Before I Go to Sleep (Chinese Edition) Info

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Reviews for Before I Go to Sleep (Chinese Edition):

4

Nov 21, 2013

“What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”
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.

Before I Go to Sleep is about a woman called Christine who wakes up every “What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”
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.

Before I Go to Sleep 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 found this book so thrilling. 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 really 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 The Time Traveler's Wife 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. I was never bored for a second.

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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1

Jul 21, 2011

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 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. ...more
3

Aug 12, 2011

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. ...more
2

Jul 14, 2011

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 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 co-exist simultaneously at the exact same time. 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 anterograde amnesia 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 anticipation because it would require a preexisting sense of future 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 Sleeping with the Enemy–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 blog post by the author who sort of corroborates my assertion that the narrator’s form of anterograde amnesia is somewhat of a fabrication. Sort of. ...more
1

Nov 30, 2011

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think I tend to judge books more harshly when I listen to them because I can't skim the text or skip parts that bore me. BUT I DON'T KNOW. MAYBE THAT'S JUST MORE HONEST.

Before I Go to Sleep is a highly improbable novel that's practically a fantasy. A very slow, drawn-out, horribly written fantasy. Christine, the protagonist, wakes up in a strange bed with a strange man. He tells her he's her husband, Ben, and she has amnesia -- she cannot form short-term memories. Think Memento. Hey, in fact, I think I tend to judge books more harshly when I listen to them because I can't skim the text or skip parts that bore me. BUT I DON'T KNOW. MAYBE THAT'S JUST MORE HONEST.

Before I Go to Sleep is a highly improbable novel that's practically a fantasy. A very slow, drawn-out, horribly written fantasy. Christine, the protagonist, wakes up in a strange bed with a strange man. He tells her he's her husband, Ben, and she has amnesia -- she cannot form short-term memories. Think Memento. Hey, in fact, this book is just like that movie! Determined to figure out the mystery of her past, Christine sees a doctor in secret and keeps a day-to-day journal. That's pretty much all you need to know.

The bulk of the book is Christine rereading her journal. Which is just ENDLESS accounts about how confusing and terrifying things are. Ugh, we get the point. Perhaps that would be realistic, but it's hardly INTERESTING for the reader. Throughout the book, one finds out (as Christine does) that her husband is lying to her about how she got amnesia (she was attacked; he tells her it's a car accident), her son (he says they have no kids; they had a son), her best friend moving away (nope), etc etc. Obviously something is creepily wrong, and yet Christine is like, "Hmmm. GUESS I'LL JUST STAY HERE WITH THIS CREEPY LYING DUDE."

We also discover that Christine was having an affair when she was attacked. WHICH IS ALSO WHEN I CALLED IT THAT BEN WAS ACTUALLY THE DUDE SHE WAS SLEEPING WITH. I didn't quite know how that was going to work, but when Claire (her best friend) was all, "GIRL THAT AIN'T BEN", I was like, "WHAT REALLY YOU WENT THERE, YOU FUCKER????"

BASICALLY, the dude Christine was having her affair with was super obsessed with her to the point of LUNATIC CRAZY and when she tried to break the whole thing off, he went BATSHIT and TRIED TO DROWN HER IN A HOTEL BATHROOM. Then, because her memory was so shoddy and awful, her loving husband Ben (apparently in this world "loving" means that he's a handsome successful vegan architect) is all like, "I CAN'T HANDLE THIS. I MUST LEAVE BECAUSE I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH AND THIS I AM CAUSING YOU SO MUCH DISTRESS. I'M GOING TO TAKE OUR SON AND LEAVE YOU IN THIS REHABILITATION CENTER." So then Crazy Dude, who's been staring at her through windows and shit this whole time, swoops in and...manages to convince the staff that HE's Ben (?????????????) and is all, "YUP I'M TOTES BEN. I'M GOING TO TAKE MY WIFE HOME NOW." So she's been living with CRAZY UNHINGED DUDE this WHOLE TIME and he's been masquerading as her husband!

