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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 (1147 )
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4.1 (1029 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-11-15
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    "A wonderful surprise!!"

    I am not a Penny Marshall fan, not quite sure why I got this, couldn't stop listening. Wonderful descriptions, felt I was there and soooo funny!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anissa M. Phillips Albany, GA 01-02-15
    Anissa M. Phillips Albany, GA 01-02-15 Member Since 2014

    When you come right down to it, the secret to having it all is believing that you do! :)

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    "Huge Penny Marshall Fan"

    Love Penny's accent and style. Her voice made the book even better. She gave such a funny account of her life and family. Shared a lot of personal stories both good and bad. Brutal honesty was appreciated here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smee48 12-30-14
    Smee48 12-30-14

    I am a slow reader, but I spend enough time in the car that I get to fall in love with new books on each trip thanks to Audible.

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    "I want to be friends with Penny Marshall"
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Mother Was Nuts to be better than the print version?

    The audio version threw me at first, because let's face it, Penny's voice isn't the easiest to listen to. By the second chapter I was hooked though. To hear her story in her own voice was a wonderful experience and I don't think it would have been the same to read the print version with the voice in my head. Hearing how she speaks, her rough voice, her inflection, it made the stories she tells come to life!


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

    Penny is just a funny but not as raunchy as Chelsea Handler.


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

    As I explained about the audio version, just hearing her jagged smoker voice and her unusual pauses and inflection as she tells the story makes you feel like you are sitting in the room with her.


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

    I nearly did listen to it all in one sitting! I started it on a flight, and I'll warn you, you will laugh out loud and get strange looks from fellow passengers. I continued to listen from the rental car and was tempted to keep driving past my destination just to finish it off. I've listened to some of the chapters a 2nd and 3rd time since finishing the book too!


    Any additional comments?

    After hearing her tell her stories, I want to be friends with Penny Marshall. I am young enough to only have vague memories of Laverne and Shirley, so I had no idea that she was involved with so many things in Hollywood. The book gave such a personal insight that I really just want to take her out for a beer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Amester 10-23-14
    The Amester 10-23-14

    The Amester

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    "Not Funny. Not Interesting."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book was a waste of time and money. I had run out of credits and spent a few dollars - this book is completely out of my normal genre. The only interesting part of the story is Penny's family life and this is a mere fraction of the story. Most of the book is about Hollywood and television and endless, endless name-dropping.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Penny Marshall again?

    No. She is not a very good narrator/voice actor.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Penny reads like an automaton. There are some inserted narrations by her sister who is even more wooden than Penny.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Penny Marshall’s life?

    I have lost all interest in Penny Marshall.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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

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