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Publisher's Summary

Nancy Cartwright is the ultimate Simpsons insider. Her raspy, childlike voice is immediately recognizable as none other than Bart Simpson, the most precocious, irreverent, and intriguing 10-year-old ever to enter the American consciousness.

In this behind-the-scenes story, Nancy Cartwright tells of the Simpsons' early days, when the cast was given a closet-sized space to record commercial bumpers for The Tracey Ullman Show. She traces the Simpsons' rapid rise to wild popularity, offers hilarious anecdotes about cast members and guest stars including Mel Gibson, Meryl Streep, and Elizabeth Taylor, and explains what goes into making the half-hour animated series. And she reveals what it's like to be at the center of an American institution, one that reinvented the sitcom, rocked the networks to the core, and changed forever the face of American television.

Packed with more information than has ever been revealed about the longest-running animated show, here is the perfect book for the millions of Simpsons fans who can't get enough of America's favorite dysfunctional family.

Want to know even more about The Simpsons? Make Planet Simpson your next listen.
©2000 Nancy Cartwright (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Humor, 2005

"Enthusiastic, candid memoir....A hilarious must-read." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Cynthia
  • Lake Linden , MI, USA
  • 09-30-04

squeaky fun

I liked this audiobook very much - hearing more about Cartwright's growing interest in performing and her career beginnings and progression. She also describes how it takes 8 months to make each show and tells a little about the other voice actors. Very energetic and fun, the style is very suitable. Lots of celeb anecdotes, which hopefully the listener agrees are of interest and add to the fun.

(Serious Simpsons fans did not like the print edition of this book. They judge as tedious the material extraneous to Simpsons show. But Cartwright titled the book "My Life", so it's her story to tell and include what she wishes.)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ron
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 06-10-09

A must for narration fans

I knew exactly what I was in for when I purchased this book and Nancy did not disappoint. If anyone was made to stand behind a microphone it is definitely Nancy Cartwright. If anyone else would have narrated this book, it would be interesting with a second-rate delivery. Apart form her obvious talent, I learned she is a keen yet humble business woman. I thoroughly enjoyed her stories from behind the scenes of the Simpsons, as well as her meetings with Celebrities. And her rise to fame was very entertaining. This book is a winner, even for people who don't watch the Simpsons. Very easy to listen to. Packed full of laughs. Informative, entertaining, hilarious.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Oh yes!

This is a book that should be listened to, not read. Nancy Cartwright is a hoot! She has all the energy of Bart, and with a fun, odd voice, and is sweet, too. The book reads like a friend telling a light, joyful story. In audio, she slips in and out of characters and adds emphasis that a text can only approach with lots of punctuation!! I appreciate the Simpsons, but am not a big enough fan to actually own a DVD. But I AM now a fan of Nancy Cartwright.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

This audiobook blows man

If you think it would be fun to be shut in a closet with Bart Simpson for six hours maybe you'll like this book. I'm a pretty avid Simpson fan and I would love to hear some inside scoop on the show, but I can't take the author's voice, style or substance. It feels like getting sprayed by a helium charged fire hose, and even if I could tolerate that, the 'inside' stories promised turn out to be nothing more than adolescent musings rising to the level of how nice Mel Gibson's butt is but not much higher. This is a stinker from start to finish...and I won't hear the finish.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • Hartland, WI, USA
  • 01-06-05

Memoir - Lite

This is a sanitized history of Nancy Cartwright and her career in doing voices and as Bart on the Simpsons. I expected more insight, and especially a more candid presentation, instead I find a bubbly, somewhat sophmoric listen. Her description of working on the Simpsons has very little substance other than fawning descriptions of her co-stars, the writers, the guest stars, and just about anyone else she meets. In her world no one is mean, stupid, or for that matter, does anything thats interesting. This would be a good listen for a 14 year old teenager.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 10-07-04

Public speaking 101

I'm a pretty big Simpson's fan, and as soon as I saw this audiobook, I bought it.