I can't really go into how much I thought the plot sucked (it did; a lot, in case you were wondering) because my brain might implode. But one thing I do want to vent about is: HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO GET SOMEONE OUT OF A REHAB CENTER BY PRETENDING TO BE THEIR HUSBAND???? DO PEOPLE NOT CHECK RECORDS ANYMORE???? WHAT IS THIS SHIT??? DO REHAB CENTERS JUST LET ANYONE WALTZ OFF WITH CRITICAL AMNESIACS???? WTF????

That aside, MAN, this writing was AWFUL. The audiobook narrator did not help. She had this grating voice and whenever she read Claire, I wanted to throw my iPod out my car window. Christine is a HORRIBLE character. I mean, I was SO SHOCKED that the author was a man (haha, jk, not at all)! Once again, we have a female protagonist with no autonomy. And this time it's because her horrible cheating made it so! Ladies, no sex for you outside marriage even though dudes do it all the time, because your lover will probably try to asphyxiate you on a tile floor and then stalk you for years and years only to kidnap you and keep you hostage with him in his love shack. ISN'T THAT ALWAYS THE CASE?

Also, everything was SO SLOW. The fight scene at the end when she's trying to escape from Ben/Mike and she's all like, "I should've probably hit him again..." when she FINALLY manages to wrench herself free from his violent attack and you're like, "NO SHIT SHERLOCK" and then he GRABS HER AGAIN AND THROWS HER TO THE FLOOR. COULD'VE JUST BEAMED HIM IN THE HEAD AGAIN WITH THAT STOOL AND SAVED US ALL A LOT OF TIME, YOU WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A CHARACTER. Oh, this is a good segue into the gratuitous violence of the book. All the scenes with violence in them (few, but they are pretty intense) are UGGGGGGH. It was like, "and then I cracked my head against the radiator!" "and then he shoved me to the floor and my arm twisted behind my back!" "and then his hands were around my throat and I couldn't breathe!" I was SQUIRMING on the train. I CANNOT DEAL. And, I know why this book had to be narrated in first-person present, but IT WAS SO AWFUL I CANNOT EVEN.

Bee tee dubs, the character of Claire makes NO SENSE to me at all. She's supposed to be Christine's BFF and she just doesn't talk to or try to see her anymore? WOULDN'T THAT BE A LITTLE SUSPICIOUS????? If my best friend got AMNESIA and couldn't remember anything, I WOULD BE THERE EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY. EVEN if I slept with her stupid husband, I would NEVER lose contact with her. CLAIRE, YOU ARE OFFICIALLY THE WORST FRIEND EVER. CONGRATULATIONS.

Dear Adam -- you suck as a son. Dear Ben -- you suck at still being in love with Christine and letting some dude pretend to be you to steal her out of the clinic. This book is really just a presentation of THE WORST PEOPLE TO HAVE IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR MEMORY.

Congrats, SJ Watson. I'm so glad your first book is a PILE OF SHIT. ...more
5

May 04, 2011

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 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 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.


Review also featured on my webpage >here and also
Watch SJ Watson on Richard and Judy book club here ...more
3

Jul 13, 2011

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 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, however, the concept frays a bit and you have to suspend a little bit of disbelief to get through the book. There were holes that I saw - not insurmountable ones, but still distracting. I saw the ending (I won't ruin it) coming from a mile away, only because you know with a book like this it *needs* a twist of some sort, and there was only one particular twist that made sense. Even so, the ending was a let down, because what should have been something emotionally laden was handled like an afterthought.

With a bit of editing and some revision, this could have been a much more engaging book. The first half works really well, and then it sort of deflates for me. Too bad it didn't finish as strong.
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5

Nov 05, 2016

Could. Not. Put. Down.
Such an unusual perspective to come from.


5

Jul 12, 2015

Omg! I am totally speechless. This book was amazing. It had a great plot about a woman who has amnesia and cannot remember her memories from day to day. She begins to keep a journal and remember certain events in her life. From there the book is amazing! I definitely recommend this! If you want a page turning, psychologically thrilling, fall out of your chair book - read this!!!!!!! So damn good!

