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.
If you are wondering what "podcast-style" means, it means we were drinking a lot. For days. And f*ing up a lot. They've assured me that they left the best f*ck-ups in the finished product. Most of them no doubt are my own. I read like Bill Burr learning a foreign language.
Thanks in advance for listening and sharing, Facebooking, Tweeting, Instaf*cking, Redditing, Water-Cooler Chattering and all other means of spreading the word. I'm only gonna listen to the Chad Shank chapters. Goddamn does he sound delightful.
©2016 Doug Stanhope; Foreword copyright 2016 by Johnny Depp (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Disclaimer: I'd already read "Digging Up Mother" and passed it on to my millennial son who, although possesses an aversion to paper, has nearly finished reading it. If this is the first or only actual "book" he reads, I expect my contribution to humanity to at least get one tick on the right side of literature. Yeah, you read me Poindexter.
As for the Audible version?
It's more of the same. In the best possible way.
It's the same raw/raucous story telling typical of Stanhope's stand-up, rolled into a tale that drips off the page like the sloppy wisdom of ancient drunks, capped with a satisfying whiff of middle-age reflection. But now with extra added reflection! As supplied by people-that-were-actually-there first hand accounts, a voiceover cast worthy of whatever accolades there are for such things, all strung out and together by an increasingly and appropriately inebriated Stanhope.
Chad Shank excels at co-narrating the story, his rich timbre perfectly suited for an audiobook format and no doubt a sirens' song for Killer Termites.
You may get a little teary-eyed, unless you're dead inside - but either way you will be entertained. Hand the man his freedom.
A long time coming, of course I'd recommend Digging Up Mother to a friend! Everyone should read this book, it should be in Universities across the world and worshiped as point of study for centuries to come.
That Stanhope guy, he was alright.
I think I've listened or seen every recording available (probably many Doug wishes weren't available), this is Doug more refined, more concentrated and obviously performed with a more collaborative approach from his standup material.
It both horrified and sexual aroused me, I'm not sure in which order that happened.
a must listen for anyone with a mother or a habit. glorious and shambolic. ill read it again, sometime in future when i need a laugh or a cry.
I really can't recommend this enough. It's a journey. Doug tells the story of his life, framed by his mother's life and death, goes off script and gets drunk with friends who fact check his dodgy recollections. What's great about it is that his stories are true, he doesn't hold anything back and being the great storyteller he is, by trade, all the way through this book feels like the full spectrum of an epic life all packaged up and caught somehow. Oh and it's p!ss funny.
Sheer brilliance!!! Doug wrote one hell of a book! And Chad Shank gave this a certain kind of excellence not seen before in recorded spoken word or audio books!
A very unorthodox audiobook spoken by Doug Stanhope. Felt like I was listening to one of his sets. If only more authors had the same entertaining charm.
"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.
"Exactly what I hoped for!"
Highly recommended to friends that truly understand "humor, tragedy, and love" rolled up into a spitball.
All characters involved were my favorites.
I like all of his material. He stands out like a hammered thumb.
Nothing "par-tic-u-lar-ly" moved me. All of it moved me.
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.
"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.
awesome stories if you like to listen to Stanhope you will love the book. you laugh, you cry, you get angry, at the end you wonder if you should just start over and listen to it again.
It is sad and funny and beautiful.
Humor doesn't always find its center in audiobook form. This was special.
"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
Additional stories and laughter.
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!
"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!
"Stanhope and Shank are gods"
Great reading by Doug! You can really tell how much of his heart is in this book, he's so sincere in actual speaking voice. Chad Shank needs to narrate my life, the smooth deep silky voice of Chad was a great change up. I wish these stars went to eleven cause this book is amazing!
"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.
"that's how you tell a story"
this is just fantastic, highly recommended , very personal very funny, very touching.. very real
Absolutely superb, If you have read the book still buy this as it’s like the book with directors/authors commentary. Many of the people that are in the book are given their voice to comment on the actual events. Very funny but pretty dark so not for everyone.
"If your a bit twisted you'll laugh your balls off"
A hilarious and poignant insight into Doug's world. As its read by him it's almost like your at the bar having a personal rendition of his life over a few beers.
"Thank you Douglas Gene"
Fantastic story and performances and great addition of the cut aways. just like the podcasts. every audio book should do that. well done Mr Shank. Hope it leads to more work.
"Didn't want it to end!"
After reading the book I then did the audio, as recommended by Doug. Engaging, funny and I got lots of strange looks on the train for my involuntary snorts. Have since bought another 2 hard copies and 2 audio books as gifts for the likeminded!
One of the most entertaining audio books that I have ever listened to. Recommend it.
"Not every mother's audiobook"
Doug Stanhope takes the mundane old audiobook, gives it a violent, chaotic kick up the backside and creates a whole new literary genre.
Moving, disturbing, hilarious, disgusting, everything you'd expect from Stanhope at his best is in here, but it's also, deep down, a sentimental memoir and a love story. Bonnie Stanhope fits no definition of the perfect mother, but despite all the troubles they inflicted on one another, it's clear he wouldn't have wanted her any other way.
The delivery is excellent. Bringing in friends to read passages, reminisce or just argue about how things really panned out was an inspired idea. It's like the director's cut of the book, read out live in a bar after hours.
"All comedy fans must listen!"
Wow. What an audiobook. This audiobook os PACKED full of extra content which is great.
But the book itself is incredible and stands to a high standard by itself. It's funny, insightful, touching and very sad yet relatable.
If you are comedy fan- you need to listen. Of you aren't, it's still a great listen. I'd recommend you listen to Doug Stanhope first though.
"brilliant. a must listen and an instant classic."
loved it. impossible to stop once started. funny and sickening in equal measure. buy it.
It's not just a read through, there's so much more. Buy this AND the book!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.