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Digging Up Mother

A Love Story
Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Doug Stanhope is one of the most critically acclaimed and stridently unrepentant comedians of his generation. What will surprise some is that he owes so much of his dark and sometimes uncomfortably honest sense of humor to his mother, Bonnie. It was the cartoons in HER Hustler magazine issues that molded the beginnings of his comedic journey, long before he was old enough to know what to do with the actual pornography. It was Bonnie who recited Monty Python sketches with him, who introduced him to Richard Pryor at nine years old, and who rescued him from a psychologist when he brought that brand of humor to school. And it was Bonnie who took him along to all of her AA meetings, where Doug undoubtedly found inspiration for his own storytelling. 

Bonnie's own journey from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, and stand-up comedy and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when Bonnie's alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end so many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last journey. 

Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, his biggest fan, and the love of his life: his mother, Bonnie. And it all starts with her death - one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever hear. 

BONUS: As fans of his stand-up and listeners of his podcast will attest, Doug is not a "by-the-book" type of guy. This audiobook is no exception. In what he refers to as the "director's cut commentary," Doug forgoes the confines of a straight-read and creates a truly unique listening experience, going off-script to riff throughout its sections and bringing in a cast of colorful characters – childhood friends, his podcast co-host, and fellow comedians and musicians – to voice letters from teachers and guidance counselors, diary entries from his mother, and even old homework assignments. Additionally, Doug has several of the folks mentioned in the book expound on and give their version of events and stories, often remembered quite differently. The result is a wildly fun audiobook that's as distinct as the comedian's own brand of humor. 

A special note from the author: 

Good news for all my blind and/or illiterate fans! The audio version of my book Digging Up Mother is now available on Audible! 

It's read podcast-style by myself and the golden-throated Chad Shank and features guest performances from those who appeared in the book, dropping in to share their own blurred memories of our sloppy pasts and ugliest stories. Guests include my childhood delinquent partner in crime Chris O'Conner, and Greg Chaille, Bingo, Mat Becker, Sarah Hyland (now Sarah HylanDER) and more.

©2016 Doug Stanhope; Foreword copyright 2016 by Johnny Depp (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I laughed. I cried. I vomitted. I screamed.

For me, this is two books, the first chapter which is great, but then it quickly goes downhill. I am returning it becase I can't waste my brain time listening to anymore than seven more chapters of life in the gutter.

I. Chapter one:

This part is great therapy for someone (me) whose demented almost 90-years old mother just died. I watched her die over the last weeks, days and hours (plus ten years of institutional life). It was a very disturbing experience to fail to be able to reduce her suffering much. This first chapter is real, unsentimental and practical about not-assisted suicide. I have no complaints with the first chapter and the parts where the author talks about his eccentric working-class mother and his obvious love for her, despite her faults.

II. Chapters two to eight: The author sounds like a self-indulgent, moronic, drunken juvenille delinquent with zero conscience. Maybe even a socio/psychopath. Also, I'm not sure I liked havng friend's read aloud the text, although the recorded casual conversations were a plus. But he has a great voice when sober.

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Raw, brutal, funny, advisory.

Not sure if this is a warning or an inspiration. Tales of debauchery this honest are only normally shared after the demise of the protagonist, but I guess Mother was the protagonist after all. Thoroughly enjoyed the different voices, and you were right, Doug, Chad was made for this.

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Amazing journey of life

The most important book I have ever read/listened to. I would strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys podcasts

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I couldn't stop

This book is an excellent insight into a comedian i knew little about but had much interest in. i will now go ahead and listen to his next book as well as his vast backlog of comedy specials. My genitals ache with anticipation.

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Love that shit

Stanhope is a beauty I'm listening to this again right now and again and again

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Fantastic

Fantastic book , Stanhope never disappoints and Chad Shank does a wonderful job stepping in for Stanhope thru out the book.

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it's sooo good!!

Fnny, brutally honest, and heartfelt, this book is a great read. I especially enjoyed the "side bar" commentary interjected throughout.

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Thanks Doug

Great book, love the commentary. Saw you have another out now and will listen soon! - Mike (@613MG)

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What a strangely beautiful love story!