Side note: I've got to see the film!!!!!!!
4

May 26, 2011

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 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 the room in reverse. Every day she has to reacquaint herself with her husband, her house, the person in the mirror. Christine has a form of amnesia wherein, after an accident, she lost the ability retain memories past a day. As Christine starts keeping a journal to help her remember, she discovers some unsettling discrepancies between what her husband tells her, what her doctor knows of her history, and her own reemerging memories.

I bought this book at a favorite indie bookstore, Murder by the Book, where the staff is super knowledgeable and enthusiastic. No matter what book I carry to the cashier, two or three people behind the counter will share their favorite aspect of the book and start rattling off other books in the genre that I have to read. You don’t even have to ask them. They just start talking.

When I bought this one to the check-out, there was a dead silence. “What? Does it suck?” They started grinning. “Is it so bad it’s good?” Crickets. “Talk to me!” Finally, someone took pity on me. He explained the ending is so amazing and unexpected that they all agreed to keep their mouths shut and not spoil it for anyone. What a jerk.

If you read the book expecting a mind-blowing ending, you might be disappointed. The whole time I was reading, my mind was running on all cylinders trying to solve the mystery. I was coming up with crazy ideas – I mean really outlandish ideas. The aliens wiped her memory after she stumbled on a plot to steal all the antelopes in Uganda. Then they disguised one of their own as her husband to spy on her next door neighbor! Stop looking at me like that. The guy at the store said it would be totally unexpected.

When I finally got to the end, I was let down by how simultaneously unrealistic and ordinary it was. Honestly, it reminded me of another book, (view spoiler)[ The Guardian (hide spoiler)]. My recommendation: read with more tempered expectations for the conclusion. Even if it was not the best ending of my life, it wasn’t horrible either. I just ruined it for myself with the hype.

Having written all that, I enjoyed this book! I suggest you focus Christine’s journey throughout the book. I was in sync with her as she vacillates between trust and suspicion toward every character – including herself. Plus my husband was out of town. Even if a book is only remotely creepy, there is something about reading it in an empty house that makes it seem like the scariest thing ever (see The Little Stranger). I also didn’t have any plans that weekend, which meant I could read this book in two long sessions and get wrapped up in everything. If I had read the book without those two conditions, the rating may have dropped to three stars.

You know what is coming next: my report from an event with the author!

Right off the bat, Watson admitted he had not done many of these events. He advised us that if we heard a tremor in his voice, it was not his British accent – it was jet lag mixed with terror. Aww! I loved him already.

Watson talked about how he had a “real” job testing children’s hearing. When he decided to focus more on his writing, he took step backwards in his health services career by taking a more junior job and cutting back his hours. What a bold move! He was inspired to write this book after reading an obituary about man who, after a surgery to cure his epilepsy, lost the ability to make memories.

One of the audience members put him on the spot and asked about comparisons to the movies, Memento and 50 First Dates. The lady was very nice, but everyone knew the underlying bite: did Watson rip them off? I thought he handled himself well. He admitted seeing Memento years and years ago. And he learned of and watched 50 First Dates only after hearing it mentioned so much when his book was published. He pointed out a key difference between Christine and Drew Barrymore character’s predicaments: Drew’s story was set fairly soon after the accident. Her loved ones could pretend everything was normal, because she was still young. Christine had aged a couple decades. It wasn't possible to keep up such a charade with all the wrinkles on her face. He also spoke of how he intentionally avoided all amnesia-related stories as he wrote.

Let’s review. Set aside time and read it alone. Savor Christine’s psychological roller coaster. Don’t stress too much about solving the mystery. Voila! You’re in for a sweet summer thriller.
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3

Mar 22, 2017

Read for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge: #2 Read a Debut Novel

I feel like this book would be a great introduction to the thriller genre for somebody who hasn't read any yet, but now that I've read a few great thrillers, this didn't quite live up to the hype. The general plot for this book is super interesting, but in execution it was a bit weak, and not nearly as suspenseful as I was hoping it would be. This book is basically only like 15% thriller, and the rest is just... other. Not Read for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge: #2 Read a Debut Novel

