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Before I Go To Sleep Paperback – 14 Aug 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 4,624 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; Film Tie-In edition (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784160016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784160012
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,624 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Quite simply the best debut novel I've ever read"

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

"A deft, perceptive exploration of a fascinating neurological condition, and a cracking good thriller"

"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"

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

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson is a psychological thriller with a clever but potentially restrictive concept behind it: Christine, the narrator, is suffering from a severe form of memory loss that causes her to wake up each morning with no memory of the day before. Now 47, she can remember nothing past her early 20s. Every day, she awakes horrified to see her middle-aged self in the mirror and to find herself living with Ben, a husband she doesn't recognise, in a house she's never seen.

If this sounds rather limiting, don't worry. Watson gets round the issue of Christine's short term memory by having her write a journal every day at the suggestion of the mysterious Dr Nash, who calls her daily to remind her where it's hidden, and it's this journal that makes up a large portion of the novel and which Christine uses to piece together what's been happening to her over the previous days. And written on the first page, in large capital letters, are the words 'DON'T TRUST BEN'.

Before I Go To Sleep is a tense, claustrophobic read with a heroine in an almost unbearably vulnerable position, trying to piece together decades of her own life from scraps of conflicting information from people who, despite their claims to know her, might just as well be strangers. To make matters worse, Christine knows she's suffered from paranoia in the past along with her memory loss, and may not be an objective judge of other's motives. But despite Christine's necessary vulnerability, she makes a strong and complex heroine and certainly one who is not without flaws. Watson manages to build enough interest into her character to prevent her from becoming merely a damsel in distress.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting psychological thriller. Tempts you to read more and more and cannot put down the book - Couldn't stop reading it. In some places is quite predictable but i could not predict such an ending! Mystery, thrill was leading while reading this book.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book I could not put down once I started reading. The premise is intriguing: What if when you woke up every morning, you could not remember anything of the day before or any day before that. You wake up beside an unknown man, who says he is Ben; your husband. He becomes your only sense of understanding your life by gently and lovingly explaining everything, as much as he seems able, each and every day.....curious for more aren't you, so reas the book!!
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!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I definitely liked this book - but not as much as I expected to when I eagerly pre-ordered it in January. I think this was mostly because of the word 'thriller' emblazoned across it; for me that conjures expectations of a taut, suspenseful page-turner, when in fact it was more of a slow-burning literary novel that just happened to have a crime driving it forwards. It was a great book, just not in the way I expected when I started reading, and I think that dented my overall enjoyment somewhat.

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.
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