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104 Reviews
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from beginning to end
First let me say that this book is nothing like Fifty First Dates; the main point being that this is a thriller not a comedy. If you were to compare it to a movie, Momento would be a better choice. Yes, it's another story involving amnesia but it's good.

I read this book in one sitting. The premise is rather simple but the way the story unfolds is completely...
Published on June 17 2011 by Slomacs

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good...but....
This book was beautifully written. It was quite interesting to read about amnesia and how it affects the lives of the victim and his/her family. I thought the book dragged on quite a bit however, I was waiting for something to happen, and had to wait until the very end. However, SJ Watson still kept readers somewhat interested with little hints here and there of what was...
Published on Nov. 8 2011 by M. LeB


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous, Feb. 26 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
Was looking forward to reading Before I Go To Sleep and enjoyed the first 250 but, then it became predictable & monotonous. As for the ending, you knew the twist was coming so no surprise. Character development isn't one of the strong suits of the novel, neither is it's originality. Good as a quick read but, lacks depth if you're looking for something with more substance.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Before the author puts me to sleep, March 14 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
This book stinks. A reasonably good story line is buried under tons of sloppy research and stilted writing. The female voice is unconvincing. The author has done too little research on amnesia which he then attempts to mitigate by forcing the psychiatrist to tell us that this case is really unusual. The only unusual thing about the story is that this book is on a bestseller list.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, Sept. 30 2014
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Predictable, thin story line but does hold your attention to see if you're right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When all information is new, and all new information creates suspense, July 4 2011
By 
Andre Farant (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, April 12 2012
By 
Clarissa (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
The writing is pedestrian and consists almost entirely of dialogue. There is so little description of houses or people that you can't even imagine them. You develop no interest in the main character and so don't really care if she lives or dies. It's a drab little mystery novel that was published because they thought they could sell it. And they did.
But this is a thriller at the absolute lowest most inept level. God, it was boring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but the ending is a let down, Oct. 26 2011
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, Oct. 19 2011
By 
Teresa Piorun (Mission, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
This book was amazing. It took a little to get into it... But the ending was so unsuspecting and exciting! I highly HIGHLY recomend this book! I couldn't put it down. I'm a pretty slow reader and finished it in 2 days! Amazing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT IS LEFT WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR MEMORY?, Sept. 9 2011
By 
Janet B "Jan B" (Montreal, Quebec, CANADA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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The story begins with Christine a 27 year old woman who wakes up one morning with a strange man by her side and in a strange bed. She believes that this strange man beside her must be a one-night-stand. She probably drank too much and can't remember.She then goes into the bathroom and looks in the mirror and finds an unfamiliar, middle-aged face peering at her. The man comes in and explains that he is her husband, Ben and that she is 47 years old and was in a terrible accident 20 years ago which left her with a head injury.

Ben is a school teacher and one day while at work, Christine receives an unusual call from a Dr. Nash, a neuropsychologist who claims to be interested in her case and has been working with her, leading her to keep a journal of her daily activities and thoughts. He lets her know that her husband is unaware of him, his calls and sessions with her She then hides her journal in the back of her closet and does not tell her husband. You wonder if Dr. Nash is sincerely interested in helping her regain her memory or part of it OR is he interested in furthering his career? She asks Ben what her life was like before the accident. Why did she and Ben not have any children? What did she work at before the accident? What Happened in that terrible accident that caused her loss of memory? Every day when she wakes up, she has no memory of what she had done the day before, until she reads her journal when Ben goes to work. She has flash backs and records every little thing and every activity. This continues until............................

This novel is paced very well and is believable. Every page holds your interest until the thriller ending. This novel has to be one of the best reads of 2011.

FELICITATIONS Mr. Watson for an outstanding debut novel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Before I go to sleep, Feb. 19 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
An interesting story but not very fast-paced. I found quite a bit of repetition which didn't allow the story to flow well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts with promise, but meanders to an unsatisfying close, Oct. 17 2011
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
The novel begins with promise, and the premise is interesting enough, but it falls short. It is interesting in the beginning, and keeps you hooked with the continual questions it raises -- who is this woman? Who can she trust? How did this happen to her?

But eventually, the novel drags on far too long, and you begin to lose some interest. In the last few chapters, I was rushing to the ending that felt like it was slapped on to achieve some closure, in a hurry.

The book is good, but not great. I disagree with those who believe it is the best of the YEAR.
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Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep by S.j Watson (Paperback - June 6 2011)
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