I feel like this book would be a great introduction to the thriller genre for somebody who hasn't read any yet, but now that I've read a few great thrillers, this didn't quite live up to the hype. The general plot for this book is super interesting, but in execution it was a bit weak, and not nearly as suspenseful as I was hoping it would be. This book is basically only like 15% thriller, and the rest is just... other. Not that that's a bad thing, but I was hoping for more suspense. I feel like the movie handled the big twist better than the book did, and the pacing of the movie was also better. Overall, this was a very MEH read for me, but I'm glad I finally read it! ...more
5

Feb 07, 2017

I'm astounded that Before I Go to Sleep isn't one of those books that raked in 4.00 stars on average. It's so damn good and the suspense is unrelenting towards the end.

Unfortunately for me, the epub file that I downloaded contained too small letters. Adjusting them whenever I chose to alternate between books was a pain but it was still doable and worth it... Christine is an amnesiac who is trying to relive her past. The book begins slowly and the tension escalates slowly.

Christine is not alone. I'm astounded that Before I Go to Sleep isn't one of those books that raked in 4.00 stars on average. It's so damn good and the suspense is unrelenting towards the end.

Unfortunately for me, the epub file that I downloaded contained too small letters. Adjusting them whenever I chose to alternate between books was a pain but it was still doable and worth it... Christine is an amnesiac who is trying to relive her past. The book begins slowly and the tension escalates slowly.

Christine is not alone. She has a husband, and keeps a diary of her thoughts. The book's chapters are from multiple times. I thought this format was in itself overplayed in books, but it didn't annoy me enough to dock one star from my rating of the book. I recommend this book heartily. ...more
4

Feb 28, 2013

DO NOT TRUST BEN, but OMG who to trust?

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP begins with a daily existence of the creepy unknown and continues with amazing suspense each day throughout the entire story as amnesiac Christine unravels the mystery of her past.

As bits and pieces of her memories unfold, the shocking truth and terrifying moments of "the accident" come together to disclose a great twist within a unique storyline.

A bit far-fetched here and there, but who cares..........super entertaining! Could Not Put

DO NOT TRUST BEN, but OMG who to trust?

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP begins with a daily existence of the creepy unknown and continues with amazing suspense each day throughout the entire story as amnesiac Christine unravels the mystery of her past.

As bits and pieces of her memories unfold, the shocking truth and terrifying moments of "the accident" come together to disclose a great twist within a unique storyline.

A bit far-fetched here and there, but who cares..........super entertaining! Could Not Put It Down!

...more
3

Nov 30, 2014

Before I go to sleep, S.J. Watson (Steven J.)
Before I Go to Sleep is the first novel by S. J. Watson published in Spring 2011. The novel is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia. She wakes up every day with no knowledge of who she is and the novel follows her as she tries to reconstruct her memories from a journal she has been keeping. She learns that she has been seeing a doctor who is helping her to recover her memory, that her name is Christine Lucas, that Before I go to sleep, S.J. Watson (Steven J.)
Before I Go to Sleep is the first novel by S. J. Watson published in Spring 2011. The novel is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia. She wakes up every day with no knowledge of who she is and the novel follows her as she tries to reconstruct her memories from a journal she has been keeping. She learns that she has been seeing a doctor who is helping her to recover her memory, that her name is Christine Lucas, that she is 47 years old and married and has a son. As her journal grows it casts doubts on the truth behind this knowledge as she determines to discover who she really is.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز ششم ماه نوامبر سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: پیش از آن که بخوابم؛ اثر: استیون ج. واتسون، مترجم: شقایق قندهاری؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، آموت، چاپ دوم 1392، در 382 ص، شابک: 9786006605135؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 20 م
زن هیچ کجای اتاق را نمیشناسد، مردی که کنارش خوابیده را نمیشناسد، آرام و بیصدا وارد سرویس بهداشتی میشود و به آینه نگاه میکند ...؛ خدای من این دیگر کیست؟ من باید بیست و چند ساله باشم! نه میانسال. کتاب بر اساس تجربیات نویسنده از حضور در کنار بیماران آلزایمری نوشته شده است. ا. شربیانی ...more
4

