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I read books, I write about books, I would probably marry a book if I could find one who liked me enough. Three words to describe me mature, irresponsible, contradictory, unreliable...oh...that's four...


Before I Go To Sleep - SJ Watson

Before I Go To Sleep - S J Watson

Everyone seemed to love this thriller. It's now a movie with Nicole Kidman, due to come out next year.


I'm always conflicted when I pick up a book that everyone loves and find myself running into the sand after a couple of chapters. I don't want to believe that I'm just a contrary critter and that I'm reacting to the hype by being more critical than I should be. I'd like to think that I'm fair minded enough to forget about the raves and take the book on its merits, the same way I would with one that got so-so reviews.


But I'm going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and say that I didn't get into Before I Go To Sleep for the right reasons. The plot hook is a nice one - the main character has suffered a brain injury which means her memory is wiped clean every time she sleeps, but it's a limited one and it has been done before, so the twist when it comes can't be that much of a surprise (with no memory, she has to rely on what other people tell her - no shocker when one of the narrators turns out to be unreliable).


That wouldn't be so much of a problem if it weren't for the lack of surprises in the prose, which has that careful, overedited feel of many a debut novel, and the set up which is very British and full of cups of tea, rain and hedges.


Lots of people loved it, maybe you will too. It'll probably make a great film and I will have to eat my words. We'll see.