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 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.
As far as comedy based, it was the first and it motivated me to buy more because it was so good.
Billy Cystals's Stll Foolin' 'Em. Marshal's too was laugh out loud funny but also had some very touching moments as well.. She has a similar positive way of viewing difficult life experiences.
Her authentic, natural voice.
Yes, when her and her brother funded a dance program/studio at a university bearing her mother's name.
I was going through a rough time in my life and thought maybe I should listen to books by strong successful woman to get my brain back in the game. This was one of many and by far my favorite. Besides the fact that she has that awesome accent that I literally can listen to all day, she has lead an amazing life. Great story, totally inspiring and vo-dee-oh-doe-doe.
Performed by author
When she reunited a currently feuding Simon & Garfunkel with an awkward request for a living room concert.
Tripping on acid and calling Gary for help.
When she spoke about her mother passing.
It's so rare that an author reads their own audio book and I wish more did. After listening and reliving this book with Penny you will see why Penny being ABOUT THE WORK had to do it herself. A true gem of a person and I am so grateful she did this.
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