Monday 20 June 2011

Book: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson

Memento meets Groundhog Day in this debut thriller from S J Watson.

Christine awakens every morning with no recollection of the last 20 or so years. She still thinks of herself as a young woman and is shocked to see the reflection of a woman nearly 50 years old in the mirror. Add to that the fact that she has no idea who the man sleeping next to her is and you get the idea of the daily events of her life.

On the advice of her Doctor she begins to keep a journal that she must find and read every day to keep herself aware of who she is and her current situation so that she may begin to lead a somewhat normal life.

Through long periods of this book I found myself wishing that I was suffering from memory loss myself so that I wouldn’t be able to recall the many pages spent going over the same morning routine until Christine manages to bring herself up to speed.

Eventually the daily added snippets of information lead her to discover that not all is as it seems and she might finally recall the events that left her with this debilitating condition.

Although at times it was tough to get through, as the book builds to the finale the pace quickens and the tension missing from the first three quarters finally arrives leading to a satisfying if clichéd climax.

This has already been optioned for film by Ridley Scott’s production company but he’ll need to avoid the repetition to make it work on screen.

Ric’s Rating: 59%


  1. Sounds rather intriguing if a bit unwieldy. I'll have to check it out. I loved Memento and hope that they do a good job with this.

  2. You liked the ending? :)I thought it was an anticlimax like in some very cheep crime novel. HAving in mind the psychological plot and scientific idea of the novel I thought it should have had similar ending as well, but it didn't :(

    Love the part where you said you wished you suffered from memory lost too to avoid the pages :))

  3. I felt the pace picked up towards the end, but the ending itself was a bit too straightforward.

    There was some nice writing through the book but he was ultimately hamstrung by his premise - I imagine it was difficult to control the repetition and this was ultimately the book's downfall.

  4. Memento worked Melissa, I hope this does too.

    Guys, I'm glad you stopped by to comment, I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts after the comments on the preview post.
    Dez, I enjoyed the build up to the end but I agree the end itself was a bit dull. Glad you liked my attempt at humour!
    Well put Michael, it wasn't a terrible book, just a bit humdrum.

  5. I love book reviews 'cause I'm always on the look out for new books to read. This one sounds intriguing! Will have to go find it. Thanks ;)

  6. Let me know what you think if you do try it Cherie.

  7. I really enjoyed this book! Interesting to read your take on it.

  8. This story is solid and engaging, but I just never got the spine-tingling thrill I had expected. It was an interesting read, and I did enjoy it, but the lack of real tension as the book moved towarded the big denouement made it easy to put down when interrupted. I was left feeling vaguely let down and dissatisfied which is why I'm only giving it 3.5 stars.


Let me know what you think. I value all comments and fully intend to reply.