Monday, July 4, 2011

Exactly As The Title Suggests, Go The Fuck To Sleep Is A Novelty Children’s Book For Adults.

The Good: Very funny, Decent artwork.
The Bad: Short, Low practical application, Decent artwork.
The Basics: Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes create an amusing, if entirely foul-mouthed children’s book with the very popular Go The Fuck To Sleep!

There is not much in the way of sophisticated analysis that can come from children’s books, I think. I mean, unless the message is entirely subversive or there is some real social controversy, it is hard to spend a whole load of time considering a children’s book. They are usually short, use appropriately simple diction and have artwork that is bright and clear, large enough to captivate the attention of children. While others may want to write a whole load about the adult children’s book Go The Fuck To Sleep, I find myself considering it pretty much another children’s book, despite the language.

Go The Fuck To Sleep is a children’s book intended for adults where the title line is repeated and rhymed as a parent pleads with his child to go to sleep so he can go do other things, like spend an evening with his wife. The supposedly shocking language is the result of an escalation on the part of the father, who just wants his kid to quiet down, close its eyes and, well, go the fuck to sleep. There is nothing more to the story than that. The book is pretty much a list of things that start with coaxing imagery and develops into pleading and then quiet seething as the father begs the child to go to sleep.

And it is funny. Adam Mansbach has some cute lines and the book is enough to make one smile. But, like most humor books, it replays poorly. I reread the book twice and listened to the audio version with Samuel L. Jackson reading it and by the time he was done with it, I was done with the experience. It wears thin quickly, though it is amusing and as one who is happily child-free, I thought the concept was quite amusing.

Illustrator Ricardo Cortes uses the requisite bright colors and the book looks like a children’s book. But most parents will not want to share this gem with their children, no matter how awful they (the parents or the children) are.

For other humor books, please visit my reviews of:
The Sinner’s Guide To The Evangelical Right By Robert Latham
The New York City Bartender’s Joke Book By Jimmy Pritchard
When You Are Engulfed In Flames By David Sedaris


For other book reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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