When Adam Mansbach's daughter, Vivien, was two years old, she would take up to two hours to fall asleep.
They wake to find their child asleep, then quietly exit to watch a movie with their spouse.
Unfortunately, a beep from the microwave wakes up their child again.
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, The CD's total running time is 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 approximately 4 1/2 minutes.
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 word "fuck" was replaced by the parent in the story expressing frustration with the stubborn child in a more G-rated way.
For example, "I know you're not thirsty, that's bullshit. Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep" was changed to "I know you're not thirsty. Stop goofing around now, and sleep." The book was translated into many other languages, and in February 2014, it was announced on Facebook and in other sources the book would receive a translation into Jamaican patois, entitled Go de Rass to Sleep.
"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.