Title: Go the F–k to Sleep
Author: Adam Mansbach
Illustrator: Ricardo Cortes
Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson
Publication Year: 2011
Pages: 36 (audio length: 6 minutes)
Genre: Adult, Humour, Audiobook
Source: Audiobook version, free from Audible.com
From the cover:
Go the F**k 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. California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s profane, affectionate, and radically honest verses perfectly capture the familiar – and unspoken – tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, he opens up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations and laugh at their absurdity
Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the F**k to Sleep is a book for parents new, old, and expectant. Due to its explicit language, you probably should not play it for your children.
I read about half of this book at a friend’s house, months back, shortly after it became an internet sensation. Then I saw this audiobook version, free, on Audible, so I downloaded it. Because seriously – Samuel L. Jackson! And then I promptly forgot to actually listen to it.
So now that it’s been nominated for The Audies, and I’m participating in the Armchair Audies, it was time to finally load it up and listen. And now I’m just sad that I hadn’t listened to it earlier.
First of all, the story is hilarious. Epic, in fact. It’s sort of written like a typical children’s book, with cute little animals and rhyming … and yet not. There’s also a mix of adult commentary, ranging from the benign – talking about tucking the child in and reading to them, for example – to the, well, words from the title. And hearing it in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice just made it even better. His narration has this way about it – calm and collected for the most part, with just a hint of exasperation that grows as the story progresses. All with that low-pitched, gravelly sexiness that you’d expect from him.
I don’t have kids of my own, but I still found an awful lot of humour in the story. I’d imagine that those real, everyday experience trying to get a child (or children) to sleep would find it even more hilarious than I did. It’s just one of those books that hits the right balance of truth and parody to make it memorable.
Definitely give the audio version of Go the F–k to Sleep a shot, even if you’ve already read the print version. You won’t regret it.