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This Is Not Fame: A "From What I Re-Memoir"

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An unfiltered, unapologetic, hilarious, and sometimes obscene assemblage of tales from the down-and-dirty traveling comedy circuit Doug Stanhope has been drunkenly stumbling down the back roads and dark alleys of stand-up comedy for over a quarter of a century, roads laden with dank bars, prostitutes, cheap drugs, farm animals, evil dwarfs, public nudity, menacing third-wo An unfiltered, unapologetic, hilarious, and sometimes obscene assemblage of tales from the down-and-dirty traveling comedy circuit Doug Stanhope has been drunkenly stumbling down the back roads and dark alleys of stand-up comedy for over a quarter of a century, roads laden with dank bars, prostitutes, cheap drugs, farm animals, evil dwarfs, public nudity, menacing third-world police, psychotic breaks, sex offenders, and some understandable suicides. You know, just for levity. While other comedians were seeking fame, Stanhope was seeking immediate gratification, dark spectacle, or sometimes just his pants. Not to say he hasn't rubbed elbows with fame. He's crashed its party, snorted its coke, and jumped into its pool naked, literally and often repeatedly -- all while artfully dodging fame himself. Doug spares no legally permissible detail, and his stories couldn't be told any other way. They're weird, uncomfortable, gross, disturbing, and fucking funny. This Is Not Fame is by no means a story of overcoming a life of excess, immorality, and reckless buffoonery. It's an outright celebration of it. For Stanhope, the party goes on.


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An unfiltered, unapologetic, hilarious, and sometimes obscene assemblage of tales from the down-and-dirty traveling comedy circuit Doug Stanhope has been drunkenly stumbling down the back roads and dark alleys of stand-up comedy for over a quarter of a century, roads laden with dank bars, prostitutes, cheap drugs, farm animals, evil dwarfs, public nudity, menacing third-wo An unfiltered, unapologetic, hilarious, and sometimes obscene assemblage of tales from the down-and-dirty traveling comedy circuit Doug Stanhope has been drunkenly stumbling down the back roads and dark alleys of stand-up comedy for over a quarter of a century, roads laden with dank bars, prostitutes, cheap drugs, farm animals, evil dwarfs, public nudity, menacing third-world police, psychotic breaks, sex offenders, and some understandable suicides. You know, just for levity. While other comedians were seeking fame, Stanhope was seeking immediate gratification, dark spectacle, or sometimes just his pants. Not to say he hasn't rubbed elbows with fame. He's crashed its party, snorted its coke, and jumped into its pool naked, literally and often repeatedly -- all while artfully dodging fame himself. Doug spares no legally permissible detail, and his stories couldn't be told any other way. They're weird, uncomfortable, gross, disturbing, and fucking funny. This Is Not Fame is by no means a story of overcoming a life of excess, immorality, and reckless buffoonery. It's an outright celebration of it. For Stanhope, the party goes on.

30 review for This Is Not Fame: A "From What I Re-Memoir"

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Smith

    Doug Stanhope is a wild American stand up comedian whose act is lewd and, many would consider, offensive. But he’s also often uproariously funny. I first came across him when he had a regular three-minute rant on Charlie Brooker’s review show, Weekly Wipe, on British television. I liked his irreverent style so I grabbed a copy of his memoir Digging Up Mother: A Love Story, a book about how he assisted his mother in committing suicide. Honestly, it’s apparently a true story! Full of humour and pa Doug Stanhope is a wild American stand up comedian whose act is lewd and, many would consider, offensive. But he’s also often uproariously funny. I first came across him when he had a regular three-minute rant on Charlie Brooker’s review show, Weekly Wipe, on British television. I liked his irreverent style so I grabbed a copy of his memoir Digging Up Mother: A Love Story, a book about how he assisted his mother in committing suicide. Honestly, it’s apparently a true story! Full of humour and pathos, the audio version of that book featured a posse of friends kicking around the detail of events after each chapter. It was great fun. Shocking, sad and potentially inflammatory but mostly just funny. This audiobook adopts the same format with Doug himself reading some sections and one of his crew reading others. Some call his comedy a form of social comment in that he tends to offer up a provocative position on a theme and then attempt to defend it, normally against all odds and with much profanity. In one section here he talks about a night in Ireland when he decided to try out a proposition that Irish women are just too ugly to rape. Yes, you get the picture. The audience did too, but failed to see the funny side – it really didn’t go down well. He was booed off stage on that occasion, but that's just water off a duck’s back to Doug. He’s thick skinned, as you have to be to make a living doing stand up. And it helps that he seems to be just about permanently half-drunk – but that's just when he's not fully drunk or high on magic mushrooms. Really this is just book is simply a series of anecdotes kicking off from the time he started out on road. The yarns vary in terms of quality (if I can use that word) but the bits in between – where he just chats with his buddies – adds nothing of value in my view. However, the really good stuff probably makes the whole think worth a look (or a listen) if you're into dark, uncompromising comedy. It’s acerbic and funny but definitely not something to try out if you’re easily offended. But enjoyable as some parts of the book are this one is really isn’t a patch on Mother.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Bruni