Nov 29, 2015

Christine, a middle-aged woman who wakes up every morning with no memory of her life, she has amnesia; every night she falls asleep and forget everything, that's her life which made me really sad for her i loved the story it was well written it was sad no one deserves to go through that struggle every day it was heartbreaking , The ending was really scary it caught me off guard, totally unexpected turn of events.


okay now the movie oh my freaking lord !!! they ruined it , they ruined everything Christine, a middle-aged woman who wakes up every morning with no memory of her life, she has amnesia; every night she falls asleep and forget everything, that's her life which made me really sad for her i loved the story it was well written it was sad no one deserves to go through that struggle every day it was heartbreaking , The ending was really scary it caught me off guard, totally unexpected turn of events.


okay now the movie oh my freaking lord !!! they ruined it , they ruined everything !!who ever made that movie i can tell that he didn't even read the book , i love nicol Kidman but the movie wasn't that great it was boring really !

...more
4

Dec 06, 2011

What if when you woke up every morning, you could not remember anything of the day before or the day before that. You wake up beside a man. A stranger, who says he is Ben, your husband. He becomes your only sense of belonging by gently, lovingly explaining everything, as much as he seems able, each and every day.

A Dr. calls, on a phone you did not even know you had and convinces you to see him in an effort to try and remember something, anything. He suggests you keep a journal and then calls What if when you woke up every morning, you could not remember anything of the day before or the day before that. You wake up beside a man. A stranger, who says he is Ben, your husband. He becomes your only sense of belonging by gently, lovingly explaining everything, as much as he seems able, each and every day.

A Dr. calls, on a phone you did not even know you had and convinces you to see him in an effort to try and remember something, anything. He suggests you keep a journal and then calls back daily to remind you to look at it. You begin to remember snatches of things past, some of them link you to Ben, your husband. Good things! Others seem to contradict things that Ben has told you. Not little things either, but huge, life changing events.

This is Christine’s story. I found it to be plausible, horrifying and brutally day to day. Full of every day, common, relatable events that slowly begin to unravel the real truth of Christine’s life.

With a telling ending, that I just loved, Before I Go To Sleep, is definitely well worth the read.
...more
5

Jun 11, 2011

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 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 a car accident, with severe head trauma, so her memories are erased when she goes into a deep sleep. She wakes thinking she is young, gets a terrible shock when she looks in the mirror, and sees her aged face, the wrinkles...

This thriller, with it's suspense, twists and turns, as it moves towards the finish, is brilliant, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page... ...more
1

Nov 10, 2014

(I jump in and out of spoilers throughout – it’s the only way to review this trash - so rather than constantly having to stop myself to write “spoilers”, I’m writing it at the top of the review. Fair warning.)

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had (I jump in and out of spoilers throughout – it’s the only way to review this trash - so rather than constantly having to stop myself to write “spoilers”, I’m writing it at the top of the review. Fair warning.)

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had a son who died in Afghanistan, she forgets that she was once a successful novelist. She has to relearn everything about her past, every single day – before she goes to sleep and does it all over again tomorrow.

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had a son who died in Afghanistan, she forgets that she was once a successful novelist. She has to relearn everything about her past, every single day – before she goes to sleep and does it all over again tomorrow.

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had a son who died in Afghanistan, she forgets that she was once a successful novelist. She has to relearn everything about her past, every single day – before she goes to sleep and does it all over again tomorrow.

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had a son who died in Afghanistan, she forgets that she was once a successful novelist. She has to relearn everything about her past, every single day – before she goes to sleep and does it all over again tomorrow.

Imagine reading hundreds of pages written in a dull prose style with little variation to the story. Reading SJ Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is a maddening experience. For about 85% of the book (I know because I read this on a Kindle), NOTHING HAPPENS. Christine wakes up, she reads her journal (which is the novel we are reading) and relearns things about her life. I can’t tell you how completely boring a reading experience this book was. The fact that it’s labelled “thriller” is a joke – there isn’t a single thrilling aspect to this story.

