Bedtime stories with obscenities!

OK, I admit that my title was rather misleading. But I am sure many of you are aware of this title – Go the F to Sleep, by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes. I won’t post an image because my daughter and other kids might see it and ask about what it means.

The idea behind this book – a parent’s increasing agitation at their child not falling asleep at lights out and coming up with amazingly inventive reasons not to shut their eyes – is a very funny one. It’s clever visually too – making it look like an innocent bedtime story and then pounding you with profanities which make it anything but. But the gratuitous swearing is what gets to me actually. I know, I know – it’s an inner monologue and not said aloud to the child (though if you listen to Samuel L Jackson’s introduction to it before he reads it aloud he admits he used to say the words of the title so often to his little girl that she could gleefully recite them when he came into her bedroom). But there’s a violence to the language that makes it distasteful and rather unnerving even as an adult’s book.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m a prude! 

What are your thoughts on this?


Image courtesy of 




  1. I hadn’t heard of this…and I am surprised that anyone would find this funny. Like you say, it’s got a very angry tone. I’m sure there are other books that have done this better, but I can’t think of any at the moment!


    • Yes, I am sure there are other books out there. I have a vague memory of one that is meant for children – it’s about a bear or bears or something not getting sleep? A Momen’t Peace or something? Must look it up…


    • Hi Val,
      Thanks for your answer. I know it’s not meant for children but as an adult I don’t particularly like it either! Just not my thing.


      • I was thinking more in terms of your blog being for reviews of books for children so your dislike of it being not entirely in keeping with many of your other posts. Other than that – I think the book’s overdone. I don’t mind ‘bad language’ when used in moderation but this was probably just written to make money rather than entertain.


      • Hi Val,
        You’re very right in your comment. I generally do prefer to stick to children’s books but I think what drove me to post about this one was the fact that it’s taken the children’s book style (visual and verbal) to tell an adult story. And it could have worked better for me if it had refrained from the overuse of swear words. I think you’re right though – the title was a shocker and the concept sold copies so in that way it’s been successful.


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