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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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3,1662871,768 (3.74)1 / 142
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)

Recently added byyougotamber, jellcc, wimtimperman, etbm2003, rena70, agentrv007, private library

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English (268)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (286)
Showing 1-5 of 268 (next | show all)
Ilmselt siis, kui raamat ilmus ja pealkiri meediast läbi jooksis- jäi see mind kummitama. Ilma, et ma oleks teadnud, millest lugu räägib, sai sest mulle nagu mingi mantra: Ei Tohi Magama Jääda.
Kuna mind on karistatud küllusliku unevajadusega, oli seda enda korrale kutsumiseks hea kasutada.

Loe edasi
http://indigoaalane.blogspot.com/2014/03/sj-watson-ei-tohi-magama-jaada.html ( )
  Indigoaalane | Jul 18, 2014 |
Good thriller. ( )
  INorris | Jun 22, 2014 |
Before I Go To Sleep is both a suspenseful, intriguing page turner. But also a reasonably pedestrian, reasonably predictable unfolding of a premise. I enjoyed it, would recommend it, but it was nowhere near the level of spine tingling amazement one can get with a good book by Ruth Rendell, Harlan Coben, or many others.

The book begins when a woman wakes up wondering who the man next to her in bed is. Then she learns that he is her husband, she has a peculiar form of amnesia that resets her memory every night when she goes to sleep, leaving her unable to remember anything before about college. So every day she has to start from scratch, learning her husband, her way around the house, forming new memories that get erased in the morning.

The woman, Christine, meets with a doctor who hands her a journal she has been keeping of her memories over the previous several weeks. And then the suspense begins.

The book feels workmanlike because the journal reads like a novel, the clues are obvious and surrounded with the literary equivalents of neon lights, and everything unfolds somewhat slowly and predictably. It feels like the author could have done more with his premise, the device of a journal, and the unreliability of memory.

That said, it is still a page turner and leaves one fascinated about what life would be like if every day began from scratch. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Before I Go to Sleep was very successful for me - unsettling and engrossing. Written primarily as a series of journal entries recorded by a woman who has lost both her memory of her past and her ability to form new memories, this book was so unsettling and really made me think about how vulnerable and isolated people with more realistic disabilities and chronic medical conditions can be. Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of who she is, how old she is, where she is, who the man in bed beside her is. Each morning she must relearn these things by looking at photos her husband has taped to the bathroom mirror and listening to his retelling of her past. She has been in this condition for nearly 20 years, since being the victim of a hit and run, according to her husband.

Well, of course, things are not as they seem, or we wouldn't be reading this book. Christine discovers that she's been seeing a psychologist behind Ben (her husband)'s back and - at the psychologist's suggestion - keeping a secret journal. He calls her every day to tell her where to find it and remind her to write in it. When the book opens, Christine has re-discovered her journal, started reading and found scrawled inside the cover a message to herself "Don't Trust Ben." So she begins to read, to attempt to figure out what is going on in her life. What she finds reveals a pattern of lies and inconsistencies that at first are explained away by Ben, Christine, and the psychologist as Ben's attempt to shield Christine from everything that she has lost because of the accident and prevent her from reliving these losses every day. Christine reads that (according to Ben), she has a history of paranoia and dissociative behavior; this, combined with the fact that she cannot remember writing down the words in her own journal, leads her to question the journal's veracity as well. Is she being manipulated? By whom? Is she simply nuts?

I thought this way of conveying information was very clever. At first, the reader - like Christine - only knows what Christine is told or what she reads. But because the reader - unlike Christine - can remember things and more easily see connections and inconsistencies, the truth will dawn on the reader long before it comes to Christine. Some readers found this annoying, I thought it worked to underscore how vulnerable Christine was and heighten the tension.

The one major weak point was the ending, which seemed at first to be rather unbelievable and neat - everything is resolved, the heroine has come through a traumatic experience relatively unscathed and everyone is happy. But the more I reflected on this, the more I wondered if the ending could also be read as actually fairly dark. It seemed possible to me that the author meant the reader to once again split his/her perspective from Christine's and see that while everything has been neatly wrapped up from Christine's point of view, the reader should remember Christine's earlier acceptance of simplistic explanations and be wary of seeing this as a happy, tidy ending.

Major plot spoilers providing more specific detail related to this line of thinking follow. Perhaps I am just fooling myself, attributing more cleverness to the author than is warranted, but otherwise the ending is just too shiny in a way that strains credulity. Christine's real husband (yes, the Ben that she spends most of her time with in the book is, of course, not really her husband) has an affair with her best friend, divorces her, leaves her for nearly 20 years, and then suddenly appears revealing he's never stopped loving her and Christine is like "oh, ok, great." No questions asked, now they're back together again? How can the reader not think of everything Christine is ignoring that is wrong in this situation? Or the fact that Christine was waltzed out of a home for disabled people nearly four months ago by a man claiming to be her husband and her supposed best friend and her grown son didn't notice and didn't try to contact her or her husband during this time? Her friend dismisses the lack of contact with the son as "he's been busy and it's far away" and Christine accepts that weak-a$$ explanation just like she accepted fake Ben's other weak-a$$ explanations. That's too f*cked up for me to believe it's a plot hole the author just didn't notice. Christine may not be in the same kind of dangerous charade of a life as before, but I cannot believe that the reader is meant to accept that everything is now ok. Even if we're meant to believe that she is regaining her memory - which could also be a lie, since she's remembered and forgotten things before and can only rely on her unreliable journal and the claims of others on the matter of her memory - she is still incredibly isolated and vulnerable and utterly dependent on others.

With my reading of the ending of this book, I'd give it five stars. ( )
1 vote fannyprice | Jun 15, 2014 |
4.5 stars! This book grabbed me from beginning... What a ride! ( )
  patsaintsfan | May 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 268 (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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I was born tomorrow
today I live
yesterday killed me

For my mother, and for Nicholas
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The bedroom is strange.
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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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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921758155, 1921758988

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