John's Reviews > Go the Fuck to Sleep

Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
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Jun 09, 11

bookshelves: humor
Read in June, 2011

I read Go the F*k to Sleep at the B&N in Union Station a few minutes before I had to catch a train after a long day of work to return home to my sometimes fussy two-month old daughter. After seeing all of the hype and the Amazon preorder sales rankings, I thought it would be ROFLMFAO funny.

It was not. It wasn't ROFLMAO funny, nor even LMAO funny... neither was it ROFL funny nor LOL funny. Maybe I don't have a sense of humor. Or maybe my kid is a frakking saint...

Or maybe this book is nothing more than a steaming pile of cash cow patties. The illustrations are not funny at all. If you ignore the text, viewing the illustrations alone to tell the story, you would have no sense of the frustration the author is attempting to convey. "But that's irony," you say? Perhaps, but irony isn't funny - it merely compels you to smirk smugly at yourself for understanding "adult" humor because you happen to have lived through more than fifteen or so years of human existence. Congratulations on your successful traipse through time - it took a lot of skill and determination to age.

The illustrations fail to tell a story because there is no story. There is no narrative. There is no conflict, and thus no resolution. There is no development of character. In fact, the only characters appear to be an inconsolably whining kid, and her a$$hole father.

I suppose the poems are the meat and potatoes of this tale of woe. But they're terribly amateurish. You want irony? Here it is: In a book of poems marketed as a children's book written for adults, the poems appear to have been written by a foul-mouthed five-year old. Here's the sample poem quoted in an article from The New Yorker:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.


Cats nestling kittens. That's cute. But why "now"? "Now" doesn't even rhyme with anything. It's certainly not there to bolster the meter, which as far as I can tell, is nonexistent. In fact, the poem already sounds better if you take out the superfluous "now." Are the kittens being nestled to sleep, or to suckle? Maybe they're hungry. Maybe your crying kid is hungry. We also have some lambs and sheep. Ok, everyone is tired... the kid is cozy and warm in bed. Really? If the kid is cozy and warm, she is probably asleep. If she isn't asleep, she is probably not cozy, possibly not warm, and maybe neither. Wherefore "my dear"? Again, I'm tripping over forced metrical filler. Sheep - sleep. Ba dump ka-ching.

Perhaps you find this schlock amusing, and who am I to argue with taste? But if you are entertained by this kind of thing, here's my advice (in poetic form):

Over life's box of chocolates time flows, like caramel
And now you're no longer a pup.
You're older, fatter, lazier, and you're gonna have a baby,
So grow the fuck up.


JJTC 6/9/2011
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Shawna I agree with everything you said, especially the part about nestling, snuggling, etc.

Sometimes small kids are just lonely and it can help them drift off if we climb into their beds with them and let them snuggle for awhile. It works wonders, and is much more nurturing than a cold, "Go the F to sleep, my dear."

Love your poetic advice!


message 2: by Matty (new)

Matty Awesome review


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