My Mother Was Nuts
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.

My Mother Was Nuts Details

TitleMy Mother Was Nuts
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2012
PublisherAmazon Publishing
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Humor

My Mother Was Nuts Review

  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    While I enjoy reading biographies of all types because I find it interesting to learn what motivations people had to get to where they are in life, this book simply made me turn away in disgust. Why?In brief: Penny complains non-stop about her mother and what a terrible person she was -probably true- but then she leaves her daughter behind to be raised by others. There are brief mentions of the daughter here and there, but no discernible mother-daughter bond. Drugs, drugs, drugs, more drugs, Joh While I enjoy reading biographies of all types because I find it interesting to learn what motivations people had to get to where they are in life, this book simply made me turn away in disgust. Why?In brief: Penny complains non-stop about her mother and what a terrible person she was -probably true- but then she leaves her daughter behind to be raised by others. There are brief mentions of the daughter here and there, but no discernible mother-daughter bond. Drugs, drugs, drugs, more drugs, John Belushi dies of a drug overdose Penny is horrified and then guess what? More drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs.There were many names dropped throughout the book but that did not make it any more interesting, it was just a repository of names.I thought that our age of reality t.v. was the most superficial but after reading this tragedy of a book I see that empty, vapid heads came before the current crop of insipid celebrities with nothing to offer.There's a silver lining to all this, I did not have to pay to read this book because I got to borrow it for free from the Amazon Kindle library. Whew!Now I must go read a classic to make up for the pain I inflicted on my intellect with this travesty of a book.
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  • Mark Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent autobiography. Despite what some of the reviews would have you believe, Ms Marshall seems completely aware of the mistakes she made, she just doesn't come across as needing to beat herself up publicly to receive public approval for her contrition. Anyone with two brain cells to run together to make a mental spark could tell, while reading the first two chapters, that Ms Marshall did not hate her mother. She saw her mother as flawed, but she didn't see herself as perfect. She This is an excellent autobiography. Despite what some of the reviews would have you believe, Ms Marshall seems completely aware of the mistakes she made, she just doesn't come across as needing to beat herself up publicly to receive public approval for her contrition. Anyone with two brain cells to run together to make a mental spark could tell, while reading the first two chapters, that Ms Marshall did not hate her mother. She saw her mother as flawed, but she didn't see herself as perfect. She doesn't come across to me as ignorant of her own flaws, simply not asking for our forgiveness, just as she didn't offer her own forgiveness to her own mother. Here's a novel concept for an autobiography. Write about what happened in your life without seeking praise or forgiveness or anything else from the public. If your life is interesting, and your autobiography is well written, then you'll have a great autobiography. I believe that Penny Marshall has written an excellent autobiography. She's not perfect and she not a saint, but she is in no way claiming to be either. If you liked Laverne and Shirley or her work on The Odd Couple or any of the movies that Penny Marshall has directed, then I think you'll enjoy this book. It's simple. This isn't a masterpiece, but it's funny, laugh out loud in public funny, and I really recommend it.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Honest, compelling, laugh out loud funny, and tender, this audio was excellent. I rarely give an audiobook 5 stars; however, when read by the author about her own life, with sincerity, with actual sorrow in her voice when she spoke of the loss of her loved ones, with real humor at life's funny moments, I felt like Penny Marshall put her entire heart into both writing AND narrating this book. Penny covers it all, from her early life in the Bronx, her quirky parents, her loyal brother helping her Honest, compelling, laugh out loud funny, and tender, this audio was excellent. I rarely give an audiobook 5 stars; however, when read by the author about her own