One of the best things to happen to my summer was the release of the Adam Mansbach’s new bedtime story book, Go the F**k to Sleep, illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. Debuting in June as a New York Times bestseller, the book has received popular acclaim and was picked up by Samuel L. Jackson, who offered his narration to the work.
I cannot imagine that I need to explain what the book is about. Any parent who has ever tried to put a child to sleep has failed miserably at it, so the title and the gist of its contents are self-evident to most. If you’re still curious, you can listen to Samuel L’s rendition of it. Even if you’re clear on what the book’s about—in fact, even if you’ve read it—go ahead and enjoy it again, bathed in that wonderfully nasal voice of Samuel L.
Perfectly encapsulating the struggle of what one reviewer on the book’s back cover called parenting’s “rawest point: bedtime,” Mansbach’s book offers a rare but welcome view of the great emotional and physiological investment that parents have in rendering children unconscious through sleep and sweet dreams each evening. Wait a minute—what am I talking about? “Evening,” my a**. I mean each night. My kids never went to bed in the “evening.” Far into the night, maybe. Middle of the day maybe, like right when I got to the grocery store maybe, prompting some other kid’s mom to croon all over us about how my poor little thing just wants to be home in her bed. Uh, yeah. So does her mother. And believe me, her mother has NO interest in the stinking grocery store getting to suck up my kid’s sleep time, which means no chance of me sitting in silence for twenty minutes, or getting a little shut-eye myself. So don’t even.
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