Some readers have complained about the conceit that this novel is Christine’s journal – that she constantly has to reference the fact that she’s run off to write in her journal while its fresh in her mind - and how this is unrealistic, especially as its written in a very deliberate novelistic style, etc. I get that, but I’ll forgive the novel that because that’s just the format of the tale. But I was often reminded of HP Lovecraft’s narrators who are always scribbling in their notebooks while the terror is right at their door… woooo, beware the corniness!

Hang on - maybe the ending saves it? Nope. The ending is arguably what breaks this novel beyond repair.

I guessed the twist ending long before it was revealed. Of course her husband “Ben” doesn’t turn out to be her real husband Ben but a crazy stalker impersonator. Except we’re meant to believe that this imposter was able to discharge Christine from a mental hospital without anyone asking for ID to prove he was who he said he was.

Furthermore, we’re supposed to believe that Christine – a person with massive mental problems that has left her hospitalised for significant lengths of time – would receive no follow-up visits from a nurse, psychologist or care-giver. See, in Britain we have the NHS, so most people have free healthcare. It doesn’t work exactly like that but I won’t get into the intricacies of it here. I’ll just say that someone like Christine would easily qualify for the kind of services that would send a professional to her home on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.

The fact that we’re supposed to believe that a complete stranger could take a severely ill patient out of an institution and then keep them hostage for months on end without a healthcare professional doing a follow-up visit, or that her son or friends wouldn’t call or find out why they haven’t heard from her for months, is asking too much of this reader. It’s frankly insulting to think anyone would be so stupid as to swallow Watson’s scenario whole. And in the author’s bio it says he worked in the NHS for “many years” – how does he not know things like this?!

And Dr Nash – is he the world’s worst doctor? How did he not pick up on any of this in his multiple sessions with her? Also, instead of helping her, he ends up flirting with her! He’s an appalling medical “professional”! Then at the end Christine conveniently gets her memory back! Everything about the plot is hopelessly contrived. You can only suspend disbelief so far.

I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about this book. The characters are dull. The story is comatose until the last 15% of the book and then it’s a gibbering mess of nonsense. Watson’s writing is repetitious, flat and lifeless. The bulk of the novel is beyond boring and the ending beggars belief, it’s so bad. I cannot believe a single person would enjoy this dreck and yet there are literally thousands of people who have. I am stunned.

Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island is a masterpiece and a genuine thriller along similar lines to Before I Go To Sleep and I recommend reading that instead. I’m now going to do my best to forget this drivel but not the name of this writer, so I never have to suffer through another of his novels again! ...more
5

Mar 13, 2013

I really enjoyed the whole premise of this story: the memory loss with the lead character having, effectively, a clean slate every day. It put me in mind of another book with a similar slant - The Housekeeper + the Professor by Yoko Ogawa - only this tale is much darker and the Ogawa book doesn't set out to be a mystery thriller.

I think the characterisation is flawless and the story is told brilliantly. Ok, I did start to work out where it was leading towards the end, but this didn't prevent me I really enjoyed the whole premise of this story: the memory loss with the lead character having, effectively, a clean slate every day. It put me in mind of another book with a similar slant - The Housekeeper + the Professor by Yoko Ogawa - only this tale is much darker and the Ogawa book doesn't set out to be a mystery thriller.

I think the characterisation is flawless and the story is told brilliantly. Ok, I did start to work out where it was leading towards the end, but this didn't prevent me from burning the midnight oil to get there. A great read and thoroughly recommended. ...more
3

May 27, 2017

An enjoyable read, although slow at times. Unlike others, I did not see the twist coming, but I was musing over the implausibilities of the story line. But hey, unlike real life, this is fiction, anything can happen, and it can all come together neatly at the end.
5

Aug 26, 2011

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 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 starts to keep a journal and then incrementally adds various things she learns so that she doesn't have to totally re-learn her life every day.

There is huge genius and likability in this book on many levels, from her innocent and blank feelings about her husband's silly body parts, his need for sex, her duties as his wife, memories of lust from her past, her normal and somewhat randy behavior along side of her long time best girlfriend in college, to the normal things in the average life of an average couple cooking fish and peas for dinner.