life, with sincerity, with actual sorrow in her voice when she spoke of the loss of her loved ones, with real humor at life's funny moments, I felt like Penny Marshall put her entire heart into both writing AND narrating this book. Penny covers it all, from her early life in the Bronx, her quirky parents, her loyal brother helping her enter into the industry, to her love life and lost loves (I never knew she dated Art Garfunkel!), her friendship with Carrie Fisher, to Laverne and Shirley, and to all the movies she has directed. By the the time I watched Laverne and Shirley, it was in syndication. I grew up loving Laverne and Penny, both, for their realness with a big side of silliness. And that's exactly what this audio is- real, funny at times, and always full of heart.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by the author in her unmistakable deep voice and New York accent. Penny Marshall was born to Marjorie and Tony Marshall in 1943. Her show business career started in Marjorie's dancing school in the basement of their Bronx, New York apartment building. Young Penny, who wanted to run around the neighborhood and do her own thing, grumbled mightily about the mandatory dance lessons. However the numerous performances staged by Marjorie g 3.5 starsI listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by the author in her unmistakable deep voice and New York accent. Penny Marshall was born to Marjorie and Tony Marshall in 1943. Her show business career started in Marjorie's dancing school in the basement of their Bronx, New York apartment building. Young Penny, who wanted to run around the neighborhood and do her own thing, grumbled mightily about the mandatory dance lessons. However the numerous performances staged by Marjorie gave Penny confidence and stage experience. Though Marjorie Marshall loved doing shows Penny didn't become a child actress. She drifted through school and graduated with less than stellar grades. After searching for a suitable college Penny chose the University of New Mexico, which had a very lenient acceptance policy. Penny was surprised by her mom's acquiescence to this distant school....but came to realize that her mother thought all the "New" states (New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico) were clustered together. Ha ha ha. In any case, Penny headed west. Penny liked college, especially partying and hanging out with the football team. Before long Penny - who was a little naive about sex - was pregnant. Soon afterward she was married and living in a cramped apartment with her husband Mickey and baby girl Tracy. The marriage soon foundered and twenty-year-old Penny lit out for Los Angeles, where her brother Garry Marshall was becoming a successfull writer/producer/director and her sister Ronny was a producer and actress. Penny was an indifferent mother and left little Tracy with Micky and his parents in Albuquerque. I was put off by Penny's casual attitude about her child.....but mother and daughter grew closer when Tracy grew up.In Los Angeles Penny, helped by her brother Garry, got small parts in various movies and TV sitcoms. Penny married Rob Reiner (star of "All in the Family") in 1971 and they bought a nice home where they entertained family and friends - including many Hollywood bigwigs and celebrities. Over the course of her career Penny seems to have met almost everyone in show business (she names names.....lots and lots of names), and many of these folks became her close friends. People were always welcome to drop by Penny's house to eat, drink, do drugs, and sleep over....and some guests stayed for months (or even years). I thought this was very generous. In 1976 Penny landed a role in "Laverne and Shirley" - she played "Laverne" and Cindy Williams played "Shirley." The program became a runaway success and Penny talks about the scripts, cast, crew, filming, locations, etc. She also mentions how pleased she was to be able to hire friends who needed a job. Cindy Williams left the show in Season 8, after which the two women didn't speak for 15 years. Penny was bewildered by Cindy's actions and suggests that Cindy's husband, Bill Hudson (Goldie Hawn's ex), wanted her to quit. It's not clear exactly what happened but Penny never badmouths her co-star. In fact this isn't a 'tell-all' book at all and Penny doesn't 'dish the dirt' on anyone. Penny and Rob divorced in 1980, a few years before "Laverne and Shirley" ended. This was a difficult period in Penny's life. Afterwards she turned to directing movies. Penny goes into great detail about each movie she helmed, including who auditioned for the leading roles, how the stars were chosen, the film crews she selected, and all the nitty gritty of movie making. I found