“Everything is fluid, everything shifts. I think one thing and then, a moment later, the opposite.”
These two lines sum up the entire book. Before I go to sleep by S J Watson is a fast paced read about a women who suffers from amnesia and cannot remember anything beyond 24hours. She lives with her husband but flashes of memory suggest that he may be lying to her and in reality she may have a completely different past and present from what he seems to be telling her.
This book is almost unputdownable. I finished it in 3 days flat. I even stayed up till 4am reading it, something that I rarely do. That is not to say it is a brilliant read. For me, it was not. I read it at that pace more to find out if my guess about the ending was right than because of its ‘thriller’ quality. As it turned out, I was right. The book ends in pretty much the way I would have expected. Somehow, it was a thriller that was predictable. I enjoyed the read a great deal but it made me question if it was the book or me! I found my last read, Chéri by Colette, also extremely predictable.
I found asking myself, have I read so much that no plot surprises me anymore?! That nothing I read seems original enough for me?! That would be the ultimate calamity! The world around me would crumble if that were to happen. Luckily, I immediately remembered one of my favourite authors, Chuck Palahnuik, and realised that he at least can still surprise me and make my dark soul tingle.
In a book, where one character suffered amnesia, the author had so many many possibilities. So many ways to make it dark and twisted and grotesque. There were so many times where it did pick up, but then it just fell flat on the bed of predictability and continued on….
Maybe I just like my psychological thrillers dark. Maybe it was actually the thriller it promised to be. Who knows? One man’s average is another man’s amazing.