Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.
With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the Fuck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny—a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.
I really hope I was not the only person who felt offended while reading this book. This is a rare thing that happens for me, and only happened once (Wetlands, by Charlotte Roche) before.
I had read so many good things about Go The F*** To Sleep that, even though I don’t have children, I just had to give it a read. First I read the book and felt like I missed something, and then I listened to the audiobook. The only redeeming quality for the story is the fact that Samuel L. Jackson does the reading for the audiobook and the contrasts between his voice, the story, and the music that’s going on in the background is priceless.
The story is about a child who, obviously, won’t go to sleep and will go to any means to stay up—ask for water, another story, to go to the bathroom, etc. Irritating to new parents, no doubt, though I’m sure not all kids are like this (and don’t even try to say they are—I’ve heard stories, don’t get me wrong!).
While I appreciated the audiobook to some extent, the story just didn’t do it for me. Yes, I’ve been around kids who don’t want to go to bed at night—so don’t think that I don’t know what it feels like—but this story isn’t for everyone. Not everyone feels the urge to swear at their kids and go crazy because their kid won’t go to sleep. Not everyone “gets” the same one-dimensional type of humor that is this book. Not everyone finds the over-usage of f*** hilarious. I sure didn’t.
Personally, I didn’t see it as a refreshing read, as so many have touted it to be, I saw it as offensive and something I wouldn’t want my (nonexistent) children to accidentally find. If anything, the story could’ve made its rounds as an email complete with pictures, and maybe an audio attached—as a story book (which is at least $10), and something you’d only laugh at once during the initial read, it seems like a cash-cow.
I’m sure it would be a great read for some parents, but honestly, past the first few pages, the gimmick gets old and it’s just too repetitive. There may have been a huge hype going over the book when it first came out, but, as I said, it’s a quick way for the authors to make money, and both the language and content will not be for every set of new parents.
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