Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Ricardo Cortes, Read by Samuel L. Jackson

Adam Mansbach’s Go the F**k to Sleep, illustrated by Ricardo Cortes and read by Samuel L. Jackson, is a “children’s book for adults” that will have most parents nodding, “YES!”  As a new parent, this book made me agree wholeheartedly with its sentiments about how hard it is to get kids to go to sleep.

They are often too wired to sleep or simply too worried that they will miss something important by going to bed.

THIS IS NOT a book for children; it is for adults and would be considered humor.  This is not a review of the book’s illustrations because I listened to this book via audio from Audible.

Samuel L. Jackson is a natural narrator for this book because of his brash attitude in his movies and the reputation he’s garnered as a result.  His narration gains momentum as he continues reading through the rhymed story, and the frustration escalates.  It is this movement and cadence that will amuse readers as they shudder with understanding — kids that need a drink or want one more story read to them before sleeping.

“The wind whispers soft through the grass, hon.  The field mice, they make not a peep.  It’s been 38 minutes already.  Jesus Christ, what the f**k! Go to sleep!”

One drawback is that the word “f**k” is used from the very first lines throughout the book, but it may have been more effective to save its use for later on as the frustration gains ground.  One of the best moments of the book is when the narrator realizes that his child will not be sleeping and has given up saying, “No,” and simply acquiesces to whatever the latest request is.  What makes the narration even more poignant is the light, lullaby music in the background.

Go the F**k to Sleep is a hilarious look at parenthood, and the introduction by Jackson about his own struggles with getting his daughter to sleep further drives home the point that we are not alone.

About the Author:

Adam Mansbach is an American author and professor of fiction[1] at Rutgers University[2] who wrote the “children’s book for adults” Go the Fuck to Sleep.[3] Other books Mansbach has written include Angry Black White Boy and The End of the Jews[4] (for which he won the California Book Award for fiction in 2008)


This is my 36th book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.



This is my 1st book for the 2011 Audio Book Challenge and the 1st I listened to on my Kindle.


  1. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books says

    I did the free download on audible.com, too. Once was enough for me 🙂

    I suspect this is being bought mostly as a gag gift for expectant parents.

  2. I heard Jackson read this and thought he did a phenomenal job!

  3. I have to imagine that Jackson would be an awesome narrator for this. I actually saw it for the first time recently and just might have to check out the audio. I do have to agree with you that it might have been better to progressively build into the frustration.

  4. I really need to get this one. My 4yo seems to believe that sleep is a completely unnecessary waste of time. Mommy doesn’t agree…

  5. I must get this for my wife, the nanny — hilarious!!

  6. I have seen so much buzz about this book, but haven’t read or listened to it yet. So glad I am beyond those years!

    • I’m sure you are glad to be beyond those years. I can’t wait for her to get passed the incessant crying before sleeping…I won’t mind the read me another story or get me a drink…though I could change my mind about that later when the time comes.

  7. I love this (saw the Samuel Jackson video and also saw the book in B&N) but to my utter amazement, my husband found it offensive! I guess occasionally we have to do a roll reversal to keep things interesting! LOL

  8. I really need to listen to this, even though my kids are now 11 and 13. My 11 year old (The Boy) gave up his nap at the age of 1. He hated pre-school because they had naps. Even now, his little brain won’t stop, and he never gets to sleep when he should. So I can totally relate. There are evenings when I want to shout this very exact thing to him.

  9. I still have a hard time getting The Girl to get to bed, but at least she’s past the stage where I have to run up and down the stairs caring for her every need. So I see the appeal of this book to frustrated parents. Not sure I want to read it, though.

    Btw, I had no idea that you could also listen to books on the Kindle. Neat!

    • I had originally downloaded the free audible to my computer and listened to it, but when I got the kindle and hooked it to the amazon account, the audiobook downloaded to the kindle too and I had no idea i could listen to audiobooks…totally found out by accident.

  10. I am sure lots of parents will appreciate the sentiment of this book!

    There was a video done of one of our most beloved kids TV presenters reading this book – hilarious!