    Another great book from Stanhope. I loved his first, and this is just as good. Painfully honest in most places. Horrifying. Mortifying. Absolutely hilarious. Also, not afraid to publish a picture of his own dick in this book. Then again, he has no fear, anyway, about anything. As a drunkard myself, I can identify with a lot of things in this book. However, I do disagree with him on one thing. I do believe that Bill Hicks bared his soul onstage. He didn't just talk politics or dick jokes. He had Another great book from Stanhope. I loved his first, and this is just as good. Painfully honest in most places. Horrifying. Mortifying. Absolutely hilarious. Also, not afraid to publish a picture of his own dick in this book. Then again, he has no fear, anyway, about anything. As a drunkard myself, I can identify with a lot of things in this book. However, I do disagree with him on one thing. I do believe that Bill Hicks bared his soul onstage. He didn't just talk politics or dick jokes. He had his personal moments, especially when dealing with a combative audience. I also disagree with people who liken Stanhope to Hicks. I see why they do, but they're wrong. The fundamental difference is that Hicks was angry and bitter with himself, but Stanhope, while not without a healthy helping of self-loathing, luxuriates in his life and his adventures. I wonder if he'll ever write down the story of how he got herpes in the first place . . .

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simon Sweetman

    Stanhope is a funny, thoughtful, engaging writer - and this, a part-memoir that basically discusses his comedy career rather than his actual life, plays out almost like a comedy special. There's huge heart here and fearlessness too. Outrage, but never (just) for the sake of it. He's a class act. At least most of the time. Stanhope is a funny, thoughtful, engaging writer - and this, a part-memoir that basically discusses his comedy career rather than his actual life, plays out almost like a comedy special. There's huge heart here and fearlessness too. Outrage, but never (just) for the sake of it. He's a class act. At least most of the time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Waffles

    I would give it slightly less than 4.5 stars. So many laugh out loud moments. Don't read this in a quiet space or you will rupture your diaphragm from suppressing your laughs. I would give it slightly less than 4.5 stars. So many laugh out loud moments. Don't read this in a quiet space or you will rupture your diaphragm from suppressing your laughs.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zach Bird

    One of, if not the best autobiography I have ever read. Rockstar stories of debauchery with a comedian’s sensibilities and attention to detail. Maybe Stanhope’s best work and I have read, seen and heard all of his material. Highly recommend!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian K Thibodeaux

    Exactly what you would expect... Stanhope, as always, simply tells the stories as they happened. No apologies. No embarrassment. No embellishment. He again shows us how inane our world can be and wonders why so many of us still choose to live that way. Agree or disagree...you won't be left guessing where he stands on just about any controversial topic you can imagine. It's like he takes a class about what subjects to avoid in order to make others comfortable doing business with us, then he procee Exactly what you would expect... Stanhope, as always, simply tells the stories as they happened. No apologies. No embarrassment. No embellishment. He again shows us how inane our world can be and wonders why so many of us still choose to live that way. Agree or disagree...you won't be left guessing where he stands on just about any controversial topic you can imagine. It's like he takes a class about what subjects to avoid in order to make others comfortable doing business with us, then he proceeds to attack every one of those subjects head on....always with his unusual spin. Gotta respect that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cody Fraley

