Before I Go to Sleep

For the film, see Before I Go to Sleep (film).
Before I Go to Sleep

First edition, with quote from Tess Gerritsen
Author S. J. Watson
Cover artist Veronique Beranger / Getty Images
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Thriller, Suspense
Publisher Doubleday (United Kingdom)
HarperCollins (United States)
Publication date
April 2011 (United Kingdom)
June 2011 (United States)
Media type Print, audio, eBook
Pages 368
ISBN 0-85752-017-2
Followed by Second Life

Before I Go to Sleep is the first novel by S. J. Watson published in Spring 2011. It became both a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller[1] and has been translated into over 40 languages,[2] and has become a bestseller in France, Canada, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.[3] It reached number 7 on the US bestseller list, the highest position for a debut novel by a British author since J. K. Rowling. The New York Times described the author as an "out-of-nowhere literary sensation".[4] He wrote the novel between shifts whilst working as a National Health Service (NHS) audiologist.[5]


The novel is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia.[6] 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.[3]



Publication history

Film adaptation

Ridley Scott acquired the film rights and hired Rowan Joffe as director.[17] Nicole Kidman leads as Christine Lucas[18] with Colin Firth as her husband.[19] Mark Strong plays Dr Edmund Nash and Anne-Marie Duff plays Christine's friend, Claire.[20] The film was shot in London and at Twickenham Studios.[21]

See also


  1. Debut Novel Before I Go To Sleep triumphs over industry big hitters from 'What Shall I Read?', by Jonny on 7 Nov 2011 at 11:22 am
  2. Book page at Transworld Publishers
  3. 1 2 Before I Go to Sleep is an International Bestseller | News | Conville & Walsh Literary Agency | 18 Jul 2011
  4. Stars scramble to shine in literary sensation, John Harlow, The Australian 08 August 2011
  5. The novelist explains how he was inspired by an amnesiac's experience, and the challenges of writing in the first person from Paperback Q&A, The Guardian, 10 January 2012
  6. A Night Not to Remember by Christopher Lampton, 2012-03-12.
  7. Two novels explore a recurring theme by John O'Connell, The Guardian, 2011-04-16.
  8. Dear diary: Is that a stranger in my bed, or have I lost my memory (again!)? by James Kidd, The Independent, 2011-05-01.
  9. Our reviewer’s verdict on the first selection of the Listener Book Club by Craig Ranapia, 2012-03-23.
  10. S.J. Watson wins the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2011 from Crime Writers Association website. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  11. Winners 2011 | National Book Awards 2012 Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  12. Crimezone Awards voor Slaughter, Hartman en Watson - 08/02/2012
  13. Le prix SNCF du polar-roman a été attribué, mardi 29 mai au soir, à S. J. Watson pour Avant d’aller dormir (Sonatine). 30/05/2012
  14. CRIMEFEST - crime fiction convention in Bristol, UK Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  15. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson | Penguin Books Australia Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  16. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  17. Dear diary: Is that a stranger in my bed, or have I lost my memory (again!)?, James Kidd, The Independent, Sunday 1 May 2011
  18. , Bev Holden, Stourbridge News, 23 May 2012.
  19. Nicole Kidman Wants Colin Firth For Before I Go To Sleep, by Lauren Humphries-Brooks, 16 November 2012.
  20. MOVIE NEWSMark Strong Joins Nicole Kidman For Before I Go To Sleep by Kristy Puchko, 2012-11-01.
  21. Empire Online: Colin Firth Joins Before I Go To Sleep, A reunion with Nicole Kidman Written by James White, 7 February 2013. Source: Variety

External links

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