Go the Fuck to Sleep, by Adam Mansbach

Sorry for the swearing, up there, but what can you do? Actually, since I read this book while I was, um, cataloging it, I know exactly what you can do — the catalog record offers up a second title of Go the Fok to Sleep because the cover has a convenient moon in the middle. And maybe people don’t know what it really says?

But I do! Oh, I do, because after all the internets hullabaloo about this book I couldn’t help spending a couple minutes paging through this before sending it out to be processed. That’s right, a couple minutes. I was thinking about not even writing up for the blog, but I realized that I could maybe save a few of you those couple minutes that you could use to, like, sleep in a bit one morning, or something.

Yes, indeed, this book is not nearly as exciting as the internet made it out to be. I can hear your shock from all the way over here!

You’ve probably heard the premise of the book, but if not — it’s in the style of a kids’ rhyming book, and ostensibly of the go-to-sleep genre of such. I’ve seen it compared to Goodnight Moon, but it’s not quite the same tone. I would say it’s trying very hard to be more Dr. Seuss-y or somesuch, but Seuss is a way better poet.

And maybe that’s a weird thing to be picky about, but, I mean, the book is like ten pages long and it’s entirely made up of these little poems, and the poems are not very good! Mansbach forces words into patterns where they do not fit, and I found myself having to really think about how to make a line go “ta dum dum ta dum dum” more often than I’d like.

Unrelatedly, I just tried to Google some of the lines to show you what I mean, and I discovered that Google won’t let me see the results for “go the fuck to sleep,” though it will allow “go the f to sleep.” Anyone know how to fix that?

Right, anyway, some of the rhymes were off, and also, for as short as this book is, it seemed like Mansbach ran out of steam after the first few poems, because they become increasingly nonsensical and also more “angry” than “tired and frustrated and irritated,” which is how the book begins and ends, so I’m not sure what happened in the middle there.

Now I’ve spent more time writing this book up than reading it! Nuts! Uh, sorry, I guess I didn’t save you any time after all!

Recommendation: If you’re gonna read it you’re gonna read it. At least it’s quick!

Rating: 5/10


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