Profanity-filled children's book satire tops Amazon book charts
This sleeping dad has never told his daughter to “go the f*** to sleep” – but he's thought about it. (Photo Credit: © All Rights Reserved/Steven Tarlow/Flickr)

While most parents may think they run a tight operation, the truth is that “just one more” is the dance anthem for sleep-deprived parents: One more glass of water, one more stuffed animal, one more story — parents of young children have heard it all.  This is particularly frustrating at bedtime, a fact San Francisco-based father, author and Rutgers University professor Adam Mansbach knows all too well. His struggles helped catapult his satirical board book for adults, “Go the F**k to Sleep,” to the top of the Amazon charts.

‘Go the F**k to Sleep’ is not for kids

On the surface, the 32-page “Go the F**k to Sleep” looks like a normal board book for young children. It is even illustrated by Mansbach’s friend Ricardo Cortés in children’s book style. However, once the torrent of expletives come out, it’s clear that this nursery rhyme satire is for adult eyes only. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the book has struck a chord with satire-loving parents. Pre-sales have placed it at the top of – even though “Go the F**k to Sleep” isn’t scheduled for release until June 14.

Hundreds of thousands have read it already

In a flourish of free advertising, “Go the F**k to Sleep” made its debut as a viral PDF first hinted at on Mansbach’s Facebook page. Even those who haven’t seen the PDF have heard the buzz. The obscene riff on the traditional “go to sleep, my dear baby” rhymes proved infectious. It has also proven that critics of digital piracy can be very wrong in their assertions that “pirate” distribution kills sales. If a product is good enough, fans will recognize the value and pay.

How bleary-eyed parents could resist such painfully on-target satire is beyond the pale:

“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 f— to sleep.”

‘Go the F**k to Sleep,’ the movie

The fame and fortune “Go the F**k to Sleep” has brought to Adam Mansbach has prompted Fox to option the film rights to the book. Publisher Akashic Books has managed to schedule an international tour without spending one cent to date on publicity, thanks to Mansbach’s circulation of the PDF copy. Yet despite massive pre-sales on Amazon, Akashic’s lawyer is fighting to stop the viral PDF from circulating. Is it any wonder that traditional publishers are a dying breed, as they cut off their nose to spite their face?


The Bay Citizen:

Christian Science Monitor:

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