The Washington Post

‘Go the ---- to Sleep’ won’t go down

If you haven’t already had your fill of the year’s it parenting book then you may want to make plans to elbow into P.J. Clarke’s downtown tonight.

“Go the ---- to Sleep” author Adam Mansbach. (Courtesy of Matthew L. Kaplan /Associated Press)

Since the obscene, satirical children’s book first started generating buzz this spring, it’s become a wildly successful little tome that has single-handedly allowed parents to publicly embrace a taboo and own up to the feelings that go with it.

Need a refresher? Here’s an excerpt:

“The windows are dark in the town, child

The whales huddle down in the deep.

I’ll read one very last book if you swear

You’ll go the [expletive] to sleep.

Not surprisingly, it’s a book that’s launched a thousand opinions. Some have taken offense, including a group in New Zealand that is calling for a ban.

Some have (over?)intellectualized it. “Somewhere in the space between the book’s lush pictures and obscene words lies a kind of existential despair that is very particularly ours,” wrote Katie Roiphe for Slate.

Some have embraced the parody. Samuel L. Jackson read from it aloud on David Letterman and acclaimed film director Werner Herzog has agreed to narrate an audio version, according to the Guardian.

Most importantly, perhaps, to Mansbach, many, many parents have bought it. It remains on both the Amazon and New York Times bestseller lists.

How do you feel about the book? A fan? A critic? Ready for it to go, well, you know, to sleep?



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