all this very absorbing and these were my favorite parts of the book.Penny generously acknowledges the professionals (including Steven Spielberg) who helped her learn the craft and expresses no bitterness about being overlooked - again and again - for (well deserved) Oscar nominations. Penny says she's satisfied doing the work she loves and entertaining people.The movies Penny directed are: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (I love that movie); "Big"; "Awakenings"; A League of Their Own"; "Renaissance Man";"The Preacher's Wife"; and "Riding in Cars With Boys." Penny also made a documentary about basketball player Dennis Rodman, called "Rodman Rebound."Penny's personal life was eclectic and intriguing. She talks about flings with various beaus and a long romance with singer/songwriter Art Garfunkel. Penny also traveled all over the world; threw numerous joint birthday parties with Carrie Fisher (featuring fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and a roster of A-list guests); mourned the deaths of friends; welcomed the birth of grandchildren; took care of her aging parents; repeatedly went to the Pritikin Spa to get healthy and stop smoking (the smoking part didn't work); obtained season tickets to the Lakers and the Clippers; and much more. Penny also speaks about her 2010 diagnosis of lung cancer - which spread to her brain. Penny reports that - right after she heard the news - she asked someone to go out and buy her White Castle hamburgers. The actress glosses over the illness but mentions that she went into remission after treatment. I enjoyed Penny's book and think it would be fun to join her for pizza (or hamburgers) and beer and hear more stories about television, movies, and Hollywood personalities. This is a fun light book that I'd recommend to fans of celebrity memoirs.You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/
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  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    I see the majority of reviews on Amazon's were disappointed in this but I felt quite differently. As I've made my way through her audiobook, which is read by her, I sense that hearing her voice provides a sense of depth and sincerity that perhaps others can't possible grasp in a book or on a screen. Her intonation lends tremendous expression and comes off with complete sincerity. Throughout, she notes how important honesty is to her and she certainly seems to mean it given the numerous examples I see the majority of reviews on Amazon's were disappointed in this but I felt quite differently. As I've made my way through her audiobook, which is read by her, I sense that hearing her voice provides a sense of depth and sincerity that perhaps others can't possible grasp in a book or on a screen. Her intonation lends tremendous expression and comes off with complete sincerity. Throughout, she notes how important honesty is to her and she certainly seems to mean it given the numerous examples she provides that support this very statement. Penny was a girl who grew up in a very tough home environment; she escaped mentally via her neighborhood friends and activities they shared. I found her as one who is extremely loyal and devoted to her friends, and she has many. She and her siblings remained very close, I believe, due to the instability they shared in their youth at home. They formed a tight bond of psychological survival. This played out in some of the decisions she made, some not so good, perhaps due to lack of maturity (unexpected pregnancy and dependency on the grandparents to help raise her daughter) and other decisions served her well, especially those due to her brother's generosity and good fortune, which essentially opened numerous doors and connections for her. She is blessed with having the type of personality that clearly draws people to her, which helped her enormously in a very competitive Hollywood industry. Yes, she was wild and crazy during her younger years but, in truth, those were the times in which she lived and I can only imagine these were intensified under the Hollywood lights. She shares her regrets, too. I'd say, give this piece a chance on audiobook. I am finding that I don't want it to end. I really have enjoyed hearing some of the "behind the scenes" stories she tells about numerous shows, stars, etc. It really gives an inside look at what a competitive industry she is part of. Also, you get a sense of the young girl who was a bit of jock continuing to live vicariously through sports idols as a diehard fan. Congrats, Penny, on a very interesting piece of work and thanks for sharing it with those of us who appreciate what you've been through and brought us over the years!
