Before I Go To Sleep
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Before I Go To Sleep

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  102,065 ratings  ·  12,343 reviews
'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 y...more
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Harper (first published April 2011)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Paula I don't think anyone knew about the coffee shop. She was meeting him secretly. Apparently no one had any reason to believe he wasn't "Ben".

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
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....more
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...more
Lou
June 15th 2am 2011

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...more
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...more
Cassy
Jul 08, 2011 Cassy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cassy by: CNN 2011 article about summer reads
Sometimes I get flipped around while I sleep. My head ends up where my feet should be. As I wake up and wave my hand in the air for the nightstand, the freak out begins. Where the heck am I? It only lasts a few seconds before I figure it out, but the depth of my disorientation during those few seconds is always surprising to me.

So, the book and I were off to a good start when, on the page one, Christine wakes up confused in a strange room. Unfortunately for her, it is not as simple as seeing th...more
Mo Shah
Argh. What a frustrating book. I want someone else I know to read it so I can discuss it with them, to see if they agree with my conclusion. Sarah, you should read it and let me know what you think.

I really really liked this book in the beginning. The concept, while not strictly novel (I can recall maybe half a dozen stories where amnesia like this features prominently) is utilized to great effect. The mystery is initially built quite satisfactorily, and you're drawn in as a reader.

Fairly soon...more
Brenda
Oct 12, 2011 Brenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Brenda by: Michael
Shelves: favourites
Wow! What an amazing debut novel! I could not put this book down, it completely captivated me, I was wanting to know what would happen next, I was afraid with her, for what would happen next.....

Christine Lucas (Chrissy) goes to sleep each night, and wakes up in bed with someone she doesn't recognise, the house is unfamiliar, the clothing is not hers! The man she wakes up next to tells her he is her husband, Ben, they have been married for 22 years, they are very happy, and very in love. She had...more
Michael
I was recommending this book by one of my trusty Goodreads friends and while I wasn’t too sure about it I decided to give it a go. I was thinking this would be a book similar to 50 First Dates but what I go was a book that reminded me more of Memento. Before I Go to Sleep tells the story of Christine Lucas, who is trying to piece back her life after suffering an accident that has caused her to have anterograde amnesia. Chrissy can remember everything that happens to her during the day but as soo...more
Nikki
I picked this up somewhat on a whim. A couple of people had been talking about it, and I saw it in the Kindle store, and I just thought... fine, okay. I'll go for it. I read it in about four chunks. It's pretty riveting, actually. The unreliable narrator is reasonably well handled and as long as you're prepared to go along for the ride, it works reasonably well. I guessed the big twist fairly swiftly, then thought I'd got it wrong, and then it turned out my first guess was right. That was pretty...more
Alex
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barb
I had high hopes for this book to be a real nail-biter, edge-of-the-seat kind of thriller, that's what the testimonials and the promotional materials bill it as. Unfortunately for me it didn't live up to the hype.

I will say that it was easy to read and I read it in one day, eagerly anticipating the ending. However, what makes this story work is Watson's manipulation of reality in order to prolong the suspense. If the story had been more well grounded and believable I would have given it higher...more
Alex
Has anyone seen 50 First Dates?
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It's this fun, touching movie about a girl with a medical condition that prevents her from remembering the events of the previous day. This book is like that, only creepier and more depressing.

Imagine waking up every morning and not knowing the person sleeping beside you. Imagine looking in a mirror every morning and not recognizing your own face because you're 20 years older than the last memory of yourself. Imagine not trusting the person claiming to be your husb...more
Doug Bradshaw
From the very first sentence of the book I virtually became the protagonist, an amnesiac struggling to figure out who and where I am and why I'm in bed with this older man in a home I don't recognize and then when I look in the mirror, I barely recognize my reflection: this older woman with wrinkles and body starting to sag a little bit, naked and blank both mentally and physically, totally lost and scared and befuddled.

Every day is the same awakening until with the advice of a therapist, she s...more
Nicole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert
Christine proves rather reliable in her unreliability as a narrator. But it’s not exactly breaking character since she can’t remember shit. I’ve had traumatic experiences in my life, and I can’t remember that particular time period. My mind is blank. It’s like that particular event didn’t happen, except I remember the before and the after and there’s a crumpled car to prove to me that I’m not just making shit up in my head. And if your entire world revolves around your husband Ben and you sudden...more
Kinga
I had to finish reading this book before I went to sleep. I was afraid I would wake up and not remember a thing and would have to start all over again. I haven’t been this engrossed in a book for a long time. I missed my stop, I forgot to pay my bill at the café (I did return today to settle it and said I suffer from temporary memory loss), I bumped into things while read-walking.
It’s no wonder this book sold five hundred gabizzillion copies and translation rights everywhere including Atlantis...more
Petra X
If you lose your memory about people and events, then you lose yourself and you become the dupe for any and every scurrilous schemer because how can you tell who your friends are if you don't even remember them? And so it is for Christine who remembers only what she is told that day but can use a diary to remind herself of what she had remembered the day before. If you don't work out the ending, which isn't original but appropriate, then it's a really good read, if you do, well, it's still an ok...more
Maciek
Here is a One Sentence Review: Before I Go To Sleep is a nicely written, taut and suspenseful thriller, lacking complex characterization of most characters and suffering from some tin dialogue, but making up for these flaws with its paranoid atmosphere, developing tension nicely and systematically all the way through until the very end, though Shutter Island it is not and doesn't escape the descent into the maudlin soap opera territory, which leaves a sort of a bad taste, but knowing that film r...more
Thomas
I know how it feels like to be scared before going to sleep. One time I noticed a deadly looking fly in my bedroom but neglected to kill remove it - I spent the entire night afraid that the dreaded being would attack me as I lay defenseless in my covers.

