Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.Every day, Christ...

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Title:Before I Go to Sleep
Author:S.J. Watson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Before I Go to Sleep Reviews

  • Lou

    I am writing this down in my journal

    I must do this otherwise I fear tomorrow I might not remember anything.

    Anything about the book I read today or about me or my wife, well she says she is.

    I woke up this morning and my eyes were cast upon a striking beautiful woman in an even more striking body wearing nice lingerie that fits like a glove.

    I have no idea at that moment who she is, she says she's my wife but I don't remember being married! I am trying to piece together my lif

    I am writing this down in my journal

    I must do this otherwise I fear tomorrow I might not remember anything.

    Anything about the book I read today or about me or my wife, well she says she is.

    I woke up this morning and my eyes were cast upon a striking beautiful woman in an even more striking body wearing nice lingerie that fits like a glove.

    I have no idea at that moment who she is, she says she's my wife but I don't remember being married! I am trying to piece together my life.

    All this is too much to muster I have been told I was in an accident I had fallen over an egg and banged my head. Strange but I don't remember this, this is what she my wife tells me.

    I need to write this in my oh so important journal otherwise I will run through the same routine again and not recollect her or the egg.

    Oh yes that book before I forget this book has inspired me to write more into this journal as the female protagonist is in same situation as me. Her story is ever so more gripping, its tense I am almost glued to the pages her quest is heart warming and heartbreaking I felt tears of joy and sadness on the completion of her story. The story is in the first-person narrative and flows in a visceral fashion. They say it can be cured what we have if we piece together our past and write, I hope so.

    The story was something fresh and different well worth the read. When I wake up tomorrow I must remember on reading this journal that I have to share these thoughts and write a review.

  • Emily May

    I've had my eye on this book since before it was released and last night I decided it was finally time. I really wanted a psychological thriller that would keep me guessing. And did it deliver? Well, let's just say I was up until 2am, partly because this book is unputdownable, and partly because it's a little hard to turn the light off and go to sleep afterwards.

    is about a woman called Christine who wakes up every morn

    I've had my eye on this book since before it was released and last night I decided it was finally time. I really wanted a psychological thriller that would keep me guessing. And did it deliver? Well, let's just say I was up until 2am, partly because this book is unputdownable, and partly because it's a little hard to turn the light off and go to sleep afterwards.

    is about a woman called Christine who wakes up every morning with no memory of who she is. Through labeled pictures and the help of her husband, every day she pieces together her life and learns of the accident that made her this way. But then a visit from a mysterious doctor leads her towards the private journal she has been writing to herself - a journal that tells her things might not be as they seem and the one person she should be able to trust could be lying.

    Personally,

    . I loved almost everything about it. Christine was a complex and interesting character - I was pulled so far inside her mind that the novel's events literally made my heart pound. I love how creepy the novel is and I very much enjoyed almost but not quite figuring out the reveals at the end.

    For me, the best kind of thrillers are those where the story is strong enough that it isn't ruined by an astute reader. In other words - if you guess what is going to happen, it doesn't

    matter. And I think this is one of those books. Towards the end, I started to figure things out, but rather than being disappointed, it made me hang on the author's every word in anticipation and horror.

    Also, the reveals are multi-layered. So there is not just one big twist/reveal, but many things to discover over the course of the book. I like this much more.

    The biggest complaints from people who didn't like this book are a) it is as realistic as

    and b) it gets a little repetitive around the middle. Both are true, but neither bothered me. I'll tell you why.

    The book gets a little repetitive when Christine must first read her journal every day to understand everything. The book obviously doesn't go into details each time, but I can understand why people didn't like it. I, on the other hand, didn't mind. In fact, I thought it dragged out the suspense even more and had me mentally freaking out over what would come next.

    .

    As for being realistic, the author manufactures a fictional type of amnesia in order for the story to work - an amnesia in which Christine remembers almost nothing of her short term memory, but is able to retain her short term memory for the length of her waking hours. It is reset overnight. But, to be honest, I absolutely love reading about weird rare illnesses, particularly psychological ones. And there are so many strange, unbelievable illnesses out there that it wasn't difficult for me to suspend disbelief and imagine that a rare amnesia of this sort could exist.

    If you think, like me, you could overlook the issues above, I don't see why you wouldn't like this. Very different, very unsettling, and very enjoyable.

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  • Jeanette

    I can overlook a lot of bogus-tude for a good story, but this one exceeded my implausibility tolerance threshold. The analytical portion of my brain wants to give this an even lower rating, but it did hold my interest, so I have to be fair. It has a sinister edge that keeps you reading---at least until you start figuring everything out long before it's revealed.