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  • Naksed
    January 1, 1970
    My first experience with an audio book was terrible so I approached the audio version of Hollywood actress, director and humorist Penny Marshall with weariness, especially when she began her very first chapter, the tale of two ninjas. But it was perfect! I loved her raspy voice, New York accent and deadpan voice. It was like listening to a really long, really in-depth episode of Inside the Actors Studio.The first half of the book concentrates on her nutty mother. It is a no holds barred approach My first experience with an audio book was terrible so I approached the audio version of Hollywood actress, director and humorist Penny Marshall with weariness, especially when she began her very first chapter, the tale of two ninjas. But it was perfect! I loved her raspy voice, New York accent and deadpan voice. It was like listening to a really long, really in-depth episode of Inside the Actors Studio.The first half of the book concentrates on her nutty mother. It is a no holds barred approach to her parent's dysfunctional marriage and Penny's difficult childhood. When she was a kid, Penny asked her mother what she wanted for Christmas, and mom replied that her preferred gift would be for Penny NOT to get her father anything he likes. Get the picture? Mom also kept a suicide jar in her closet. She constantly put down her daughter. This isnt a "mommy dearest" memoir though. Penny is self introspective and fair and recalls both good and bad. Despite her failings, her mother instilled in Penny a love of entertaining people, the necessity of putting heart in your performance, and of course, the importance of being bold. Long after her mother's death, her influence is present in Penny's life as she navigates the stormy currents of Hollywood, fame, drugs, and personal life.The second half of the book has behind the scenes tidbits on some of her most famous movies, including Big, A League of Their Own, Awakenings, and The Preacher's Wife, which is what I love so much in these types of memoirs. Not only does she share the technical aspects of filmmaking, the odd twists and turns of the casting process (Robert De Niro as the potential lead in Big ???!!!) but she also gives insight into the personal lives of celebrities without resorting to vulgar gossip, speculation or settling scores. Class all the way.Highly recommend these memoirs for any fans of the movies and people who can appreciate her dry New York style sense of humor.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    I was disappointed in this book. I decided to read it as I have been a fan of Penny Marshall since her Laverne and Shirley days. I have also noticed she produced a few good movies, so therefore I thought it would be an interesting read. As I stated previously, I was disappointed. I don't feel she positively portrayed her family, which is her own right. However, I know that I wouldn't think of writing anything for the public to read that would be a bad reflection of my family. I learned her idea I was disappointed in this book. I decided to read it as I have been a fan of Penny Marshall since her Laverne and Shirley days. I have also noticed she produced a few good movies, so therefore I thought it would be an interesting read. As I stated previously, I was disappointed. I don't feel she positively portrayed her family, which is her own right. However, I know that I wouldn't think of writing anything for the public to read that would be a bad reflection of my family. I learned her idea of family is very skewed, and it put her in a very different light for me personally.Having said that, the annoyance of the book to me was her constant name dropping of famous people. After awhile, I felt that the book was just short skits of name dropping that discussed short spans of time she worked with these people. There was honestly no rhyme or reason to the snip its, she put in the book. I was on the verge of not finishing the book, because unfortunately I could not want for it to end. I would not recommend this book. It is long, drawn out and I didn't feel like I accomplished anything by reading it.
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  • Siv30
    January 1, 1970
