Monthly Archives: January 2016

before i go to sleep

Before I go to Sleep By SJ Watson

In a :

“Before I go to Sleep” is the story of Christine, a woman in her late forties who every morning when she awakens finds herself suffering from varying degrees of amnesia. Sometimes she believes that she is a child, whilst other times a girl in her late teens or twenties. One factor remains the same however and that is her lack of any recently formed memories, including any of her husband. It is not until she is secretly contacted by a Doctor Nash, a specialist in her condition that Christine discovers that she has been keeping a journal and that this may be the key to finding out why everything is not as it seems. Is Christine really losing her mind altogether or will her paranoia turn out to be justified?

Genre:

Thriller

Number of Pages:

384

Interesting Fact:

Whilst writing his debut novel, SJ Watson worked as an audiologist in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing impaired children, working on his book in the evenings and at weekends.

Been Made into a Film?:

Yes although the film adaption got mediocre reviews for the most part. Here’s the link to the trailer anyhow:

https://youtu.be/I9QNAJm8E5g

What I like about the book:

About two thirds of the way through I thought I knew exactly what was happening only to later discover that I was totally wrong. That’ll teach me to be so smug!

And Dislike?:

It did take me a while to get into and the fact that Christine has to read her journal every morning I found tedious (don’t ask me why as it wasn’t me who had to read it). In retrospect I guess there were some inconsistencies that if you weren’t caught up in the story-line might annoy you but I found myself more frustrated by Christine’s lack of common sense. For example, if you were locked in a room with a potential attacker on the way, would you sit and read a book, even if said book was going to tell you whether or not he was going to kill you? Thought not.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I enjoyed the book despite its shortcomings, it kept me guessing and was an original idea but I wouldn’t read it again.

 

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

In a   Empty nutshell. Original case for your christmas surprise.:

As it should be, the blurb on the back of this book is so intriguing that it enticed me into buying it and I’m so glad that I did because it turned out to be a veritable roller-coaster of a story. It focuses on the life or rather endlessly revised lives of one Ursula Todd, born into an upper middle class family in the early 1900’s who embarks on her existence only to have it cut short in various different ways and have to start all over again. And again…and again. Not a book that captivates immediately but rather draws one in little by little as we witness the ripple effect that even apparently inconsequential events can have on one’s life. I particularly love the unflinching account Atkinson gives of wartime Britain, a far more wretched portrayal than I’ve ever read before and one which stands in stark contrast to the carefree, archaic (and at times deadly) childhood Ursula spends at Fox Corner, the family home. At times the jumping backwards and forwards in time can be a little jarring but it is clearly necessary and on the plus side keeps you on your toes.

Genre: 

Fiction

Number of Pages:

640

Interesting Fact:

Atkinson had intended Life After Life to be principally a war novel but soon after starting writing realised that it had to be as much about the years before the war as during as the main character was born in 1910  and had to somehow get from that point to the war years.

Been Made into a Film?:

According to The Telegraph Lionsgate have bought the film rights and the script will be written by Semi Chellas (who has written for Mad Men) and Esta Spalding (who has written for the US adaptation of the Scandinavian drama The Bridge). Exciting stuff!

What I like about the book:

Not being able to really second guess where it was going or what type of ending it would have. I have to say I did like the finale, although in many ways it didn’t seem to be the pinnacle of the story. For me it felt as if the journey getting there had been far more important.

And dislike?

The injustice inherant in certain parts of the story rankled a bit, but to be fair, they only made it more like real life, which whether we like it or not, is generally unfair.

Final Thoughts:

Not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination but well worth the effort and gets you thinking.

 

 

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