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Before I Go To Sleep
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4 sur 4 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 4 juillet 2011
For the most part thrillers focus primarily on plot while the main character and narrator fall into one of a very limited number of categories. For the most part, the Mc will be brilliant, a member of law enforcement, and highly moral. With this archetype as his or her base, the thriller author has only to paste on a few distinguishing characteristics, making his or her hero a black single dad, a quadriplegic criminalist, or a female forensic anthropologist. In these novels it is the events of the plot that are of importance, not so much the characters who participate in these events.

However, there have been, of late, a string of somewhat more literary thrillers that focus on the mundane aspects of daily life, relying on a unique narrative voice to imbue these otherwise banal events with suspense. Emma Donaghues' novel Room, in which the narrator is a five year old boy who has been raised in captivity, is such a book. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, in which a young girl follows the aftermath of her rape and murder from a heavenly vantage point, is another. These novels create tension and suspense by presenting their plots through a unique lens.

S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep is the latter sort of thriller. His narrator is a woman named Christine and she is incapable of creating new memories. Every morning she awakes without any knowledge of the past twenty-odd years. In fact, her lost memories include some that predate the event that led to her condition. Every day begins only with questions and mysteries, so that even the most basic of information is, to her, a shocking revelation. She does not recognize her husband, nor does she remember her wedding day, or the day they met. She does not know what she studied in school, or which career she embarked upon after graduation. She does not remember what she ate the day before, or how she might have acquired that bruise above her eye.

Comparisons can be made to the film Memento, but Christine's condition is more akin to that suffered by Drew Barrymore in the terrible Adam Sandler comedy 50 First Dates. But here Watson treats Christine's situation, and the trail of truths, half-truths and lies she must navigate, with chilling seriousness.

Watson's debut hooks and reels you in with a fascinating exploration of daily life skewed by its protagonist's unique perspective, not unlike Genova's Still Alice, but there's a sharper, hidden edge to this particular tale . . .
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2 sur 2 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 26 octobre 2011
I could NOT put this book down. I was engrossed throughout the whole novel - trying to figure out what was going to happen with Christine.

The only downfall of the book, was that it seemed it was almost anti-climatic. 3/4 of the book builds the reader up & as the reader, you think you're getting close to a fulfilling, detailed ending. But, before you know it, the book is over & the ending leaves a lot to be desired. Watson definitely could have spent more time developing the ending, instead of wasting the reader's time by repeating over & over that Christine has just woken up & has to look at the photos around the bathroom mirror...
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1 sur 1 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 24 février 2012
A well-written book. Easy read and gripping enough to keep you occupied for the week.
Nothing overly complicated or technical, pacing of the novel was excellent. I disagree with reviewers who said it was too repetitive - it's called character development people! You're dealing with an amnesiac who can't form new memories...what did you expect?!

Don't expect to learn a lot about the condition as it is not very scientific (which were my expectations). Instead, this is a nice intro and might urge those interested to delve a little deeper into neurological conditions.

Readers should not rate this book poorly because of the "idea" they had in mind was not met, or the misconceptions led by other readers. Rate it for what it is. A great debut for the author. S. J. Watson has lots of potential & it will be nice to see where his career leads him.

Sit back and enjoy :)
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1 sur 1 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 9 février 2012
I read this book in about 2 days, I just wanted to see it through. It was like a maze, everytime I thought I had it figured out, it would throw me another curve ball making me question if I was right. I did figure it out about half way through the book but felt compelled to see it through. Even though I figured it out, the ending made it all the lose ends come together.
If you like mystery/suspense then read this book.
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BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson has been made into a movie which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and the book is an International Bestseller.

Before I decide whether or not to go see the movie, I thought I would read the book to see if it lives up to the hype.

Imagine losing your memory every time you go to sleep. (Think of Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates for a comedic take on this situation.)
However, seriously speaking, it would be horrible to wake up every morning with no memories. Just the thought of this makes me shudder and cringe. Basically, people could tell you anything and you would have to believe them. But, with no memories, who do you trust? Are they telling you the truth?

Christine wakes up in a strange bed with a man who appears to be much older than her. She is in her late twenties and thinks she must have blacked out the previous night from too much drinking. When she looks again at the man beside her, she notices he is wearing a wedding ring. She is horrified that she has blacked out a one night stand with a man who is not only much older than her, but is also married.

She stumbles to the bathroom and sees her reflection in the mirror. She is terrified. The face looking back at her is not familiar at all. It is the face of someone at least twenty years older than herself. She also notices that she is wearing a wedding ring.

