‘This Is Not Fame: A “From What I Re-Memoir”‘
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.’