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Music video by Rihanna performing Take A Bow. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 66288884. (C) 2008 The Island Def Jam Music Group.
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|Go the Fuck to Sleep|
|Publication date||June 2011|
Go the Fuck to Sleep is a book written by American author Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. Described as a "children's book for adults", it reached No. 1 on Amazon.com's bestseller list a month before its release, thanks to an unintended viral marketing campaign during which booksellers forwarded PDF copies of the book by email.
When Adam Mansbach's daughter Vivien was two, she would take up to two hours to fall asleep. Exhausted and exasperated, one night Mansbach posted a note on Facebook, "Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the — to Sleep". Following his post, friends of Mansbach responded enthusiastically, so that Mansbach began writing what was then only a hypothetical book. Mansbach had the illustrations for the picture book done by a friend, illustrator Ricardo Cortés (a contributor to The New York Times), and approached Akashic Books, a book publisher from New York.
Go the Fuck to Sleep was subject to an unintended viral marketing campaign after PDF copies of the book, presumably from advance copies sent to booksellers, were distributed via email. While the book was originally scheduled for release in October 2011, by the end of April the book had hit No. 2 on Amazon.com's bestseller list, and by May 12 the book was No. 1. In the meantime, the publishing date was moved up to June, and the publisher increased its first printing to 150,000 copies. Akashic, which acknowledged the importance of social media in popularizing the book ("it's a miracle from the heavens for us"), is trying to prevent piracy of the book. The book's title on the cover had the letters "uc" in the word "fuck" hidden by a full moon, while the book's text includes the full word. The rights for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth were acquired by Canongate. The film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000.
The audiobook company Audible.com has published an audiobook version of Go the Fuck to Sleep, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. The CD has a total running time of just over 7 minutes, which includes an unabridged reading of the book by Jackson, a brief introductory monologue by Jackson explaining why he decided to record the book, and approximately 2 minutes' worth of introductory and legal matter (spoken copyright notice, etc.). The actual reading of the manuscript by Jackson runs only approximately 4 1/2 minutes.
Content and critical response 
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 fuck to sleep.
Go the Fuck to Sleep is written as a "children's book for adults". While it has the writing style of classic children's bedtime stories, it also includes the parent's profanity as commentary on the tricks used by Mansbach's daughter to avoid having to go to bed.
Positive initial response to the Facebook posts was matched by positive criticism from reviewers. Macy Halford, writing for The New Yorker, said "the book is super funny, and the art, by Ricardo Cortés, is perversely sweet, so sweet and genuine that it made me cringe." Some of the reviewers chimed in from experience, as did Sarah Western Balzer, writing for Here Is the City. After citing a stanza in which the parent comments on the child's supposed thirst ("I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying. / Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep."), she says: "It goes on a bit too long, and by the end, he's kind of in a rage. But then, putting a two- or three-year-old to bed can be totally fucking enraging at times."
Cultural relevance 
According to Mansbach, the frustrations he wrote about "are not permissible to talk about. We're not completely honest because we don't want to be bad parents." Macy Halford said this frustration elicits a response peculiar to modern parents:
Whatever the cause, it is definitely the case that, when faced with a kid who refuses to go to sleep, we get annoyed, like all parents before us, but, rather than just abandoning the child to the dark and telling it that it can go to sleep or stay awake as it likes but it is staying in the bed until morning (remember Proust at the opening of Swann’s Way?), we sit there with it, reading to it and singing to it and distracting it with swirling night lights until it decides it feels like going to sleep, all the while thinking to ourselves, Go the fuck to sleep, kid.
According to Mark Rotella, an editor at Publishers Weekly (and father of two), this is one of the books "that are less earnest about raising your child. They help parents step back and laugh at themselves a bit ... It's more like a parenting book for when the parent is inconsolable in the middle of night and frustrated." The publisher for the UK and the Commonwealth, Canongate, likewise pointed to the book as a parents' book: "This book perfectly captures the familiar and unspoken tribulations of putting your child down for the night. In the process, it opens up a conversation about parenting, charming and enraging as it can be, and chimes a note of solidarity with tired parents everywhere."
Celebrity readings 
As well as the audio book read by Samuel L. Jackson, the book attracted several celebrity readings including by German film director Werner Herzog at the official launch of the book at the New York Public Library. Kevin Pollak, doing a vocal impression of Christopher Walken, read some of the story on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show by viewer request.