I loved the book itself, which was a great insight into his mother's life as well as his own and the additional audiobook stuff was great too. Thanks Stanhope!!

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  • jeff adams
  • 2016-08-20

Exactly what I hoped for!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly recommended to friends that truly understand "humor, tragedy, and love" rolled up into a spitball.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All characters involved were my favorites.

Have you listened to any of Doug Stanhope and Friends’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I like all of his material. He stands out like a hammered thumb.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nothing "par-tic-u-lar-ly" moved me. All of it moved me.

Any additional comments?

I listened to "Diggin Up Mother" in two days. Doug is a weed in the rose garden. He has survived pesticide sprays, droughts, and floods. One doesn't have to be pretty to survive and thrive. I want to shake his hand and say, "I understand." I will listen to it again to pick up on subtleties I may have missed.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-08-17

Chad Shank's Golden Pipes

Doug Stanhope, with a little help from his friends, brings new insights and emotions into this already astounding story of love. However, the breakout performance, and the real reason to buy this book is the sultry tones of the one and only, Chad Shank. His voice is guaranteed to make you moist(especially you, fella), even in the saddest of moments.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Ric Awsom
  • 2016-09-15

This made me like him

I wasn't a fan but now can't get enough. Doug reads the book so well and I really appreciate all of the commentary throughout!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 2016-09-01

A memoir that rewards listeners!

YouTube his standup first, if you don't like his humor you won't enjoy this much either. If you do, this book is great. He breaks the fourth wall a bunch, gives "directors cut" commentary and riffs with the actual people he's talking about in between chapters making this an immersive and rewarding listen.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • 2017-12-19

Digging up Doug Stanhope

I usually will read anything except gruesome hurting. This book beat me. I choose to not finish it. Bought as comedy it isn’t. I found the JR high school humor and escapades boring and good for nothing. It is all shock value and it doesn’t progress from there. Wish I knew how to return for credit. I find the book to be nonredeemable. Save ur time n money. Don’t bother trying to read. M

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Virginia
  • 2016-09-16

One of the best ever

I have listened to a lot of audiobooks but Doug's is one of the best. It takes the genre to a whole new level and makes it unique. Also he is the most brilliant comedian living which makes it great too

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Thaddeus
  • 2016-09-13

Got me right in the feels.

What a great book. I had to turn it off multiple times so I wouldn't erupt into psychotic level laughter in my cubicle. It also genuinely brought tears to my eyes a couple times and caused me to reflect on my own life in a fresh way. A beautiful love story. Great performances from everyone including Doug no matter what he thinks. I hope the Tom Konopka podcast stuff makes it into the next edition.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Erno
  • 2016-09-15

Great book!

What does Doug Stanhope and Friends bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Additional stories and laughter.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

Such a great book! Stories of mother visiting Vegas reminded me of Dostoyevsky's classic The Gambler, just a great listen! Especially parts spoken by Mr. Chad Shank were absolutely brilliant!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Quinn G Blandford
  • 2016-09-15

hopefully responsible for a paradigm shift in how audiobooks are performed

I read this book in analog form and now hope that more people follow Doug Stanhope's example by doing an audiobook that's more a director's cut than merely the author or a stand in reading.
Hearing and in an odd way meeting the people in his stories was fascinating.
The golden pipes of Chad Shank should soon be all over audible as well.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Harral
  • 2018-01-27

Not my thing.

I tried to like this guy and thought the bit about his mother dying was a sweet, if not exactly conventional story. But then he lost me. The stories of him growing up as a miscreant and a bully, all the while trying to sell it as “creativity” was preposterous. The truth is that he was a disturbed kid with a pretty sketchy childhood. That he was able to turn it into a career as a comedian and not a serial killer is commendable. However, I don’t think his brand of humor is particularly funny. I’ll admit I only managed to get about two hours in before I couldn’t take it any more. Maybe he turns it all around in the end. But I doubt it.

72 of 82 people found this review helpful

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  • Vincent Karaboulad
  • 2018-05-25

A martyr’s testimony

Second time listening to the book. Enlightening, moving, horribly funny at times. He is not only my favorite stand up comedian out there, but also one of the most influential thinkers. Cuts to the chase, no bullshit or sentiments allowed. Thank you Doug for (still) being alive.