Doug Stanhope has earned a lot of adjectives over the years—brash, funny, outspoken, rude, daring—but “sentimental” has never really been on the list. Turns out, there’s a good reason: A pronounced lack of mawkish emotion runs in the family. Digging Up Mother, Stanhope’s memoir and account of his mother’s decline and eventual death by intentional morphine overdose, is a fascinating and odd recounting of growing up with a mom who happened to be a troubled addict, but also her son’s fiercest supporter and ally in his comedy career. It’s easy to imagine, as you read it, hearing Stanhope’s distinctive bark of a voice in your ear, telling these stories in an intimate, unhurried manner.
And now you don’t even have to imagine it. Digging Up Mother is on sale today as an audiobook recorded for Audible, and The A.V. Club has an exclusive clip of Stanhope’s delivery of his own book. In it, he describes the moment when his mom and he actively began planning her suicide (though always in elliptical language, out of legal fears, even when they were alone). But even better, you get to hear Stanhope’s interjections about the book itself, stepping away from the narrative in meta moments to point out the times when he’s being “author-y.” (His own word.)