Go the F*ck to sleep: A new Book

Katherine - posted on 05/15/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )




Adam Mansbach's toddler wasn't thirsty. She wasn't hungry. And she definitely didn't need Dad to make up another story about farm animals having a picnic and dozing off. The possibility that he would never get to leave her room for dinner or a glass of wine or the world outside became a distinct possibility.

The noted author didn't keep his feelings to himself. Instead, he turned his frustration into writing "Go the F**k to Sleep," a tongue-in-cheek adult bedtime book that has swept the Internet and has already hit No.1 on the Amazon bestseller list a month before its June 14 publication date. Illustrator Ricardo Cortés captures the colorful mood of Mansbach's poetry.

The cubs and the lions are snoring,

Wrapped in a big snuggly heap.

How come you can do all this other great sh*t

But you can't lie the f**k down and sleep?

"I laughed and laughed and laughed," said Colleen Oppenzato, a Brooklyn mother of a 3-year-old boy who fights sleep every night and a 1-year-old girl who doesn't. "I thought it was my life. Every single page, you're like 'yes, yes.' You don't need water, you don't need to go to the bathroom. You just don't want to sleep."

"Go the F**k to Sleep" hits a nerve with parents who hope for a life after their kids' bedtime. Independent publisher Akashic Books has responded to preorders and overwhelming Internet interest by increasing its first printing to at least 150,000 copies and moving up the publication date from October to June.

The nightly exhaustion is "a frustrating part about something we love very much," said Mansbach, a visiting professor at Rutgers University. "A lot of these frustrations are not permissible to talk about. We're not completely honest because we don't want to be bad parents."

"Looking at parenting books, there are more and more books that are less earnest about raising your child. They help parents step back and laugh at themselves a bit," said Mark Rotella, senior editor at Publishers Weekly and father of a 5- and 2 -year-old.

"It's more like a parenting book for when the parent is inconsolable in the middle of night and frustrated."

--Mark Rotella, senior editor at Publishers Weekly

"It's more like a parenting book for when the parent is inconsolable in the middle of night and frustrated." (Rotella warns parents not to leave the book lying around for children to see, noting that the illustrations are captivating.)

Mansbach, whose novels include "The End of the Jews" and the best-selling "Angry Black White Boy," started out as a poet before writing full-length novels.

Each of his new book's 32 pages is written in the style of a classic children's picture book, but there are two conversations going on: The first two lines are what the parent is saying to the kid; the second half is the internal monologue that is never said.

The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest

And the creatures who crawl, run and creep.

I know you're not thirsty. That's bullsh*t. Stop lying.

Lie the f**k down, my darling, and sleep.

At the end of the day, the child never hears the worst of the parent's frustration.

"The book is all about the obligation of a good parent to internalize the frustration and take the irrational behavior of a child and absorb it oneself," said Akashic Publisher Johnny Temple.

"The book is an outlet for that frustration, but it completely reinforces parents sucking it up and dealing with it. There's never a moment where the kid suffers because of the parent. It's actually pretty idealistic."

A G-rated version appropriate for young children is in the works, inspired by Temple's censored reading of the book to his 3- and 5-year-old children.

"They're aware we struggle every night to get them to sleep, and they get a big kick out of the fact that the book addresses their stall tactics," Temple said.

Has his reading of the book taught his children any empathy for their parents' nightly struggle?

Not at all. The 3-year-old's current tactic is to demand Mom or Dad snuggle to get him to sleep. "And this is after the juice and too many books," Temple said. Even then, it's a gamble to get up. "When you hear his breathing change, can you get out of the bed too early and burn yourself for another 15 minutes?"

I find this hilarious, however parents find it offensive. What do you think?


[deleted account]

I think the parents who find it offensive have no sense of humor and a huge problem with minding their own business.

Minnie - posted on 05/15/2011




I saved a picture of every page because I thought it was so funny. My husband thought it was hilarious.

Despite us being AP parents- and I nurse my 2 1/2 year old to sleep and when she wakes during the night and we don't practice CIO,we still go through frustrating times when the kids just don't want to sleep- and we're burnt out. And every other parent goes through this too.

I don't think it's offensive at all. It's not a children's book.

Johnny - posted on 05/15/2011




I read it last week. Completely hilarious and true. Also, it is one of those tools we can use to find people who are too uptight and lame and remove them from our lives.


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[deleted account]

I don't find it offensive.I just wouldn't particularly rush out and get it.I like the idea, its very real..i have a great sense of humour.Its kind of like..the pink song, perfect..i rather it more with out the "fucking perfect" lines in it.The clean version.
Its just me.I don't mind what so ever that the book is out there and many love it.I think thats great.Just for me personally i don't care for it or want it.:-)I actually was not rolling around with laughter either.Which would be very unusual for me, if it was that hilarious, which many think it is.

Ez - posted on 05/19/2011




LOL I saw it on FB a couple of weeks ago and think it's funny. Anyone who is offended takes themselves far too seriously.