As part of a rapidly growing internet meme, the publisher of the book in Australia, Text Publishing, posted a video of Australian actress Noni Hazlehurst reading the book to camera in the style she formerly used on the children's television program Play School. She immediately offered to record a reading of the book after being sent a copy by the publisher.
The senior vice president and director of Macmillan Children's Publishing announced that she feels the book is a parody of Macmillan's book It's Time to Sleep, My Love by Eric Metaxas and Nancy Tillman, saying "Except for the profanity laced throughout, the book has the same kind of lilting lullaby as Eric's, and the art style is the same as Nancy's." Both books contain very similar illustrations of sleeping tigers. "I really have a number of feelings about this because to me it's about the mainstreaming of vulgarity in American culture," Metaxas has said. "It's funny, but it's just wrong. ... Innocence is constantly punctured, lampooned, and when you have something really, really beautiful like a lullaby for children that there's something that kind of saddens me that we have to turn it into a joke. ... Are people going to look at my book now, and is it going pollute their ability to enjoy what I have written?"[transcript verification needed]
In July 2011, MensHealth.com published a retort to the book: a parody poem written from the child's perspective titled "Get the F**k Out of My Room" and containing parenting advice.
Alternate version 
As a follow-up, Mansbach wrote a family-friendly version of the book called Seriously, Just Go To Sleep. Whereas the original was a parody of a children's book written expressly for the adult age group, Seriously, Just Go To Sleep is a real children's book for a parent to read to his or her child, and the profanity has been replaced by the parent in the story expressing frustration with the stubborn child in a more G-rated way. For example, the stanza about the child's thirst was changed from "I know you're not thirsty, that's bullshit. Stop lying. Lie the fuck down, my darling and sleep" to "I know you're not thirsty. You just had a drink. Stop goofing around now, and sleep."
See also 
- It's Just a Plant, a book written and illustrated by Cortés
- I Don't Want To Blow You Up!, by Cortés as well
- Harmanci, Reyhan (28 April 2011). "A Whim, A Book, And, Wow!". New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Neill, Graeme (13 May 2011). "Spoof kids' book to Canongate". The Bookseller. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Hetter, Katia (13 May 2011). "Bedtime story: Go the bleep to sleep". CNN. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Harmanci, Reyhan (12 May 2011). "'Go the F--- to Sleep': The Case of the Viral PDF". The Bay Citizen. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Netburn, Deborah (June 15, 2011). "Samuel L. Jackson reads 'Go the F --- to Sleep'". LATimes. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Halford, Macy (5 May 2011). "The Mystery of Go the F to Sleep Solved". The New Yorker. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Balzer, Sarah Western (12 May 2011). "Go The F*ck To Sleep (Review)". Here is the City. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- "Werner Herzog Reads 'Go the F*ck to Sleep'". The Atlantic Wire. June 15, 2011.
- "Kevin Pollak reading a piece of "Go the F*** To Sleep" as Christopher Walken". Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. YouTube (Official channel). June 22, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Noni Hazlehurst reads expletive-ridden 'children's' book". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 July 2011.
- "Go the F**k to Sleep". Australia: Text Publishing. July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- Lodge, Sally (June 8, 2011). "To Feiwel and Friends, Instant Bestseller Is a Bit of Deja Vu". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- Metaxas, Eric (June 13, 2011). Hugh Hewitt Show. Interview with Hugh Hewitt.
- "Get the F**k out of my room!", by Eric Adams, Steve Belanger, Adam Campbell, and Bill Phillips and illustrated by David Gothard. MensHealth.com Accessed November 13, 2011.
- Richmond, Tom (December 12, 2011). "On the Stands: MAD #513". Tom's MAD Blog!. tomrichmond.com. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
"MAD Magazine 20 Dumbest Things of 2011: Sleeping Air Traffic Controllers in "Stay the F**k Awake"". Huffingtonpost.com. December 5, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
"NTSB Investigating Sleeping Air Traffic Controller At Reagan National". Huffingtonpost.com. AP. March 23, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- Blistein, Jon. "Samuel L. Jackson Delivers Colorful Get-Out-the-Vote Message". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- ISBN 978-1-61775-078-6