    If I listed all the laughable incongruities and convenient coincidences, I'd ruin it for people who just want an absorbing escape read.

    I can overlook a lot of bogus-tude for a good story, but this one exceeded my implausibility tolerance threshold. The analytical portion of my brain wants to give this an even lower rating, but it did hold my interest, so I have to be fair. It has a sinister edge that keeps you reading---at least until you start figuring everything out long before it's revealed.

    If I listed all the laughable incongruities and convenient coincidences, I'd ruin it for people who just want an absorbing escape read. If you're capable of turning off the eye-rolling, "hey, no way!" part of your mind, you'll probably love it.

    S.J. Watson, I wince in your general direction. I scoff at your predictability. But hey, 'gratties on the movie option.

  • Jason

    My negative attitude is a ruse, I swear it. I am such a positive little outlooker. Nearly every book I read starts off with five stars in my head. It barely has to earn anything; it just has to hold on to what it started with. But wow, this book fell off a cliff or something! What the hell happened??

    First let’s back the truck out of these plot holes and start from the beginning.

    The premise of this psychological thriller is fairly straightforward. The first person narrator has amnesia. More speci

    My negative attitude is a ruse, I swear it. I am such a positive little outlooker. Nearly every book I read starts off with five stars in my head. It barely has to earn anything; it just has to hold on to what it started with. But wow, this book fell off a cliff or something! What the hell happened??

    First let’s back the truck out of these plot holes and start from the beginning.

    The premise of this psychological thriller is fairly straightforward. The first person narrator has amnesia. More specifically, she has a mythical combination of several different forms of amnesia which happen to

    . Maybe that should have been my first clue. She has retrograde amnesia as a result of a mysterious traumatic episode that occurred years earlier, and on top of this she has

    which affects her episodic memory: she cannot retain anything new. My second clue that this book would be an eye roller is that she has a short-term memory capacity of many hours—essentially an entire day’s worth—and it is erased only when she falls asleep, which flagrantly stretches the definition of anterograde amnesia by a large margin.¹

    So this unreliable narrator with her unreliable memory is trying to piece together the details of her life while basically having to start from scratch every day. I love the idea of this. I love the idea that without memory retention, one cannot build experiences and without experiences, he cannot forge interpersonal bonds with others, which means he cannot develop relationships or attain any kind of emotional maturity or love. He cannot even experience the feeling of

    because it would require a preexisting sense of

    combined with a knowledge of the past, both of which are conspicuously absent when you have to be reminded every morning that you have amnesia to begin with. There is no future, there is no past, there is no anticipation of anything. It is only the here and now. Because of my interest in this I was able to suspend my beliefs a bit regarding the nuances of the narrator’s form of amnesia.

    Still, Watson manages to muck it all up. The narrator’s sense of mistrust, confusion, and paranoia are there, but the frustration of her existence is glossed over at each subsequent sunrise for the sake of plot progression. And the ending, OH GOD THE ENDING. It devolves so quickly to predictable

    –style fare that all enthusiasm for the psychological part of the story is lost. Truly, I think this could have been a decent novel, I really do. Watson’s clichéd structure, though, leaves too much to be desired and the book simply does not live up to its potential.

    ¹After writing this review, I came across a

    by the author who sort of corroborates my assertion that the narrator’s form of anterograde amnesia is somewhat of a fabrication.

    .

  • Joe

    I only read reviews on Goodreads after I have read a book. I do this because after reading those reviews I wonder if I have read the same book as those reviewing it. Most start by giving a somewhat lengthly explanation of the plot of the book. Why? tell me what you thought. I know what it is about. I want to know what you thought of it. At this point I get really crazy because the opinions almost always are positive. I wish these people were my high school English teachers. I would have gotten A

    I only read reviews on Goodreads after I have read a book. I do this because after reading those reviews I wonder if I have read the same book as those reviewing it. Most start by giving a somewhat lengthly explanation of the plot of the book. Why? tell me what you thought. I know what it is about. I want to know what you thought of it. At this point I get really crazy because the opinions almost always are positive. I wish these people were my high school English teachers. I would have gotten A's for anything I wrote.

    This book has one thing going for it- a clever premise. After that it sinks quickly with an annoying narrator, bad writing, and a predictable ending. I used to wonder what many people get out of reading bad books. I now know. They think they are good books. Good luck. That is why James Patterson is making a fortune.

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