    "Sometimes you ignored the facts to make life easier."נתחיל מהסוף, כתיבת אוטוביוגרפיה היא בעיני לפחות אקט יומרני שמחייב הצדקה כמו: חיים יוצאי דופן, תרומה יוצאת דופן, מסר יוצא דופן. משהו שיצדיק את היומרה לספר על החיים ושגם ירתק את הקוראים. לפעמים כותבי אוטוביוגרפיות הם סתם נרקיסיסטיים שאוהבים לחשוב שהם חשובים ולפעמים זו סתם גרפומניה שנועדה לכסות על שעמום וחוסר מעש. במקרה של פאני מרשל, עד מספר פרקים מהסוף חשבתי שזו פשוט גרפומניה, כשחקנית בקומדיית מצבים ובמאית של 3-4 סרטים משפחתיים הביוגרפיה של פאנ "Sometimes you ignored the facts to make life easier."נתחיל מהסוף, כתיבת אוטוביוגרפיה היא בעיני לפחות אקט יומרני שמחייב הצדקה כמו: חיים יוצאי דופן, תרומה יוצאת דופן, מסר יוצא דופן. משהו שיצדיק את היומרה לספר על החיים ושגם ירתק את הקוראים. לפעמים כותבי אוטוביוגרפיות הם סתם נרקיסיסטיים שאוהבים לחשוב שהם חשובים ולפעמים זו סתם גרפומניה שנועדה לכסות על שעמום וחוסר מעש. במקרה של פאני מרשל, עד מספר פרקים מהסוף חשבתי שזו פשוט גרפומניה, כשחקנית בקומדיית מצבים ובמאית של 3-4 סרטים משפחתיים הביוגרפיה של פאני מרשל לא מצדיקה יותר מערך בוויקפדיה. החיים של פאני מרשל לא מצטיינים בתרומה או במשהו יוצא דופן.אבל, בפרקים האחרונים גיליתי את המוטיבציה מאחורי הביוגרפיה הזו, היא אובחנה בסרטן ריאות שהגרורות שלו הגיעו למח וניצלה מהמחלה. היא ניצלה לדעתי לא בגלל הטיפולים הרפואיים אלא בגלל הגישה שלה לחיים, החיים הם מה שהם והכל צריך להיות בפורפורציה, כך שגם מצבי משבר לא מטלטלים אותה.התחלתי לקרוא את הספר בגלל הכותרת שלו. ואכן יכול להיות שאמא של פני מרשל היתה משוגעת או לא שפויה או איך שלא נכנה את זה ויכול להיות שלא. דווקא הפרקים על ילדותה המוקדמת של פני והפרקים שעוסקים במשפחה שלה הם המרתקים ביותר ומלמדים על החופש והמרחב שנתנה להם אימם שניהלה סטודיו לריקוד והיתה ביחסי שינאה אהבה עם אביה. משום שהיתה אם עובדת, הילדים לא זכו לאם סטנדרטית שאז היה מקובל שתשב בבית ותגדל את הילדים, כך שהילדים נאלצו למצוא לעצמם פתרונות במרחב הניו יורקי שבו חיו וכך הם למדו למצוא פתרונות יצירתיים לדוגמא לעבור את הכביש הסואן.במחצית הספר בערך, היא עוברת לספר על קריירת המשחק והבימוי שלה ועל היכרותה עם אנשים מהתעשיה. אישית הרגשתי שמחצית הספר הזו חלשה יותר והיא גם לא לגמרי עניינה אותי. כל מעשה המרכבה של מציאת שחקנים ובימוי סרטים ממש לא מזיז לי את האצבע. יחד עם זאת היא שומרת על הומור דק ועל דרך התמודדות המיוחדת שלה עם אירועים שונים. היא גם לא מרחיבה הרבה בספר על מערכת יחסיה עם טרייסי, בתה מהבעל הראשון שלדעתי זכתה לגדול בדיוק באותה הסיטואציה שבה גדלה אמא שלה. כלומר חיים בבית שבו האם לרוב עסוקה בקריירה ובכלל שנותיה הראשונות היו אצל הסבתא כי פני היתה כל כך ענייה מרודה שהיא נאלצה לקחת כל עבודה. עם זאת ניכר שהיא דאגה לבת שלה וכשהיה לה כסף היא גם דאגה לסייע לה בין אם ברכישת דירה נוספת בניו יורק כדי שתהיה קרובה אליה ובין אם בדאגה שניכרת על החלטותיה של טרייסי.זה ספר שנראה לי שפחות ידבר לישראלים או לפחות לאנשים כמוני שלא גדלו על הסידרה "לוורן ושירלי" או על "saturday night live" שדי הרבה מסופר עליה. גם חלק מהדמויות שעולות בספר לא מוכרות לי ובין הדמויות המעטות שכן היו מוכרות לי, היא לא הרחיבה הרבה על יחסיה עם ארט גרפונקל.סה"כ ספר נחמד אם כי היה מקום לקצץ בחלק מהאפיזודות שעוסקות בבימוי סרטים.
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  • Roz Warren
    January 1, 1970
    FIFTEEN THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT PENNY MARSHALL FROM HER NEW MEMOIR “MY MOTHER WAS NUTS.”As a child, Penny Marshall danced on “The Jackie Gleason Show.”June Taylor told Marshall that she had the potential to become a June Taylor dancer if she took ballet. But she didn’t because she hated ballet. Her grandfather died while she was at summer camp, but her folks didn’t tell her because they didn’t want to ruin her summer. Early in her career, she was in a Head and Shoulders commercial with Farrah Faw FIFTEEN THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT PENNY MARSHALL FROM HER NEW MEMOIR “MY MOTHER WAS NUTS.”As a child, Penny Marshall danced on “The Jackie Gleason Show.”June Taylor told Marshall that she had the potential to become a June Taylor dancer if she took ballet. But she didn’t because she hated ballet. Her grandfather died while she was at summer camp, but her folks didn’t tell her because they didn’t want to ruin her summer. Early in her career, she was in a Head and Shoulders commercial with Farrah Fawcett. Penny played the “plain girl.” Fawcett was the “pretty girl.” She was in a serious relationship with Art Garfunkel. Paul Simon made Art Garfunkel wear a hairpiece for their 1981 Central Park concert. “Artie” wasn’t pleased.She knew her relationship with Rob Reiner was getting serious when he announced that he was going to fart in front of her. When she married Rob Reiner, her wedding vow was: “I’ll love you and try not to make you nervous.” She dropped acid for the first time with Carrie Fisher. They rode up and down on an elevator at the Ritz Carlton, lying on the floor so they could admire the elevator’s ornate ceiling. Then the doors opened and Eric Idle got on. Marshall tried heroin once. It made her carsick. In her heyday, Marshalls drug of choice was the Quaalude. She once offered Steven Spielberg a Quaalude. He turned it down.When she had a late-in-life abortion, both her therapist and Carrie Fisher came with her. Her response when asked about the greatest love of her life? “Pizza and my daughter.” After being diagnosed with and treated for lung cancer, she continues to smoke.
