Adam Mansbach's new book sweetly says what we're all really thinking: "Go the F*ck to Sleep"

You know the drill: Your toddler is tired and desperately needs to go to sleep. You are tired, and you desperately need your toddler to go to sleep. But your toddler? Isn't going to go to sleep without a fight.

What started out as a status update on Facebook and a joking comment made to friends turned into a publishing phenomenon when Adam Mansbach's new book, "Go the F*ck to Sleep," hit the top of Amazon.com's best-sellers list months before it was even published. It hits the real-life shelves today, June 14.

Don't let the gorgeous illustrations by Ricardo Cortes or Mansbach's lilting rhymes fool you. As the title makes it clear, this book is not rated G. Or even PG. A (slightly edited) sample:

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*ck to sleep.


Author Adam Mansbach (Photo: Matthew L. Kaplan)Author Adam Mansbach (Photo: Matthew L. Kaplan)"I've been calling it a children's book for adults," says Mansbach, the father of a 3-year-old girl (whose favorite sleep-stalling tactic is "Tell me another story!"). After joking about it for a while, he finally buckled down and "wrote it in a couple of sittings," he said in an interview with Shine.

People's interests in "Go the F*ck to Sleep" were piqued after Mansbach gave a reading at the Fourth Wall Arts Salon in Philadelphia on April 23 (you can see the video of it here). At that time, the profanity-laced book was scheduled for release in October. "The next morning, it was number 125 on Amazon," he says. "In the next few days, it jumped all the way up to number two."

And then it went viral. They discovered that a PDF of the book was floating around the internet. "We were mortified. We tried to get them all taken down, we were doing cease-and-desists. We thought it was going to sink us," Mansbach says. "Of course, we didn't get them down. And it didn't sink us."

Instead, demand for the book continued to grow. Its rapid rise through the Amazon.com ranks prompted the book's small, Brooklyn-based publisher, Akashic Books, to release it in time for Father's Day; more than 100,000 copies were pre-ordered. Apparently, having a PDF in their inboxes wasn't enough-people didn't just want to read it, they wanted to own it. "It's still bad form to print out a PDF and give it to someone as a mother's day gift," Mansbach jokes.

"I don't want to totally condone piracy, especially when it's a small publisher that's always on the verge of insolvency because they have such a small reserve," he says, serious again. "But in this case..."

In this case, the book struck a chord with parents everywhere, and demand continues to grow. Fox 2000 has purchased the movie rights, actor and producer Werner Herzog has agreed to be the voice of the official audio version, and actor Samuel L. Jackson-he of "Pulp Fiction" fame-has already offered up his own dramatic reading. Mansbach says that a truly kid-friendly version is in the works.




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