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Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S. J.…

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by S. J. Watson

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3,3362941,631 (3.74)1 / 153
Title:Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel
Authors:S. J. Watson
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Tags:memory loss, mystery, suspense, 2012, women authors, identity, amnesiacs, journaling

Work details

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (2011)


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English (275)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 275 (next | show all)
Loved it- kept me guessing until the end! ( )
  sgraham66 | Nov 27, 2014 |
A chilling read about an obviously intelligent woman who becomes reliant on the 'memories' other people offer her. When she begins to keep a journal, however, some dark discrepancies come to the fore. A clever book with some good - if, at times, slightly predictable - twists. ( )
  donnambr | Nov 27, 2014 |
Having not read any reviews of this book I started it as a fresh blank canvas.
I found this book is so exciting I could not put it down, no really, I couldn’t stop reading. I started reading just before 8am and finished it around 9.30pm. An edge of the seat read, each ‘day’ bringing a new roller coaster of emotions.

The plot not only explores the notion that memories define us but shows a hint of personality being more than memories. It stops and makes you think about yourself and your own memories, you try and imagine yourself in Christine’s place…not knowing…

It is a book that lingers in your mind after you have finished, you search back into your own memory to see if there was a point that you guessed the outcome. Nope, I didn’t guess right up until the end.

Psychological thrillers can often be a disappointment, but this one is so intriguing you cannot let the story go.

Watson shows how scary it must be to wake up in a strange house, next to a strange man, and seeing yourself 20 years older that you know yourself to be, every single day. A husband you don’t remember, and your own face aged.

I loved the characters in this book, as they performed different to how I wanted them to, and there was always a hint of not really knowing anyone.

I could imagine the way Christine starts each day as if its the first day of your life. The loneliness it must create. Being based on the life of amnesiacs, this also has a small resonance of living with dementia, when you can wake up in the morning having forgotten the past few days, progressing to not knowing your own family members, living each day in isolation.

I usually find that films do not match up to the excitement of the book, although if it stays true to Watson’s story it will be worth watching.

Psychological thriller at its best - no question about that. Nicely written this is a must read.
( )
  greatbookescapes | Nov 20, 2014 |
I picked this up because I wanted to read it before the movie came out. I had the brilliant idea of listening to it on tape with my 15 year old daughter. Not so great after all. The sexual content left me racing to snap it off on more than one occasion. It got to the point that I really got tired of hearing about her husbands penis. The narrator of the story did a fantastic job though. I loved hearing the story through her British accent.

The crux of the story is Christine has suffered some sort of accident that has left her without any memories of what happened and even worse she starts from scratch every time she wakes up. If I had to live with someone that I had to explain everything to every single day I think I would go crazy. Her ever present husband seems to have the patience of Job and soldiers on with the endless explanations. Eventually Christine keeps a journal which helps her to slowly put the bits and pieces of her life back together.

The first part of this book went so slowly. Fortunately the plot gained traction as the story went on. If I just listened to the first and the last CD's I think I could have gotten everything from the book. I didn't figure out the twist at the end but once I heard it I realized that the entire plot of this book seems lifted out of the 1987 movie Overboard staring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. In the movie the amnesia story was told with a more humorous bent than the thriller angle achieved by this novel but it's basically the same plot. Both the movie and the book require a suspension of belief as some pretty implausible things happen. At points I just really wanted to shake Christine and yell her at to get some common sense. The big reveal at the end was pretty good though and almost made up for the dragging start in the first half of the book. I am looking forward to seeing what Nicole Kidman does with the role of Christine. ( )
  arielfl | Nov 18, 2014 |
Enjoyable thriller about a woman who loses her entire memory every time she goes to sleep. The book labours a little in the middle, but although the end is not a total shock, it is well written and the description of the central character's paranoia is well done imagined ( )
  PIER50 | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 275 (next | show all)
What if you woke up every morning, confused and lost? What if the body you woke up in was not the body you remember going to sleep in? What if you were oblivious to the events of the last 30 years of your life? Memories are what define all of us as people. But when you wake up, tangled in lies, visions and fleeting images of memories that seem to dark and fiction to seem real, how do you make sense of that?

Welcome to the life of Christine Lucas, a middle aged woman suffering from extreme amnesia, who has no memory of what happened in her life for her past 30 years. When she sleeps, her memory melts away, like snow on a spring day.

The highly acclaimed, internationally best seller is truly a suspenseful, interesting and gripping book that will keep you entertained for all 356 pages of it. For lovers of Mysteries, this is a must read book, and I highly recommend it to everybody.
added by davidboot | editEnglish 9, David Boot (Jan 28, 2013)
What if you woke up every morning, confused and lost, and unfamiliar with your own reflection in the mirror? What would you do when you wake up, tangled in lies, visions and fleeting images of memories that seem to dark and fiction to seem real?

Welcome to the life of Christine Lucas, a victim of an unsettling accident leaving her unable to retain memories for longer than 24 hours. When she sleeps, her memory melts away, like snow on a spring day. Keeping a diary of her daily events, she fits the pieces of her life puzzle together; she reaches a disturbing conclusion.

The Journal style format of this book creates a truly unique style of writing, one that truly pulls you into the struggles of Christine’s daily life. The narration gives the reader a striking insight into the daily battle of discovering her identity. However, the style of daily journal entries can make the book slow at parts, but much like a roller coaster, it is all simply preparation for the plunge of excitement.

For lovers of mysteries and psychological thrillers, this is a must read book. However, I still highly recommend it to everybody. The sudden flashbacks, the distorted images and the faint impression that things are not at all what they seem. This book will make you rethink all of your unclear memories; it will keep you extremely entertained.

added by davidboot | editEnglish 9, David Boot (Jan 27, 2013)
The ending feels hurried; a sentimental postscript to the meticulously plotted main event. But these are minor gripes. Before I Go to Sleep is an enjoyable and impressive first novel. Like the best of its thematic predecessors, it is also an affecting moral allegory: don't forget your loved ones. Or else.
The most unnerving aspect of Before I Go to Sleep is the way it is rooted in the domestic, the suburban, the trivial. Forget whizz-bang futurism: it proceeds from ordinary life in tiny, terrifying steps, and is all the better for it.
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.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 1, 2011)
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Important places
Important events
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I was born tomorrow
today I live
yesterday killed me

For my mother, and for Nicholas
First words
The bedroom is strange.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
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...

Memories define us.

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.

Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis — all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac.

With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion.

What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted?

Haiku summary
To Christine, each day
Is a blank page. Who can she
Trust? Can we trust her?

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An amnesiac attempts to reconstruct her past by keeping a journal and discovers the dangerous inconsistencies in the stories of her husband and her secret doctor.

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921758155, 1921758988

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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