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  • Filip
    January 1, 1970
    I should stop reading showbiz memoirs. Invariably, I tend to find them boring and self-serving and the authors self-centered name-dropping control freaks. But probably that's the kind of person that makes it to the top of the showbiz career ladder (Joan Rivers, if you're reading this, you're the exception - I loved your latest book. But then you didn't exactly make it to the very pinnacle of showbiz, did you). In this case, I disliked Penny Marshall and her book even more than usual. Almost ever I should stop reading showbiz memoirs. Invariably, I tend to find them boring and self-serving and the authors self-centered name-dropping control freaks. But probably that's the kind of person that makes it to the top of the showbiz career ladder (Joan Rivers, if you're reading this, you're the exception - I loved your latest book. But then you didn't exactly make it to the very pinnacle of showbiz, did you). In this case, I disliked Penny Marshall and her book even more than usual. Almost every sentence in this book serves either to exonerate her for mishaps to her costars or to indicate that she has been right all along, trying to make the reader believe that her career was a combination of nepotism (she'll admit to that) and sheer luck. I enjoyed the first chapters on growing up in the Bronx with a showbiz mom, but after that the narrative became too sloppy, with its baby boomer navel-gazing and focus on people that were allegedly big in the '70s but have since had little relevance (to me, at least). To avoid.
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  • Troy Blackford
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I'll say right off the bat that I don't know much about Penny Marshall. At least, I didn't before I read this book. I have never seen one episode of Laverne and Shirley. I haven't seen any of the movies she's directed since I was a kid. In fact, I didn't even realize she WAS the director for 'Big' or 'A League of Their Own' until I read the description of this book. Why did I read the book then, you might ask? Well, it was on sale for very cheap. Once I saw she had directed a few classics, Wow. I'll say right off the bat that I don't know much about Penny Marshall. At least, I didn't before I read this book. I have never seen one episode of Laverne and Shirley. I haven't seen any of the movies she's directed since I was a kid. In fact, I didn't even realize she WAS the director for 'Big' or 'A League of Their Own' until I read the description of this book. Why did I read the book then, you might ask? Well, it was on sale for very cheap. Once I saw she had directed a few classics, I thought hearing about it might be interesting. So I got the book and gave it a chance.Interesting isn't even the right word. It was crazy.She starts the book off with a bang describing how she was once robbed by ninjas in her own home. Seriously. Complete with police helicopters right above her dwelling. And it really happened.In fact, much of her life is insane stuff that sounds made up but actually really happened. She knew virtually everybody you've ever heard of. The story of how she 'broke into' show business is probably enough to make failed actors want to pull their hair out - she never seemed to want to be an actress until she already was one. Throughout this book, I was consistently amazed at the experiences she led and the stuff she has done.And the people - she mentions so many people in this book it will make your head spin. And, because she was close to so many of them and worked with them closely, it never feels like name dropping. A lot of people couldn't pull that off, but Penny Marshall does.In short, I sure as hell got my dollar ninety-five out of this book. And then some. It was far more entertaining and interesting than I was prepared for. Recommended.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Caveat lector. Let the reader beware. Penny Marshall’s memoir, “My Mother Was Nuts,” provides the proverbial “Penny” for your thoughts. She lays bare her life as a child, young adult, mother, actress, and director in this starkly candid first-person account. Much of the narrative’s early chapters adopt a sarcastic attitude that almost verges on indifference but which simultaneously employs humor, which forms a mainstay throughout the book. As Penny herself states, she “didn’t stop for nothing.” Caveat lector. Let the reader beware. Penny Marshall’s memoir, “My Mother Was Nuts,” provides the proverbial “Penny” for your thoughts. She lays bare her life as a child, young adult, mother, actress, and director in this starkly candid first-person account. Much of the narrative’s early chapters adopt a sarcastic attitude that almost verges on indifference but which simultaneously employs humor, which forms a mainstay throughout the book. As Penny herself states, she “didn’t stop for nothing.” Her gregarious, blunt manner—including the rather fluent use of profanity—may require some adjustment on the reader’s part as Penny truly tells it like it is in a very matter-of-fact approach. Although the memoir contains a rather deprecatory tone, there is nevertheless an irrepressible undercurrent of resilience which is augmented by Penny’s reaction to her circumstances, both positive and negative. Marshall’s memoir combines quirky chapter titles such as “What Did ‘Ya Expect—Hedy Lamarr?” and “Forget the Gas, I Want the Jell-O” with more than forty black-and-white photographs, creating a notable montage. Expect to find the good mixed with the bad as Penny discusses her marriages and subsequent divorces, her recreational drug use, and her rocky relationship with her parents, particularly her mother. Her own motherhood she sums up by saying, “My mother hadn’t been June Cleaver, and I wasn’t Mrs. Brady.” Regardless, there is still much to admire about this well-known Hollywood figure, from her unwavering loyalty and honesty to her uncompromising character. This memoir will introduce readers to the true Penny Marshall, whose philosophy may be best expressed in her own words: “Often the point was to live and see what happened.”