She then notices pictures taped to the bathroom mirror. They are pictures of her and the man in the bed. There are captions with the pictures and they show a progression of years with herself aging before her eyes. The picture of the man is labelled "Your Husband - Ben".

He informs her that she had an accident at the age of 29 and sustained head injuries that cause her to have severe memory problems. She is scared and confused and Ben assures her that he will always take care of her.

She starts to keep a secret diary and adds facts each day. What she discovers is a life filled with tragedy and secrets. She has written DON'T TRUST BEN inside the cover of the diary. Why did she write it? Why is Ben lying to her? What isn't he telling her?

The reveal is terrific and readers will be kept on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

A great read - although it is repetitive, but, so is her life. She has to relearn everything every day. The author does a great job of portraying her confusion and frustration.

I rate this as 4 out of 5 stars. It is definitely worth reading.
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Really, really enjoyed this one even though suspense/thrillers aren't my usual genre. The premise here reminds me of the movie 50 First Dates -girl wakes up each morning with no memories of the previous day(s) and essentially relives each new day as her first, being told about her accident and looking at photographs of her missing life. This isn't a comedy though. The story here is dark and mysterious, with an impending sense of everyone/everything is not as it seems. As the reader you have the task of trying to figure it out who the bad guy is, who's lying to Christine and why. I didn't figure that out or see the big twist coming until I was right on top of it, so this was a super fun read for me.

At times the story does get repetitive because we're continually in Christine's head, being retold or reading and relearning everything from her journal over and over again. By the same token the first person narrative also got to be a bit much but really this couldn't have been written any other way.

We begin with Christine waking up in a stranger's bed. She can't remember how she got there but her twenty-something self tells her that she must have hooked up with the man at a party. Christine is not hung over though and soon learns that she's no longer in twenties either but from the same decade as the middle aged man washing up in the bathroom. And now he's telling her that he's her husband Ben, and that she suffered a devastating injury resulting in a rare form of amnesia, leaving her unable to retain memories from one day to the next.

Left alone Christine begins to putter about the house, what does she do all day anyways? Does it matter? She soon receives a phone call from a man claiming to be her Doctor; he explains that she has been keeping a journal and where it is hidden. It is through this journal that Christine begins to piece her life back together, forming a fragmented picture from those she is supposed to trust. But not everything adds up and as the days go by and the journal entries get longer Christine realizes that she is receiving two different versions of her life from her Doctor and her husband.

Relying completely on the journal Christine begins testing her husband and finally doubting herself as confusing memories return. Are they real? When the last day's journal entry reads "Don't trust Ben" who will she turn to? What is the truth?

I found this scary and sad in the sense that Christine has lost 20 years of her life. Imagine being in college and waking up at 45! Repeating the same day over and over, not knowing what is real, just relying on those you think you can trust. Realizing that you've probably been having the same conversations, asking the same questions and being told the same horrible truths (lies) every day.

This was a great read, it's not perfect but made me stop and think. It has also been optioned for film by Ridley Scott's production company. And I think it will make a fantastic movie
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1 sur 1 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 11 janvier 2012
I really enjoyed the book, it is told in a very intriguing way- which created a thrilling anticipation to the climax of the story. I must have read the book cover to cover in a couple of days, as I really couldn't put it down! I would definitely recommend it to fellow amazonians, although because of its mystery/thriller nature it's not really a repeat read.
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Before starting the review, I want to let you know that I seen the '50 first Dates' and 'The Vow' movies while I was reading the book. I can assure you that the book is not like those two movies.

Okay so where to begin. At first I felt like the title was really well chosen : Before 'I' go to Sleep. Like in other review, I had hard time to stay awake while reading the book (I even fell asleep on it once). But I would say the rhythm change a little bit in the second half of the book (around page 170). You can see the character evolve and you will start to love the book. Then in part 3, you will keep learning things until the end of the book. I have to confess that I guess the ending of the book a few pages before it was told. I will not tell more so I won't reveal any details of the book.

Would I recommend this ? Not to everyone. I would not qualify this as a Thriller, suspense nor action book. It's not even a psychological story.
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1 sur 1 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 10 novembre 2012
A well written, exciting book by S.J. Watson. Written so that you felt like you were Christine, experiencing each day as she does. Sure, about 3/4 of the way through you can see what's coming...so what? It's still exciting, still worth the read. Will read it again I'm sure.
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1 sur 1 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
le 16 février 2012
I'm one of those people who has to be in the mood to read or to push myself to pick up a book. I read this book in 2 days. I couldn't put it down!! It was so interesting and unlike anything I've read before!
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