Snakes on a Plane, Etc.

Last Spring, the screams began, issuing from the playgrounds, the Whole Foods, the preschool drop-off curbs: Someone wrote something called Go the F**k to Sleep. “I should have thought of that! Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t you think of that?” new parents cried, realizing the Next Big Thing had been staring them in the face every night for years — and crying. It recalled 2008, when thousands of hipsters slumped over their keyboards after seeing Stuff White People Like. Or 2006, when an editor of this very paper was found unconscious holding a review copy of Kasper Hauser’s SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy From a Plane. Instantly, Go the F**k to Sleep topped the list of Things You Should Have Thought of, Dammit. The title so encompassed the zeitgeist of modern parenting, so perfectly captured the shameful feelings that can bubble up in the nightlight hours — this fucking baby! — that there hardly needed to be a book. Indeed, there wasn’t a book, at first — the thing topped Amazon’s bestseller list as a title. Upon its release last June, the successes multiplied, ripping the hearts out of everyone who should have thought of the book first, with a public reading by Werner Herzog, an audio book voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, a movie deal, and Kevin Pollack reading the book in the style of Christopher Walken. But solace also arrived, as GtFtS turned out to be quite good. After all, it was written by the Bay Area’s Adam Mansbach, author of acclaimed novels Angry Black White Boy and The End of the Jews. He’s paid his dues. He’s earned his Sam Jackson.
Wed., Oct. 5, 7 p.m., 2011

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