    One of the funniest books I have ever read. Distasteful to a degree that warms the cockles of my heart because of the overly sensitive nature of modern society. Doug is unabashedly honest, brutal, and fun in a childish way but does not steer clear of some thought provoking and endearing stories. Like what was said a few times in the book, there is nothing more entertaining than laughing like an 11 year old. I did that for the majority of this read and couldn't have had a better time. One of the funniest books I have ever read. Distasteful to a degree that warms the cockles of my heart because of the overly sensitive nature of modern society. Doug is unabashedly honest, brutal, and fun in a childish way but does not steer clear of some thought provoking and endearing stories. Like what was said a few times in the book, there is nothing more entertaining than laughing like an 11 year old. I did that for the majority of this read and couldn't have had a better time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    kometman

    What can I say? If you like Stanhope's comedy, you will love this book. If you are not familiar with his comedy, check him out first to make sure he's your cup of tea. Statistically speaking, he won't be. What can I say? If you like Stanhope's comedy, you will love this book. If you are not familiar with his comedy, check him out first to make sure he's your cup of tea. Statistically speaking, he won't be.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Graham

    Good book, I like Doug's writing, I can hear his standup voice in his writing. Good book, I like Doug's writing, I can hear his standup voice in his writing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Anderson

    While ‘Digging Up Mother’ was a bittersweet narrative (two interwoven bittersweet narratives, really) stitched together by entertaining anecdotes, ‘This Is Not Fame’ replaces narrative with throughlines of life lessons learned from a guy who, whatever you have to say about him, has certainly “sucked the marrow out of life.” (Important note: Stanhope would probably consider that (run on) sentence super pretentious and mock me for it.) Like ‘Mother,’ ‘Fame’ perfectly captures Stanhope’s voice. On t While ‘Digging Up Mother’ was a bittersweet narrative (two interwoven bittersweet narratives, really) stitched together by entertaining anecdotes, ‘This Is Not Fame’ replaces narrative with throughlines of life lessons learned from a guy who, whatever you have to say about him, has certainly “sucked the marrow out of life.” (Important note: Stanhope would probably consider that (run on) sentence super pretentious and mock me for it.) Like ‘Mother,’ ‘Fame’ perfectly captures Stanhope’s voice. On top of that, the presence of callbacks and unexpectedly recurring themes makes this book feel more like a (gloriously long) stand-up set than anything else. There’s little narrative – or even temporal cohesion (it’s very ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ in that way) – just entertaining bits and their respective transitions. In short: as much required reading as ‘Mother,’ but for very different reasons. If you want a memoir, read ‘Digging Up Mother.’ If you want a special that can never be on Netflix, read ‘This Is Not Fame.’

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kdawg91

    Today's world is one of apologies, of hurt feelings, and constant, overbearing political correctness. Stanhope is none of these. Crude, the definition of self destructive, pretty much a stumbling mess of a human being. This is Not Fame is a collection of lewd tales that lead you to wonder, "How is this guy still living?" That being said, few people can tell a story like Doug Stanhope. A drunken swirl of chaos, debauchery, and all around UN politically correct as you possibly can get, buried in th Today's world is one of apologies, of hurt feelings, and constant, overbearing political correctness. Stanhope is none of these. Crude, the definition of self destructive, pretty much a stumbling mess of a human being. This is Not Fame is a collection of lewd tales that lead you to wonder, "How is this guy still living?" That being said, few people can tell a story like Doug Stanhope. A drunken swirl of chaos, debauchery, and all around UN politically correct as you possibly can get, buried in the dirt...is a true gem of a collection of stories. When the world ends, Stanhope will be glowing in the dark in his kingdom of ash, lighting his smokes off a radioactive cockroach, he will have a great story to tell...eventhough he probably won't remember it. If you like your humor dark and dirty, this is for you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    RJ