Christine has it much worse. She forgets everything when she sleeps. After waking up, she doesn't remember anything about herself. She is shocked to see her aged body in the mirror, and shocked to see that she's married to a middle-aged man named...more
Michael
Imagine this. You wake up one morning in an unfamiliar bed with a man you dont recognise next to you. You go to the toilet only to realise your hands look different. You look in the mirror to see yourself only alot older than what you can remember. The man you seen in bed says he is your husband Ben and have been married for many years but you cant remember this man and you cant remember ever being married. This is what happens to Christine who has to go through the same thing every day.

Due to a...more
Pamela
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
La-Lionne
Edited on 9th of Feb. 2014
Fantastic news! Lovely Nicole Kidman will be playing Christine.
description

Movie will be in cinemas this spring!!!
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Steven Tyler, hit it!
"Well hell fire save matches, f*** a duck and see what hatches."
The duck hatched a gigantic mindf***.

- Spoiler free -

Short recap:
We have a woman in her forties who has a rare case of amnesia. Everytime she goes to sleep it wipes he memory clean. In the morning, when she w...more
Luanne Ollivier
You might have heard about Before I Go To Sleep - the debut novel of S. J. Watson. You might have heard that it's an addicting, incredibly well crafted, finely honed suspenseful tale that will leave you turning pages long into the night.

Everything you've heard? All that and more! What an amazing debut! Rights have been sold in thirty countries already and the film rights are sold as well.

Christine wakes up early and finds herself in bed with a middle aged man. One she doesn't know and can't quit...more
Amy
If you are looking for a psychological thriller that will have you guessing until the very last page what is happening, then I have the book for you. This is the best thriller that I have read this year and can hardly believe that it is the author’s first book.

Every single day Christine wakes up not knowing who she is, where she is, and who her husband is. It is the same scenario every day as she makes her way to the bathroom, where pictures are layered upon the mirror that explain who she is an...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

This really is my sort of thriller: psychology combined with mystery, no gore, and a puzzle that needs to be solved. If you’re interested in cognitive psychology then this is definitely a book for you.

Christine wakes up every morning thinking she is still in her early 20s until she looks in the mirror and realises she’s 47 years old. The bathroom is plastered with photographs but she has no recollection of her friends, fa...more
Rose Ann
Holy Poop! lol What a page turner!

I did not know how the author was going to be able to keep my interest...if Christine was waking up every morning, forgetting everything she learned from the day before. I was wrong!

I can't even imagine waking up every day not knowing where or who you are. Relying on a man who says he's your husband, a doctor that sees you secretly, and a journal. Starting new every day!
This journal she kept was her lifeline. Each day, creating her life story from scratch. If s...more
Buggy
“What are we if not an accumulation of our memories?”

Opening line: "The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don't know where I am."

Really, really enjoyed this one (thanks Tamster) 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 co...more
Jan
Initially, I thought the premise of the book would be a less comic "50 First Dates". I was wrong...very wrong. The story of Christine sucks you in right away and you immediately see how terrifying not remembering anything from your past would be, which Christine experiences each and every morning. From characters so real you feel you know them, the story unfolds via the journal her doctor requests she keep and read each morning. I heartily suggest you begin this book in the morning as you'll not...more
Megan
Amnesia, mystery, debut author… I’m a cynical girl and was expecting this combination to go wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised by Before I Go to Sleep. It is the story of Christine, a woman who wakes up everyday not realizing she is middle aged and married. Sometimes she wakes up thinking she is still in her twenties, sometimes a child, sometimes she wakes up not really knowing anything. Every day her husband explains to her that they have been married for many years, and that she lost her me...more
Delee
Christine Lucas wakes up every morning to unfamiliar surroundings and a husband she doesn't remember. When she looks in the mirror she sees herself much older than she remembers. She has barely any memories from her adult life. Every day is like a nightmare. Lost youth, lost time, lost memories, confusion and endless questions about what has happened. On the advice of her doctor Christine starts writing in a journal, and things start getting a little bit clearer.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP was a hard r...more
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Aussie Readers: Before I Go To Sleep 74 159 Aug 29, 2014 12:09PM  
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Flower Mound Publ...: Before I Go to Sleep 1 7 Jul 29, 2014 05:03PM  
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S J Watson was born in the UK, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years.

In 2011 Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, was released to critical acclaim. It has now been published in over 40 languages, and has become an international bestseller, winning numerous awards.

The movie of Before I Go To Sleep, starrring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, is due for worldw...more
More about S.J. Watson...
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“We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.” 148 likes
“What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?” 103 likes
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