Digging Up Mother: A Love Story
Before and during his comedy career, Doug Stanhope has lived in Massachusetts, Los Angeles, his car, and Bisbee, AZ. Digging Up Mother chronicles his decades-long journey from telemarketing jobs to performing with Mitch Hedberg. As his life becomes his act, his mother — a woman who jerks off more than one family pet — provides him both material and support. After her death, Mr. Stanhope isn’t exactly unmoored, seeing as how he’d been adrift his whole life anyway. Mr. Stanhope has never stayed anywhere for long, and his book has the same jittery feel. He barrels through memories, taking pride in the sheer volume of stories he’s accumulated, although each one only gets a cursory retelling. Plus, with all the repulsive crap he’s done in his life, Mr. Stanhope isn’t a good enough prose writer to make himself sympathetic. Although it’s unclear if he even wants to be liked. He bashes AA, believing that, without alcohol, he wouldn’t have any stories to tell. To Mr. Stanhope, a sober life is a boring one. His dark sense of humor doesn’t translate to the page, and the result is a book that’s neither serious nor funny, although it tries to be both.
Da Capo Press