Just because you're an amnesiac, it doesn't mean that you aren't intelligent and don't have instincts and feelings about the way you are being treated and cared for. As I moved along the story-line, there were many subtle clues about the real world that started to scare me, wondering what in the hell is going on, what the husband is doing, why is he so loving and patient, why does he give her slightly different answers to the same questions, what motivates him to be with her, to love her, his sexual relationship with her, etc.
I don't want to give the plot away, but the book moves fairly quickly from nervousness and wondering, to extreme stress and fear.

This is an excellent and unique book with many different levels of thought about life, relationships, roles, friendship, daily existence, etc. And, it gave me a little bit more insight into female thinking (or at least I once thought). I loved it.

Note after the review: One of my friends told me the author is male. Dang, but I don't like the book quite as much now. LOL I'll leave the five stars but I feel a little wronged somehow. ...more
4

Nov 10, 2012

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 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 and Mars, as it is fantastic and all it asks from you in return is to suspend your disbelief for about 300 pages. Seems like a small price to pay.

If you have been in a coma this past year and have no idea what ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ is about, let me recap it for you: Just like in Memento, the main character suffers from anterograde amnesia but to spice things up she also has regular amnesia. Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is, how she got there, and why she seems to have a body of a middle aged woman, when she vaguely remembers being in her early twenties before she went to bed. The past twenty years of her life are completely gone from her memory and everything before also seems hazy. Yes, S.J. Watson is pushing it a little but you won’t have much time to meditate over the probability of the premise because the ride begins on page one and doesn’t stop until you close the book. It’s easy to open your novel with a character waking up with no recollection of who they are or how they got where they are, it guarantees to get everyone hooked, but the trick then is to keep the tension and even pace. This is where ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ is most successful.

The biggest part of the book is made of Christine’s journal, which she keeps to remind herself every morning who she is and what has happened to her before. I could be nit-picky and say that if I suffered from anterograde amnesia and had to read my whole bloody diary every morning and then write what has happened before going to bed, I’d try to be succinct. Otherwise I’d soon end up spending all my days reading about my past and what I had for dinner, and what the weather was like and what I was wearing.

But, of course it’s a book , I didn’t actually want to read bullet points, I wanted a narrative. Additionally, Christine is a writer by vocation, so I can forgive her for getting carried away, describing the wind and sand texture.

Memory is an extraordinary thing and I almost broke my brain imagining not having it. As I was reading the book I was adding new facts to those I already knew. I was building up the story in my head and I was making progress. To poor Christine every chapter was the first chapter. Every ten to twenty pages she was back to square one and I’d like congratulate Watson on doing repetitions without sounding repetitive. I’m also glad that he at least made an attempt to address the psychological impact such a condition might have on a person. Waking up in a body that’s decades older than you remember your body to be is pretty much waking up in somebody else’s body – having that happen to you once might undo you, I can’t even imagine having that happen every single day.
Remember that romantic comedy – 50 First Dates? It was neither romantic, nor funny. It was plain scary. She managed to have two children (or one, or three, I don’t remember)! Why would you do to someone who can’t remember what happened to them for the past decade? If I woke up one day, suddenly nine months pregnant, and some dude was telling me we were married and in love and that’s our baby, I’d say: hell no, perv! When I went to bed I was not pregnant. The aliens must’ve abducted me and impregnated me with their alien baby. I’d probably have a major freak-out and a miscarriage to boot.

Also, think about it. Picture yourself waking up in a stranger’s body in a stranger’s house. That would be pretty stressful, even if someone explained everything to you, it’s safe to say you’d be on the edge the whole day, your heart beating fast, diarrhea, cramps, chest pain. And now imagine that happening every day. You might not remember it but your body would, you’d be a wreck before you turn 40.

