Before I Go to Sleep Library Binding – 30 Sep 2014
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"An exceptional thriller. It left my nerves jangling for hours after I finished the last page."--Dennis Lehane
"Imagine drifting off every night knowing that your memories will be wiped away by morning. That's the fate of Christine Lucas, whose bewildering internal world is rendered with chilling intimacy in this debut literary thriller. . . . You'll stay up late reading until you know."--People (4 stars)
"The summer's single most suspenseful plot belongs to BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. . . . pure page-turner."--New York Times
"Quite simply the best debut novel I have ever read."--Tess Gerritsen
"Memories--real, false, and a bit of both--are at the heart of Watson's haunting, twisted debut.... Watson handles what could have turned into a cheap narrative gimmick brilliantly, building to a chillingly unexpected climax."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This mesmerizing, skillfully written debut novel works on multiple levels. It is both an affecting portrait of the profound impact of a debilitating illness and a pulse-pounding thriller whose outcome no one could predict."--Booklist (starred review)
"An intriguingly fresh look at the amnesia-focused psychological thriller. . . . A captivating and highly suspenseful read, populated with believable characters who lead the reader through a taut, well-constructed plot."--Library Journal
"Watson's debut novel unwinds as a story that is both complicated and compellingly hypnotic. . . . Watson's pitch-perfect writing propels the story to a frenzied climax that will haunt readers long after they've closed the cover on this remarkable book."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A deft, perceptive exploration of a fascinating neurological condition, and a cracking good thriller."--Lionel Shriver
"Brilliant in its pacing, profound in its central question, suspenseful on every page and satisfying in its thriller ending."--Anita Shreve
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? An original, haunting and deeply chilling debut thriller, and a Sunday Times bestseller in hardcover. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
As always book is far better than movie. I was so impressed after reading this book so hen i heard that movie will be in cinemas i was really excited. But sadly was very dissapointed after watching it. I recommend everybody who saw movie to read the book as it is far more better.
This has Echoes of the film Memento for me, that film is one of my favourites and messes with your mind as much as this book does.
This is Christine’s story only, hers is the only pov you get and I found it to be scarily realistic, horrifying and brutally day to day. Full of every day, common, relatable events that slowly begin to unravel and reveal the real truth of Christine’s life. S J Watson did extensive research for this book and it shows throughout, I can't tell you more than I have as it would spoil the twists and turns the author uses as you're left as confused, frustrated and angry at her memory loss as much as Christine is throughout this book. All I can say is read this book it's way better than the film as this is exactly how the author meant the story to be told!!
It opens as Christine wakes up. She has no idea where she is or who is lying beside her. Fumbling her way to the bathroom, she is horrified to find a fifty-something woman staring back at her in the mirror. Around her reflection are photos that she has no recollection of posing for, and the man in her bed introduces himself as her husband Ben. Before he goes to work he explains that she had an accident and now has amnesia, waking up every morning unable to remember where she is, sometimes feeling like a twenty-something woman, sometimes even feeling like she is still a child. A little while later Christine gets a call from her doctor, who meets her for coffee and hands her a journal that she has been writing for the past few weeks. Back home she opens it and is confronted by a scrawl across the front page: 'Do not trust Ben.' She reads on, determined to piece together her history... Who is telling her the truth, and who is lying - and why?
Much of the book is made up of this journal, which is simultaneously a great device and a slightly irritating one. It contributes quite heavily towards the slower pace of the novel, because Christine repeats herself so much, particularly earlier on. You could argue that this is made necessary by the subject matter - she has amnesia, after all - but as a reader I admit I found it a little dull at times. At the same time, it did mean that as each piece of the puzzle fell into place, it had quite an impact. Like Christine, I had to read between the lines as the daily entries built up, trying to work out how her returning memories fit together, who she could trust and what might really have happened to her. It was a good mental workout!
I'd certainly say that this is a thought-provoking novel. It really makes you think about how an individual's identity and sense of self is tied to memory, to a personal history filled with experiences and people and places, and how bewildering it would be to have to start afresh every day. There are little moments scattered through the book that really hammer home how carefully Watson must have had to consider each and every page, and how impossible a linear narrative would have been without the journal. Christine doesn't know about 9/11 and the war on terror, for example. She's never seen a mobile phone before, has no knowledge of her own middle-aged body, and has no real feeling of love for Ben because to all intents and purposes, she's meeting him for the first time each morning. This would be a great novel for a book club, because there's just so much potential for discussion - in fact, there are a set of questions at the end of the book for that purpose. I'd definitely recommend it - just don't make the mistake of expecting a fast and frenetic read like I did!
I loved SJ Watson's skilled writing and was looking forward to reading more by him.
I sadly did not enjoy SJ Watson's second book, 'Second Life' due to an annoying plot.
But I cannot wait for his third 'Blackwood Bay' which due to be released June 2018 and hope he is back on form.
Absolutely fantastic debut thriller. Yes as stated in earlier reviews it is definitely unputdownable. Loved the references to Crouch End and Ally Pally which is where the book is based. The film itself which is quite disappointing does not do justice to this book so don't be put off if you saw the movie first. Give the book a chance.
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