    Enfuckingjoyable read. If you don't like it, go piss up a rope. I have no original thoughts and am merely filling the Amazon word minimum quota. The headline is all you need. Enfuckingjoyable read. If you don't like it, go piss up a rope. I have no original thoughts and am merely filling the Amazon word minimum quota. The headline is all you need.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ronna

    A funny, irreverent book by one of my favourite stand up comedians. His stuff is....intense....so not recommended for people who can't handle naughty language or bawdy stories. A funny, irreverent book by one of my favourite stand up comedians. His stuff is....intense....so not recommended for people who can't handle naughty language or bawdy stories.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Sodoski

    Fucking loved it - well done. Dark, despairing, real, and funny!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Gibas

    Read this upon its release and I keep reflecting on parts of this acerbic look at the life and times of Doug Stanhope. Not many could write a book that will make one bust a gut in public at some shitty coffee shop but Stanhope pulls it off. Kudos to my favourite comedian for writing this book. Not for the faint of heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cyn

    If you are a fan of Doug Stanhope, you will probably enjoy this as immensely as I did. It is very rare for me to find a book so amusing that I actually laugh out loud, and this book made me laugh/snicker/chuckle several times while reading it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I typically love a good memoir but this one just doesn’t cut it. Pretty much a summary of all the time’s he’s been wasted and did stupid stuff. If you were to hang out with him after one of his shows; these are the stories you’d hear.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Keen

    2.5 Stars! “Fame and all that comes with it is like owning a boat. It isn’t any fun if you don’t bring people who don’t have a boat along with you.” Like many people in the UK I first came across Stanhope via Charlie Brooker. Although I wouldn’t say that I found him hilarious his appearances clearly piqued my interest enough to pick up this book. It’s a little tricky to pin down the possible target audience for this, but I would say that it would surely almost be entirely male. There are some occa 2.5 Stars! “Fame and all that comes with it is like owning a boat. It isn’t any fun if you don’t bring people who don’t have a boat along with you.” Like many people in the UK I first came across Stanhope via Charlie Brooker. Although I wouldn’t say that I found him hilarious his appearances clearly piqued my interest enough to pick up this book. It’s a little tricky to pin down the possible target audience for this, but I would say that it would surely almost be entirely male. There are some occasional diversions from the poor man’s Bukowski routine, there is one section from about page 198 which lasts around 50-60 pages, which is not just interesting but damn fine in parts, where he talks about sex abuse issues and fans who have committed suicide, and the part when he was coming up against right wing hate-monger Allison Pearson, was hugely entertaining. This was a brief glimpse beyond him drunkenly playing with his cock, and if only more of it was like that, but then we soon revert back to form. I am sure Stanhope is a very funny man when on stage or whatever his preferred platform is, but he hides his humour exceptionally well in here, there are a few amusing and memorable stories thrown in, but more often than not this ends up reading like some moronic frat boy loudly and repeatedly going on about every time he’s gotten drunk, slept with a hooker or got his dick out in public. If you think three hundred odd pages of that is great entertainment then this could well be a book for you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Otto Lehto

    Doug Stanhope is a weird one because he is a master of his craft whose best comedy bits are crafted to perfection. But he is also an incredible miscreant. Although I pretend to be a rebel, I'm so bourgeois that I was constantly aghast at the lifestyle choices of this reprobate lunatic. I can handle all the drug taking and blasphemy. But do you HAVE to leave a mess in your hotel room? That's rude. Please respect property rights and the rule of law. It is what keeps civilization rolling. There are Doug Stanhope is a weird one because he is a master of his craft whose best comedy bits are crafted to perfection. But he is also an incredible miscreant. Although I pretend to be a rebel, I'm so bourgeois that I was constantly aghast at the lifestyle choices of this reprobate lunatic. I can handle all the drug taking and blasphemy. But do you HAVE to leave a mess in your hotel room? That's rude. Please respect property rights and the rule of law. It is what keeps civilization rolling. There are no good life lessons here. There is definitely nothing to celebrate or emulate. Don't do drugs, kids. Without the audiobook version, I think I would give the book three stars. Those of you who have access to the audiobook version will get extra pleasure from having the book narrated by Doug and his friends. As a bonus, there are also some extra commentary and conversations thrown in. This is not one of the great memoirs in comedy even though it comes from one of the greatest comics. It's basically a series of bizarre and allegedly true anecdotes cobbled together in the form of a drunkard's journal. There is nothing wrong with that. But there is also little here in the form of Stanhope's comedic genius. Instead, there are endless stories about fame gone wrong. Jesus!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Craig Morland

