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.
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.
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!
Penny is just a funny but not as raunchy as Chelsea Handler.
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.
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!
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!
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.
No. She is not a very good narrator/voice actor.
Penny reads like an automaton. There are some inserted narrations by her sister who is even more wooden than Penny.
I have lost all interest in Penny Marshall.
Kelly, Aussie living in Nashville, Employment Specialist, Writer & so on
Insightful, hilarious, heartbreaking.
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.
Genuine, funny, raucous.
When she broke down talking about her mother passing away.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
She should have had her brother, Garry Marshall, read it! (I loved HIS audio book!)
Much, much disappointment. I skipped over many chapters. What a waste.
Ever since a childhood hiding under the covers of my bed with a flashlight... The quest for the next adventure continues unabated.
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).
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.
Blech. Not my cup o' tea!
No. No. No!!
Don't waste your time unless you are a fanatic Penny Marshall fan.
Was very enjoyable...like I was sitting there with Penny and she was telling me stories...really enjoyed it.
Great true life story all with folks I grew up watching on television.
Funny and touching.
OMG --the first 15 minutes I wondered if I'd get used to her Bronx accent--but then I never wanted it to end.
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.
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.
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...
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 :)
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..
Local kid makes it big and drops a lot of names while telling the story.
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
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