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Monday, June 13, 2011

I will NOT go the f**k to sleep

Well, talk about opportunistic titling!

To my surprise, I found that Amazon is listing a Kindle book that is an oh so obvious attempt to jump on the foul-mouthed bedtime rhyme bandwagon.

Called I will NOT go the f**k to sleep, it is self-published by Richard Crasta.  Priced at $2.99, it is reaching respectable sales already.

But do the customers have any idea what, exactly, they are buying?

The book appears to be a collection of humorous, satirical essays, that are answers to rhetorical questions, some of them curiously dated, as if they were written some time ago.

* What if a child, asked to go the f**k to sleep by its father, could respond in adult language?

* Imagine a band of 5000 yogis flown in from India to balance India's budget by spilling coffee on themselves at 5000 McDonald's outlets ...

* Would a nuclear weapons fire sale balance America's budget?

* What would Christ say to the Reagan-Bush economists at the Last Judgement?

What's the betting that the title essay was a last-minute choice, and written in a rush?

Crasta sounds an interesting person.  Born in Bangalore, India, he spent 18 formative years in New York City, and now considers himself "a compulsive itinerant, a man without moorings."  He has published a number of books, with equally interesting titles, one being, The Revised Kamasutra:  a Novel of Colonialism and Desire, and another, Eaten by the Japanese: the Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War.


Richard Crasta said...

Hi Joan,
Thank you for the mention of my book. I, like perhaps any other writer, ultimately wish to be judged by the quality of my book, and of my other books, by the quality and originality of its contents and its viewpoint, and not by the title. The title of a book I consider to be a convenient device--that someone is named Joe means nothing to me until I have met Joe and understood him. Joe could be Joe Kennedy or Joe McCarthy, or Joe DiMaggio. It's just a way to distinguish one book from another, and to persuade the reader to try the book--perhaps, in this case, to convey some idea of its rebellious and subversive nature (in a sense, subverting a subversive book!). And no one who has read the book will doubt that.

Yes, there are great and memorable titles, and titles that are sometimes terrific but not matched by the quality of the book. And titles that are just lucky and serendipitous, like "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.'

So if you will please write to my at, I would be happy to send you a coupon for a free copy of the book. I would love it if you reviewed this and perhaps other books of mine. (I tried to email the coupon code, but the email link of your blog did not seem to work for me.)

Thank you and good wishes.

Joan Druett said...

How nice to get a comment from an author! Yes, of course I will write soon, Richard -- once my email program sorts itself out. (Currently cannot manage pictures, as some readers have noticed!)

Kia ora, Joan

Richard Crasta said...

Hi Joan,

You seem to be a pretty accomplished and prolific author and woman of many parts yourself, so I am delighted that you became the first (and so far, the only) professional writer who has commented on my book. You may also have observed that the publicity has been overwhelmingly for the Mansbach book, and almost none for mine. The sales, at the moment, are peanuts--the only consolation being that they are better than any other title of mine.

And I truly believe that at least a few readers are going to like the book as much, and that a small fraction of those might like it even more than Adam Mansbach's book (which I admit I haven't read). The book collects some of my best humor of the last 25 years, and is intercultural, and non-pc, and at moments sexy--humor is very difficult, can rarely be written to order, and I would give my right arm to be able to write some of those pieces now.

I can understand why, in these stressful times (Financial crisis, war, high oil prices), humor sells so well. But I have two other books that are as funny or nearly as funny, in my humble opinion: WHAT WE ALL NEED and THE REVISED KAMA SUTRA, and they combine sex with humor (as few other writers do--Philip Roth did in Portnoy's Complaint); but they are hardly moving.

A writer needs to do what he/she has to do to survive--and I've been trying to keep my nose above water mainly through writing, and thus to service a debt bigger than the GNP of some island nations. So I hope you and a few more readers than at present show me some generosity and help the book reach a larger audience--no matter the title (if the book sells enough copies, I don't mind changing the title to "Joe").

Thank you,