action again...

But more than anything, it was the weak ending that was such an anticlimax to it all... This was coupled with a conversation that explains every single action that was taken through the entire story to just not leave any sort of doubts or unclear points to the reader. No, absolutely nothing! Everything, every aspect of the story had to be explained, so the reader wouldn't even be tempted to think about it (no, fear not, no brains needed! Switch it off right there!) and fill the gaps in any sort of way.

Then somehow the very end tries to leave a tiny tinge of doubt, of a possibility that this is not just a sudden happy ending like a rabbit pulled out of a magician's hat. But really at that point too much has been already clarified to even leave any doubt that this might not be a 100% happy ending to the max...

Overall, I'd definitely not describe this book as "brilliant" or in any sort of way memorable. No, this won't be in the archives of literary history but... it's an easy no-brains tube/bus read to be finished and forgotten again rather quickly, sort of like the protagonist's memory. Just don't overthink it and it might be entertaining enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good psychological thriller, 11 April 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
I started this with quite low expectations - not really sure why! - and came away having really enjoyed it. For a debut novel it was well thought out and intelligent. It perhaps wasn't as "surpising" as it might have wanted to be, but it provided enough twists to keep the reader on their toes.

Well worth reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, 21 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Kindle Edition)
I was waiting for it to start up until I got throught 93% of the book. There are so many holes in it. I'm surprised so many people loved it so much. I suppose it was a case of liking a book to look popular. Sad really.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Crafted and Very Original, 14 Feb 2012
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Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
The reader quickly starts to understand and appreciate Christine's emotions. She wakes up each morning in a strange room alongside a man she does not recognise, and suffers the shock of looking in the mirror and seeing a woman aged 20 years older than herself looking back at her. Her bewilderment and fear is apparent and very well portrayed.

Although this is well written, at the halfway stage I felt the book was harrowing, but I was not really enjoying it. However, then things really start to get interesting as Christine's sense of self awareness increases page by page and one gets the sense that all is not quite right.

This is an unusual plot, but the medical condition is real enough although very rare. The only other time I recall seeing it portrayed was in 50 First Dates [DVD] [2004]. However, that is a comedy very far removed from the tone of this book. I think Christine's confused reactions each morning are very realistic and are about a million miles from Drew Barrymore's who watches a quick video and then goes out to meet her family, who she does not recognise, with a smile on her face each day.

So to summarise, this is a very promising first novel and extremely well crafted with a very unusual plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before I Go To Sleep, 6 Oct 2011
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Mr. R. Young (Teesside) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
Before I go to sleep...... I need to finish this book !!! Couldn't put it down. I've read nearly 40 books since the turn of the year and none have gripped me like this one did. I found myself really getting involved with the main chracater and wanting to turn the pages before I'd finished reading the one I was on. It evens come with a twist at the end end which I didn't guess. Apparently they have already bought the film rights to it............now that is worth waiting for.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before I go to sleep, 27 July 2011
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely amazing !!!!!! I have not read such a good book in a long time

Initially the book grips your interest as you start trying to understand how this woman feels each morning as she wakes however then the story develops you start thinking something is not right here & then it's got you. I could not pot it down; I began to think I knew what was going on but the twists & turns left me gasping out loud in the small hours of the morning.

It truly is one of the best thrillers I have ever read in fact it is the best !!!

Can't wait for Watson to write some more as for the first time ever I will be pre-ordering the next one !!
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Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
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