Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep, by SJ Watson

So this was an interesting book, made even more so by the fact that I have absolutely no idea how I came to decide to read it. I must have read about it on some blog, only I can't find it on any of the regular blogs I read. At some point I put it in my library queue and that was that.

I got the audio CD version, and found that it was the first book on CD that I've ever heard that was narrated by a woman. So that was a change of pace, and one that took a lot of getting used to as it was a British woman no less. 

The book itself is kindof a bit of Memento where the lead character has amnesia and can only remember things for a short period of time. For this woman, she retains memories until she goes to sleep at night. The next day, she's forgotten everything that's happened in the last 20 years.

There are a number of twists and turns, but almost none of them turn out to be quite as interesting as the book suggests they could be. In the end, the 'real' story is really pretty safe and straightforward. With a premise like this, it could have gone a lot further but never did. It's kind of like Inception, which is a great movie but, let's face it, no one really dreams of anything all that creative at all in it. Tom Hardy says, "Don't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling," and he's dreamed up a larger gun, but why doesn't he dream up like a rainbow-colored space rabbit that has laser beam eyeballs instead? That would have been perfectly within the acceptable world of Inception. I guess a slightly larger gun costs less? 

The prose is written extremely girly. I was 100% positive the author was a woman. It turns out it's a dude. Somehow. So I guess that's good, sort of? I definitely believed that the author had the female perspective down pat. Hope you like about 300 pages of worrying about wrinkles and stretch marks because the character is sad that she's older now!

Anyhoo, I'd say to skip this one. There's a bit of language here and there and the back story you eventually discover will just frustrate you that it's not cooler. Rent Inception instead, and watch it with 3-D glasses, even if you didn't get the 3-D version.

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