I thought all that while I was reading and then I thought: but after all, we are all amnesiacs. We don’t remember much from before the age of 3 (not that much afterwards). We look at our early photos and have no recollection of those photos being taken. We are told what we liked and how we behaved and we have no way of verifying that information. Even all those events from our life – how many of the thousands of days we lived we truly remember? We remember mostly the things we often talk about, the thing we wrote down in our journals or blogs and then reread. But the truth is we don’t remember the actual events, we remember just our descriptions of them, some story we told and retold our brain until we arrived at the version we were satisfied with. So let’s not fool ourselves that, we, unlike Christine, can actually rely on our memories.

...more
5

Jan 06, 2013

Has anyone seen 50 First Dates?


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 Has anyone seen 50 First Dates?


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 husband. Imagine not trusting your own thoughts, your own beliefs, yourself.

I loved this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat. However, I hated the characters, every single one.

Christine deserved what happened to her. She had a nice family, an awesome husband, a wonderful child and all of her troubles started because she couldn't find the inspiration for her next novel?




And don't get me started on "Ben".


I hate needy people. Grow a pair, would'ya?

Anyway, the author has done an amazing job with this novel. Loved it.

5 stars!! ...more
3

Jan 08, 2017

Buddy Read with Murugesh

This story is of Christine, who suffers from a special kind of amnesic disease where when she goes into deep sleep, she forgets everything about herself and each day is like living a new life.

She is completely dependent on her husband Ben, to remind her of what her life is like, who she is, where she lives, what she does.....
"I feel like a prospective tenant being shown around a new flat."

This whole set-up reminded me of the movie 50 first dates but something that was Buddy Read with Murugesh

This story is of Christine, who suffers from a special kind of amnesic disease where when she goes into deep sleep, she forgets everything about herself and each day is like living a new life.

She is completely dependent on her husband Ben, to remind her of what her life is like, who she is, where she lives, what she does.....
"I feel like a prospective tenant being shown around a new flat."

This whole set-up reminded me of the movie 50 first dates but something that was soo romantic in the movie was given a sinister twist in this story. Can you really trust what you are being told about your life?

"There are two of me, now, in the same body: one is a forty-seven-year-old woman, calm, polite, aware of what kind of behaviour is appropriate and what is not- and the other is in her twenties, and screaming. I can't decide which is me."

What would it be like to suddenly get up one fine day and know that you are no more in your twenties but life has passed you by and you are now in your late forties. What would it be like to feel this every day?

"I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I am still a child. Thinking I still have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. And then I will find out, again, that I am wrong. My choices have already been made. Half my life is behind me."

So Christine starts keeping a diary and things start taking a darker turn. Can she really trust her husband or is she really going crazy?
"My memory is not working. Things are not coming back to me. I am not getting better at all, but going mad."

The story did keep me guessing for the most part but I was able to guess the ending at around 75% of the book. There are clues out there if you really pay attention. The ending was a bit dragged and fell into the world of cliché.

It was still a good one time read and I am interested in watching the movie based on this novel.

Have you seen the Movie, and what do you think about the Movie vs. the book? ...more
4

Oct 14, 2015

The mind is an intricate thing, fragile, open to suggestion. An inkling, a feeling, just a hint of familiarity, can have you going in circles. That thought you just had, is it a memory or an invention? Christine never has the luxury of knowing how to answer that question. A nearly fatal injury 20 some odd years ago left her with a specific type of amnesia that allows no short term memories to be retained. If she sleeps, she forgets. Someone close is lying to her about some very important things The mind is an intricate thing, fragile, open to suggestion. An inkling, a feeling, just a hint of familiarity, can have you going in circles. That thought you just had, is it a memory or an invention? Christine never has the luxury of knowing how to answer that question. A nearly fatal injury 20 some odd years ago left her with a specific type of amnesia that allows no short term memories to be retained. If she sleeps, she forgets. Someone close is lying to her about some very important things in her past. To what end? She's not going to remember the next day anyway. Plenty of intrigue to go around here.

(view spoiler)[My only quibble is with the ending, and that is nothing but my own preference for darker conclusions. (hide spoiler)] Other than that, I was absolutely riveted, couldn't read it fast enough. Oh, and I completely agree with other reviewers who have mentioned the movie Memento and how it came to mind while reading this. ...more

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