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My Mother Was Nuts [Kindle Edition]

Penny Marshall
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 326 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
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Book Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2726 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing (18 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008L4KRCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,254 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.... 8 Sept. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although Penny Marshall is a well known figure in the States she is relatively unknown this side of the Atlantic. The TV series in which she made name, Laverne and Shirley, ran for years in the US but never really took off over here and it is therefore probable that those Brits that have heard of her will know her as a film director (Awakenings, Big and A League of Their Own) rather than as a performer. Because of this I suspect that this autobiography will have only limited appeal in the UK and whilst I wish I could recommend it I cannot because I found it to be an extremely tedious read.

A good autobiography should both entertain and give the reader an insight into the "real" person rather than the public figure but this book fails miserably to do either of these. Instead what we get is a catalogue of the events in the author's life and a roll call of her famous friends and acquaintances. We are informed, for instance, that after finishing the movie "Big" she visited Moscow and Leningrad before flying on to London, where she shared a bottle of vodka with Jack Nicholson. Okay, she may have had a lovely time but I expected more from her autobiography than learning what she did on her holidays.

Because she very rarely allows her defences to drop long enough to reveal her true thoughts and feelings this book lacks both warmth and depth. I have read elsewhere this book being described as being like long magazine interview and I think that's spot on; I didn't know that much about Penny Marshall before reading her book and I don't think I really know much more about her after finishing it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to say 21 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sorry to say although I decided to carry on reading it seemed to be about name dropping and so many of them were people I had never heard of. There was some semblance of a story but it wasn't for me
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars misleading preview 14 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
the book is just about name dropping. The prewiew is very misleading, and I would have returned it but just thought I could sacrifice the 3.99 for the effort
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated" 16 Sept. 2012
By lovemurakami TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Penny Marshall for may of us will always be Laverne De Fazio from the hugely popular show Laverne and Shirley. However, as this biography shows Penny Marshall had already gained prominence in tv for her work on The Odd Couple where she played Oscar's secretary Myrna Turner, and after Laverne and Shirley she became the first female film director to have a film break the $100 million barrier at the U.S. box office with the release of Big in 1988.

In this highly readable autobiography (I read it in one sitting), Penny gives us an honest, straightforward account of her personal as well as on screen/behind the camera life. What you get is a frank and witty account of her upbringing in the Bronx with her parents who were more concerned about their fraught relationship than their children lives. Her mother ran a dance school in the cellar of the building and it was here that Penny learnt and later taught tap which would lead her towards a life in entertainment owing to the confidence she gained as a child. She leads us through her life chronologically dealing with her break into showbusiness, the success of Laverne and Shirley and her life as a director/producer. She does name drop alot as one other reviewer has mentioned but what do you expect when you are reading an autobiography of an actor/director. What is good is that this isn't a malicious or salacious read and although she matter-of-factly tells of her drug use and her failure as a mother, she doesn't over sensationalize her failures or her life.

If you are looking for a 'warts and all' read then this might not be the biography of choice for you. However, if you are looking for an entertaining autobiography which if you read beneath the surface gives you a much, deeper insight into this direct, clever and fascinating woman.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Title And A Good Read 12 Oct. 2012
By D. Brothwood VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I do enjoy reading autobiographies and memoirs and couldn't resist this book, but if I am being honest it wasn't because I recognised Penny Marshall's name, it was the books title, My Mother Was Nuts that caught my eye.

As other reviewers have already mentioned this book isn't exactly a no holds barred tell it all type of autobiography but personally I found it an enjoyable read all the same, there are plenty of star names thrown in for good measure to keep the readers interest

Thanks to the internet you can find clips of Penny's old television shows such as Laverne and Shirley that show how funny her performances were despite them nowadays looking a bit dated.
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3.0 out of 5 stars tries too hard to be humerous 20 Mar. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'd never heard of Penny Marshall before i read her memoir and i found her childhood memories to be both very funny and touching.I found the middle of the book was a little tedious.I also struggled to understand her lack of bonding with her mother,who she mentions often,and the fact she'd let others bring up her own Daughter who barely seems to feature in her life.History repeating itself,maybe?Penny not bonding with her Mother and not allowing her Daughter to bond with her.My criticism of the book would be it tries too hard to be funny and i believe would have been a far better read if this hadn't been so.I'd neither recommend this book nor put anybody off,it's ok.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad 9 Dec. 2012
By Clapton
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like Penny Marshall, and I was interested in learning more about her background. The beginning of the book is entertaining - her life in Brooklyn, her family, her mother's dance studio and college days. It was also interesting to hear about how she entered show business.

Overall, she comes across as relatively unaffected and genuine. The only downside is that the latter part of the book drags a little - kind of like a list of everything she did in her career and everyone she knows. I didn't find these chapters gave me as much insight into what makes her tick. Overall, though, it's entertaining enough, and a quick read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For 'Happy Days' Fans.
I was not sure on who Penny Marshal was when I first began reading it !! I found it hard to put down, then I realised I remembered seeing her on telly many years ago, a really... Read more
Published 6 months ago by JB
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 8 months ago by royker
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
I bought this book thinking it would be an ok read. how wrong was I? I loved every word .
Published 11 months ago by S Freeborough
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to put you in a good mood
It is a most enjoyable book. Gritty and to the point. It isn't a book you could say that you couldn't put it down but none the less I would and have recommended it to my friends.
Published 11 months ago by j l burke
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this very much
Yep her mother wa definitely nuts. For those who remember Penny Marshall, this is a very light hearted jaunt through her life. Read more
Published 11 months ago by JoLim
3.0 out of 5 stars review of 'My Mother was Nuts'
I feel it started off good, but as time went on it got a bit boring. I think she went into too much detail that I didn't need to know or was of no interest to me. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Douglas Scott
1.0 out of 5 stars extremely boring
I found this book extremely boring,so much it was the only book I've ever read which I couldn't be bothered to finish. All it was was a list of names of people I' never heard of
Published 12 months ago by Ann round
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read!
The first autobiography I've enjoyed from cover to cover! Penny is down to earth, and no holds barred. Definitely worth a read.
Published 13 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Rolls on at an amazing speed. She is a funny lady with no holds barred. Read this in two sittings (on holiday) , really interesting and lots of Hollywood inside info.
Published 21 months ago by iloveshoes
5.0 out of 5 stars Penny Marshall Biography
This book takes us back to the Marshall family's early days and is full of funny off-beat stories about Penny and her brother Garry, who both became famour film directors.
Published 22 months ago by D. Gough
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