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My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir | [Penny Marshall]

My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir

her life story going her humble roots in the Bronx to one of the most liked and respected figures in the entertainment business, also covering her marriage to Rob Reiner and relationships with Art Garfunkel, Carrie Fisher, and John Belushi, and her bout with lung and brain cancer in 2009, to Julia Cheiffetz
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1063 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 10-21-14
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 10-21-14 Member Since 2014

    Kelly, Aussie living in Nashville, Employment Specialist, Writer & so on

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    "Great insightful memoir, read in a rush"
    If you could sum up My Mother Was Nuts in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, hilarious, heartbreaking.


    What other book might you compare My Mother Was Nuts to and why?

    I can't just yet as it's one of a kind. Even though there are many books out there about nutty mothers in show business, Penny Marshall had an amazing life in the spotlight and her experiences were incredible.


    What three words best describe Penny Marshall’s voice?

    Genuine, funny, raucous.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When she broke down talking about her mother passing away.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved all the stories about everyone she met and the movies and shows she was involved in but I wish it wasn't so rushed. There were times where it was obvious she was reading and just wanted to get it over with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo E. St Clair Milwaukee, WI United States 10-14-14
    Jo E. St Clair Milwaukee, WI United States 10-14-14 Member Since 2012

    Jo

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    "WONDERFUL!"
    Where does My Mother Was Nuts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL WONDERFUL
    Penny Marshall is an excellent audio book writer and reader. I couldn't wait to get in the car to hear another tale. I hated getting out of the car as well!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Toder 08-04-14
    Bryan Toder 08-04-14

    Bryan Toder

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    "Excruciating to Listen to…!"
    What would have made My Mother Was Nuts better?

    Good grief. I love biographies that are read by the actual person, but… while I love Penny Marshall on TV and as a director… she is NOT a voiceover talent!She sounded as if she was cold reading a script. She sounded bored, melancholy and like she just wanted to get out of there! Yikes.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have shortened the loooong stories about her childhood. Most weren't very entertaining. Like most people, I would have wanted to hear more about her TV days.


    How could the performance have been better?

    She should have had her brother, Garry Marshall, read it! (I loved HIS audio book!)


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Much, much disappointment. I skipped over many chapters. What a waste.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    San I Am Derwood, MD, US 06-23-14
    San I Am Derwood, MD, US 06-23-14 Member Since 2012

    Ever since a childhood hiding under the covers of my bed with a flashlight... The quest for the next adventure continues unabated.

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    "That voice!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I have to say, I was truly interested in hearing Penny Marshall's life story! but I found her voice and accent so grating that I just could NoT continue! There may be something wonderful to come, but I will never know. I just cannot listen any further (I made it about halfway through before I quit).


    Would you be willing to try another book from Penny Marshall? Why or why not?

    The only thing truly miraculous in this story is that someone as course as Ms Marshall could actually find the success she did. I soooo wanted to like and admire her, but I just couldn't after reading her perspective. From the press she receives, she sounds amazing and admirable, but this book certainly does NOT communicate these attributes.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Blech. Not my cup o' tea!


    Was My Mother Was Nuts worth the listening time?

    No. No. No!!


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your time unless you are a fanatic Penny Marshall fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    terry fout chillicothe, oh, US 05-25-14
    terry fout chillicothe, oh, US 05-25-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Love it"
    Where does My Mother Was Nuts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Was very enjoyable...like I was sitting there with Penny and she was telling me stories...really enjoyed it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie S. Houston 04-21-14
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    "not surprisingly---totally entertaining"
    What did you love best about My Mother Was Nuts?

    Great true life story all with folks I grew up watching on television.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Funny and touching.


    What about Penny Marshall’s performance did you like?

    OMG --the first 15 minutes I wondered if I'd get used to her Bronx accent--but then I never wanted it to end.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    I have to say --I thought I'd like this book--but it really surprised me--I loved it. Felt like learning about an old friend. Penny was awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renae Gold Canyon, AZ, United States 04-19-14
    Renae Gold Canyon, AZ, United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "One of my favorite audio books!"

    I highly recommend! Who'd have thought that listening to Penny Marshall for 8 hours or so could be so very enjoyable. I never watched the LaVerne and Shirley show but am familiar with the movies Penny directed. Penny's self deprecating presentation of her life-to-date was charming and informative. She gives us an inside look into an age of TV gone forever which only makes one long for it once more. I'm left very impressed by Penny's accomplishments however haphazard they may seem at times. Her recounting of her life makes you feel right there ... esp since we already know most of the people she includes. Many many times laugh out loud funny and often very emotional and worth every cent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    jamesh-lantern-media Scotch Plains, NJ 04-17-14
    jamesh-lantern-media Scotch Plains, NJ 04-17-14 Member Since 2014

    jamesh-lanternmedia

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    "It was good, but a little too self-aggrandizing."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Depends if the friend grew up in the Bronx. I bought this book since Penny Marshall grew up very close to where I grew up - about 15 years before me. It was great to see a local kid make it big. I dont know if I would have enjoyed it as a non-Bronx native...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Its an autobiography, so it didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know about Penny Marshall. She's still alive and kicking, so nothing surprising :)


    Which character – as performed by Penny Marshall – was your favorite?

    Herself - its an autobiography - she did it exactly as if you were having a conversation with her. I did appreciate the moments of emotion she let slip when she was talking about important losses in her life..


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Local kid makes it big and drops a lot of names while telling the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book - I especially loved that Penny Marshall narrated it... Her words coming out of someone else's mouth would not have been nearly as powerful... That being said, she does have a tendency to let her ego take over and drop big names left and right... She has every right to do so since she worked for and deserves the credit, but it does get old after a while

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn F. Dillon Winston-Salem, NC 04-07-14
    Kathryn F. Dillon Winston-Salem, NC 04-07-14 Member Since 2009
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    "A walk through Hollywood history"
    What made the experience of listening to My Mother Was Nuts the most enjoyable?

    Penny Marshall's narration seems more like sitting in a room with her shooting the breeze than her reading her book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Mother Was Nuts?

    Her entire life was amazing. She knows everyone in Hollywood and loves almost all of them. If she doesn't love them, they're probably unlovable. Any yet, she was always hard-nosed about sticking with her vision in directing a movie. Firm but fair, a nurturer of raw talent (and a keen eye for spotting new talent), visionary and trailblazer.


    What does Penny Marshall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Again, her narration is priceless. The years haven't softened her Bronx accent at all, and it adds to the magic of her marvelous life stories.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a lot. My Lab got used to my laughing out loud when it was just the two of us in the car.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Port Perry, ON, Canada 04-06-14
    susan Port Perry, ON, Canada 04-06-14 Member Since 2014

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "A unique book by a unique individual.."

    Loved the book. It gave a great perspective to a world I will never know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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