book reviews

July 28, 2011 |
Courtesy of Beaverdale Books


Reviewed by Julie Goodrich


‘Go the F**k to Sleep'

By Adam Mansbach

Akashic Books



32 pp


In the world of parenting, bedtime should be an Olympic sport. The never-ending battle that so many dread is illuminated with biting, insightful wit in Adam Mansbach's new book, "Go the F**k to Sleep."

Its small size and soft, pleasant illustrations make this book resemble a familiar children's bedtime story. It isn't. To be clear, this is NOT a book for children, but it would make an excellent gift for new parents or parents-to-be, as long as they are not easily offended. Curses grace every page of this delightful book and fittingly so, as there is little in life more frustrating than a sleepless child.

The story is told in simple rhymes, featuring kittens, tigers and animals of all sorts, but the main character is a nameless, likely familiar, insomniac human child. The desperate parent who narrates the story is slowly losing his mind as the child does whatever she can to not sleep. It is a story as old as time and side-splittingly funny, at least when it isn't happening to you.

For even more fun, try the audio book, read by actor Samuel L. Jackson ("Pulp Fiction," "Snakes on a Plane"). Be prepared to laugh harder than you have in a long time. There is something about his pained, frustrated voice that fits this book perfectly. His dramatic reading is full of pauses and sighs that elevate the already ridiculous book to new heights. "Go the F**k to Sleep" has hit the bestseller list by storm, and it isn't hard to see why. Do yourself a favor and pick up the funniest book of the year. CV