Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.
My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.
Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.
©2012 Penny Marshall (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Not an audiobook, no. For a professional actress, this is really a bland performance, and her voice can be grating.
Would seem odd to have someone else narrate her memoir, but her voice is definitely not one that's easy to listen to for 8.5 hours.
There are points where the book is pretty interesting—I was most intrigued by her early years and up-and-coming years in Hollywood. But there's tremendous amount of space devoted to needless name-dropping (she'll mention going to parties with no further details other than a list of A-list attendees). Almost one whole chapter is just about a great basketball season. This is pretty insufferable.
Not quite your standard memoir, It's mostly short stories instead of one coherent piece. It is nevertheless enjoyable and insightful. I learned about her life, the TV and movie business and what it was like growing up in her time.
When she read her brother's poem about 9/11.
This was enjoyable, but as another reviewer mentioned, something was missing. She glossed over many relationships, says she has a deep love of certain people but I never felt I understood why. During parts she seemed quite removed..As a native New Yorker I especially loved the parts about my hometown. She still has a very strong accent after all these years.
Penny and I were born the same year and so we share a common experience of history.
Her Bronx accent enhances her story and contributes to the humor in her personal and professional observations. Behind the scenes stories always entertain and this memoir works well for anyone familiar with her work in front of and behind the camera. One can't help but love her style...not a scintilla of manipulation.
I was not a big fan of Laverne and Shirley. I did enjoy some of the films Peny Marshall directed, particularly "Big" and "A League of Their Own". I doubt I would have bought this book had it not been on sale.
My first concern was whether I could tolerate Ms. Marshall's unique voice. I got used to it and didn't find it irritating. This is a very personal story. It wouldn't seem authentic if it were narrated by anyone else.
I grew up in a suburb in a reasonably well functioning family. I enjoy my rather ordinary life, Ms. Marshall's life has been vastly different from mine and I was intrigued to learn about it. Much of the book is a recitation of events in a mostly chronological order.
What appealed to me most is Ms. Marshall's honesty and lack of pretention. I don't believe this is a great book. but liked it and I like Penny Marshall.
I'm going from chapter to chapter in life. Some are definitely better than others!
What's not to like? The book just wouldn't be the same if it weren't read by Penny Marshall but it took me a bit to get used to her voice. By the end of her book I still wanted to hear more, so maybe my ears were the problem. I'm just glad I came across My Mother Was Nuts. Penny Marshall is so much more than LaVerne. She shares her ups, downs and adventuring all arounds, with honesty and heart. My Mother Was Nuts is like a visit from an old friend. I hope Penny stops by again soon.
BossyPants - by Tina Fey - so fun when they read their stories
Love that she read the book, was like she was telling you story. She is so likeable and funny.
laugh laugh laugh.. & applaud her success she worked hard and was so successful in entertaining us all these years.
Tell us about yourself!
This memoir touched on a lot of the pop culture that I grew up watching. Penny has had an interesting life and this book tells it with honesty and entertainingly. I grew up watching Laverne and Shirley but had no idea of the goings on around Penny and all of the people she knows. From her family and marriages, to all the TV people, movie people, musicians, sports figures, drugs and wild times, Penny gets her story out. Usually I prefer that authors don't read their own material, but listening to Penny's story, it was clear that this time it was the right thing to do. I enjoyed the listen
I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.
I struggled with a rating for this book because although I really enjoyed it and feel others will enjoy it too, I didn't feel it was worth 5 stars. Yet, while actually putting in the score, I wasn't sure. There is something about this book that makes it special. Sometimes it got a little long-winded, especially when she talked about people in the business that I really didn't recognize, but in the end, I somehow felt that Penny was a close friend and I knew the real her. I think there is something to be said for that. I was surprised at the way in which she lived her life and connected with her on many levels - the book was somewhat inspiring to me. I don't think everyone will find this book inspiring though - I think it affected me this way because we had some of the same feelings and issues in common. Penny reads this book herself, like someone reading out loud, not like other audible readers. At the beginning I wasn't sure that I liked that, but then I realized it really couldn't be any other way - by reading it herself, it lent something to the book.
Having a different narrator, or Penny Marshall taking voice lessons
No. Her voice is grating and she reads like a primary school student: no emotion or cadence to her voice at all.
Proper pauses, better rhythm to her reading. And her accent is distracting.
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