In a word...disappointing. While she does a great job as Bart, Nancy Cartwright is no literary wordsmith. The whole audiobook has the feel of a highschool public speaking presentation. Her narrative voice is unique and somewhat charming for the first 30min, then it sort of grates on the mind. ie. "The B-Sharps"

With some reasonable "behind-the-scenes" content, I might recommend borrowing the hardcopy version from the library (which would eliminate the voice issue). If it were a movie I saw at the theatre, I'd say wait for the video and rent it. If you're a member, and are at a loss for something to order before your Renewal Date hits, order it with no high expectations. If you're not a member, save your money and go to the library.

PS. I just finished Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer. If you're looking for an entertaining, well-written audiobook with a great narrator, check it out.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book is ok in content but the voice of the reader is so difficult to get through that it makes the listening experince so hard. Her voice is like a teenage cheerleader yelling at you while you drive down the road. I love the simpsons and I like Nancys story as she writes it here. Its just that when you are listening to her read at normal voice and then she yells something at ten times the normal volume out of the blue like "NO WAYYYYYYYYYYYY" I jump and I dont need that scare when Im trying to listen to a book. Maybe this might be a better read than a listen? Save your credits and buy something less yelling and more read bya more normal toned reader. This book is actually streesful to listen to....

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really Great Book For A Simpson's Fan

I almost didn't get this book because of all the negative ratings, and complaints about Nancy Cartwright's reading of her own book.

I'm very glad I ignored the "noise" and got and enjoyed the book! Nancy, to me, what just a bunch of fun to listen to. She is so high energy, positive, and exuberant, and just seems like a fun person with a great outlook on life. Despite having been a Simpsons fan since their very first episode aired, I really didn't know much about Nancy. It turns out that even without the Simpson's gig, she would have still had a pretty illustrious career with a huge list of pretty high profile gigs. And she approached her career very methodically and with a ton of determination and effort. It didn't "just happen" for her at all.

Anyway, to anyone who wants a fun read, with lots of behind-the-scenes stuff as well as a history of how the Simpson's came to be, stories about the cast and crew, and lots of thoughful reflections on the whole thing, this book is for you. There is nothing to dislike here.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Such a FUN Time!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this book to anyone who likes animation, The Simpsons and just good fun.

Years ago, I bought and read the hard copy of the book and LOVED it. I thought it would be even BETTER in the voice of the author and... it surely WAS!

Get this audiobook and you'll smile the whole time.

What did you like best about this story?

Nancy took us on a journey from deciding she wanted to be a voiceover actor at a young age to the voice of an American ICON, Bart Simpson. It's a fun journey, too.

CONTRARY to some of the reviews here, Nancy's voice is really part of the fun! She has a natural "cartoony" aspect to her voice and delivery and that's why she's SO good at her craft!

(Listen to a sample of the audiobook. You'll be fine. Really.)

Which scene was your favorite?

This is tough because I just enjoyed the whole journey. Maybe, the best part was how Nancy got started with her mentor, Daws Butler (the voice of Huckleberry Hound, et. al.)

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

How she changed the world with her voice.

Any additional comments?

Just get it. It's a FUN "read" and, if you love The Simpsons and cartoons... you'll love this audiobook!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Celeste
  • Long Beach, CA, United States
  • 12-22-12

She's Bart Simpson. Who The Hell Are You?

What did you love best about My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy?

When I first started listening to Nancy's voice, it was hard to take. She is very overly energetic and excited. Perhaps, I was not quite that ready to experience that amount of enthusiasm but after a while I grew to look forward to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite was when Nancy attempted to do other characters in the Simpsons. Quite humorous at her attempts.

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

What I really liked about this book is that it gave some background to her start and a lot of background to the Simpsons. I think if I would have read it, I would not have had the same impact has hearing Nancy's inflections and voices throughout.

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


Any additional comments?

I wish I had a comical and energetic voice like Nancys. Voice overs sound like a fun and adventureous job.