Becky - posted on 05/18/2011




I've only seen the title, haven't read the book, but any parent of a toddler or preschooler who says they haven't felt like saying this to their child at least once, is lying! I think it's great!

Lacye - posted on 05/18/2011




LOL! I want this book! While I don't have trouble once my child goes to sleep, it is hell actually getting her there!

Veronica - posted on 05/18/2011




I am just hearing about this now, but im def. looking it up -- im like this myself - very sarcastic -- even the best parents crack! I loved that title 'take a f*cking shit' hahaha When im talking to my SIL and its nearing bedtime - i tell her that i need to go knock the kids out; if they are naughty im going to tie them up and throw em in the closet - shit like that -- so the fuck what, right? i wouldnt really do it - but sometimes you have to make fun out of it. This book sounds great :)

Krista - posted on 05/18/2011




I think it's absolutely HYSTERICAL.

And any parent who doesn't find it funny falls into one of two categories:

1. Uptight assholes
2. Lucky assholes who have never found themselves at 3:57am, lying on a folded-up duvet next to a crib, their right hip feeling like it's been kicked by a mule, with one arm jammed painfully through the slats, rubbing their baby's back while repeating "Sssshhhhhhh.....ssshhhhhhh" over and over.

Morgan - posted on 05/18/2011




I ordered mine from barns and noble its coming out mid June because of the great response I can't wait to get it!!!

Lindsy - posted on 05/18/2011




Hahaha funniest book I've read in a long time! If you don't like you either don't have kids or you don't know how to laugh and I'm sorry for those people.

[deleted account]


Johnny - posted on 05/15/2011




For those of us struggling with potty training:

Take a F*cking Sh*t!

Amanda - posted on 05/15/2011




Omg I say that one in my head all the time Katherine, with a preteen, and a teenager in my house I swear to god I have zero silence from 7:30 am until 9 or 10pm LOL

Stacy - posted on 05/15/2011




Is he the one that stays up with the kids . . . dealing the their night time antics on a regular basis . . . if not, that might be why he doesn't find it funny or "get it".

[deleted account]

I love the idea of including this book into a baby shower basket gift!

My 6 year old son & 6 1/2 year old nephew just picked up the middle finger from after school daycare. Well that was a f*cking wonderful lesson to teach! I had those 2 boys afraid to extend their hands so they walked around for a few minutes hands balled into a fist!

Minnie - posted on 05/15/2011




Haha! Heather, my husband suggested we buy it for anyone we know who is having a baby, too.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/15/2011




My BIL emailed it to me and I laughed hysterically. I feel like I should buy it for all the new parents I know. We have to be careful with that word around here though. Freja started dropping F bombs out of nowhere. All that effort I put into not swearing was for naught.

Amanda - posted on 05/15/2011




It won’t even be out until this October, and already Adam Mansbach’s Go the F*ck to Sleep is the #1 bestselling book in Amazon’s Parenting & Families category. (Remember, kittens; we’re not reading this little gem to our kids, we’re merely enjoying it in secret, the way we do crazy monkey sex and that third glass of Chardonnay.) Seeing as profanity is so popular among parents, I’m thinking Mansback should be working on a whole series. Some possible titles:

How Many F*cking Times Do I Have to Tell You?

Please Stop F*cking With Your Brother

I'm Changing My F*cking Name

No, You Can’t Watch Any More F*cking TV

Because I F*cking Said So

Once those books are flying off the shelves, Mansbach could create a spinoff series for couples:

Roll the F*ck Over, You Sound Like a Freight Train

Thanks for the F*cking Blender

Give Me the F*cking Remote

We Just F*cking Did It Last Week

I don’t know about you guys, but I’d buy them all.


Jen - posted on 05/15/2011




I think its realistic. I haven't seen anything about the book besides this post. But it sounds funny; and real.

I like that they're working on a toned-down, child friendly version for kids. I just know if my kids were younger, they'd love that. Some of them may still enjoy it. I may have to look for that when it comes out.

Krista - posted on 05/15/2011




Haha! I just looked it up on Facebook and shared the link! My husband doesn't think it's funny...

[deleted account]

I get it but i won't buy it.Its funny&its not if you get me lol.:-P

I love the illustrations.I love that so many relate to it.

[deleted account]

Sounds funny. I wouldn't buy it because of the language, but the sentiment behind it is hilarious.

Johnny - posted on 05/15/2011




I will buy it one day. I want it. Right now it's on back order because so many people pre-ordered it. This guy is going to make a fortune! I predict it will be the best selling story book of 2011. By a long shot!

Katie - posted on 05/15/2011




super funny! I felt like that last night when my 17 month old was teething and refused to be put down. People who are are offended should just not read it and calm down.

[deleted account]

OMG It's circulated all over Facebook and I just posted it on my Wall! HYSTERICAL! Anyone who is offended, well they can go F*CK themselves too ;-) It is the absolute TRUTH and so funny! NOT a kid's book in the least bit. The illustrations truly are beautiful too. Offensive? Go find another fight to pick! I love it!

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