Friday, June 17, 2011

No Sleep

Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep (pictures by Ricardo Cortés) is a joke in the form of a book, a dull and repetitive and vulgar joke, and a dull and repetitive and vulgar book, one that commodifies snark and makes a pretense of transgression. Note the coy cover, dodging the forbidden word, the better to display the book in stores. How edgy.

As a parent who was sometimes up at all hours, and who read and made up many stories to induce sleep (sometimes conking out while so doing), I never felt the impulse to say or think anything even close to what this book’s title says. (Honest.) My interest, 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 a.m., was in caring for someone who needed all the care I could offer. That’s what being a parent often calls for: selflessness. It comes with the territory.

The title Go the Fuck to Sleep might prompt the perennial child-question: “Why?” We never hear a child ask that question in the book, but the answer is clear: because mommy and daddy want to do what they want to do (“We’re finally watching our movie”). To which one might say, in the spirit of the book: please grow the fuck up.

comments: 4

Rachel said...

Happy early Father's day! I think you did pretty well ;)

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, kiddo. :)

Elaine said...

I'm sure you were a wonderful father, M.Leddy!

Someone had e-mailed me a link to this ?ebook? ....and I have to admit I laughed.

Michael Leddy said...

I try!

I did like hearing Werner Herzog and Samuel L. Jackson read the story. They’re both on YouTube (maybe not legally, maybe fleetingly).