    If I could give this 10 stars I would. Hilariously funny.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yuri

    Not sure what to say, an amusing read, I laughed out loud a few times. This is very much a for fans book, simply because it assumes you know Stanhope, and goes from there telling you more. It does humanize Doug Stanhope, and maybe gives him a platform to coherently say things he wants to say, and couldn't make funny enough to turn into a bit. This review was much longer, but only the above survived the cut. Not sure what to say, an amusing read, I laughed out loud a few times. This is very much a for fans book, simply because it assumes you know Stanhope, and goes from there telling you more. It does humanize Doug Stanhope, and maybe gives him a platform to coherently say things he wants to say, and couldn't make funny enough to turn into a bit. This review was much longer, but only the above survived the cut.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Unflinching drunken tales I love Doug Stanhope. Well I love his fearless comedy and drunk rambling podcasts. This book isn't as good as Digging up Mother which was brilliant but there are some great stories. This book didn't make me cry either. If I was funny and had the constitution of an Ox I'd be Doug Stanhope. So buy this book, buy his back catalogue and watch him live before he isn't...live any more. Unflinching drunken tales I love Doug Stanhope. Well I love his fearless comedy and drunk rambling podcasts. This book isn't as good as Digging up Mother which was brilliant but there are some great stories. This book didn't make me cry either. If I was funny and had the constitution of an Ox I'd be Doug Stanhope. So buy this book, buy his back catalogue and watch him live before he isn't...live any more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This was mostly a good read. I have always felt that Stanhope is a happenstance comedian. He is far more suited to be a counter-culture figure, and in his case, he accomplished that by touring comedy clubs. I love Stanhope and will always be a fan. He is a reminder that they'll always be "another America." This was mostly a good read. I have always felt that Stanhope is a happenstance comedian. He is far more suited to be a counter-culture figure, and in his case, he accomplished that by touring comedy clubs. I love Stanhope and will always be a fan. He is a reminder that they'll always be "another America."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I like Doug's standup and watch you-tube clips of his very meandering interviews and townhall meetings, but I found the book a little less captivating. There are some gems in there for sure, but it was a little too meandering for my tastes. A book if you're a superfan. I like Doug's standup and watch you-tube clips of his very meandering interviews and townhall meetings, but I found the book a little less captivating. There are some gems in there for sure, but it was a little too meandering for my tastes. A book if you're a superfan.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kellen Clifford

    This book was amazing, often hilarious. Doug is a true American Hero and I'm glad he is so functioning that he was able to write this. Here's hoping for a sequel - no doubt he's got plenty more to say. This book was amazing, often hilarious. Doug is a true American Hero and I'm glad he is so functioning that he was able to write this. Here's hoping for a sequel - no doubt he's got plenty more to say.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dieter Cauwenberge

    Absolutely loved it. Doug Stanhope is the rolling stone of stand up comedy and to read how he takes on this thing called celebrity is hilarious. I was laughing with crazy anecdotes pretty much every page of the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Outdoors Nerd

    Awesome. Laughed out loud again and again. A torrid collection of hazyly remembered stories of drugged drunken debauchery with friends and foes. Laking the depth and insights of Digging Up Mother this is just good unclean fun.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    Too funny for 5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    redd

    I've heard almost all of the stories in person before but I enjoyed hearing them all over again. Raw. Irreverent. and laugh out loud funny...excellent sequel my friend! I've heard almost all of the stories in person before but I enjoyed hearing them all over again. Raw. Irreverent. and laugh out loud funny...excellent sequel my friend!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hugo

    this is a collection of stories from Stanhope's long touring career, amazingly funny, I laughed out loud more times than I can count. this is a collection of stories from Stanhope's long touring career, amazingly funny, I laughed out loud more times than I can count.

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