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t know what compelled me to read Penny Marshall’s autobiography, “My Mother Was Nuts,” as I was not a fan of Laverne and Shirley, and have only seen a handful of the movies that she has directed. Reading her memoir, I learned that she parlayed nepotism (her brother is the television director, Garry Marshall) into a long and satisfying career. There are some charming anecdotes, like when she pitched Jack Klugman, the role of Oscar in “The Odd Couple,” when she let Arlyn Dunetz crash on her I don’t know what compelled me to read Penny Marshall’s autobiography, “My Mother Was Nuts,” as I was not a fan of Laverne and Shirley, and have only seen a handful of the movies that she has directed. Reading her memoir, I learned that she parlayed nepotism (her brother is the television director, Garry Marshall) into a long and satisfying career. There are some charming anecdotes, like when she pitched Jack Klugman, the role of Oscar in “The Odd Couple,” when she let Arlyn Dunetz crash on her floor (Dunetz went off with a guy in a van, moved to a commune, changed her name to Phoenix, and then gave birth to 7 kids, including River, Rain and Leaf), and when she enjoyed an impromptu concert performed by Paul Simon, then dating her best friend, Carrie Fisher, and Art Garfunkel, with whom Penny had a satisfying relationship after her divorce from Rob Reiner. She name drops shamelessly, everyone from talent, such as Albert Brooks, Jim Brooks, John Belushi, Steven Speilberg, Robert De Niro, and Tom Hanks, to suits, such as Barry Diller and Ronald Perelman, but there is no gossip. Everyone is talented and generous in Penny’s world. She is superficial even when recounting her own life. For example, she never addresses her feelings about allowing her former in-laws to raise her only child, nor does she say much about her divorce from Reiner. If you want a laundry list of who’s who in Hollywood without any dirt, this is your book.
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  • Dale
    January 1, 1970
    Published by Brilliance Audio in September of 2012.Read by the author, Penny MarshallDuration: 8 hours, 30 minutes.Unabridged.Penny Marshall, best known as Laverne DeFazio on the TV show Laverne and Shirley, tells all (or at least a lot) in this name-dropping memoir. If you are offended by frequent use of curse words and references to drug use, this is not your book.Let me begin with an important point in my review: I listened to it as an audiobook that was read by Penny Marshall. This is import Published by Brilliance Audio in September of 2012.Read by the author, Penny MarshallDuration: 8 hours, 30 minutes.Unabridged.Penny Marshall, best known as Laverne DeFazio on the TV show Laverne and Shirley, tells all (or at least a lot) in this name-dropping memoir. If you are offended by frequent use of curse words and references to drug use, this is not your book.Let me begin with an important point in my review: I listened to it as an audiobook that was read by Penny Marshall. This is important because I think it added immensely to the experience despite Marshall's relatively poor reading style. She mumbles, slurs words throughout and pauses at weird moments to take a breath but that is part of Penny Marshall's style. On top of that, at emotional moments, such as the death of her mother and discussing the 9/11 attacks the listener can hear the emotion in her voice. Add to that her famed New York accent, her great impersonation of her brother Garry (creator of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley among other shows) Lorne Michaels (creator of Saturday Night Live) and Robert DeNiro and you have an enjoyable experience.Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2013/...
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  • Sally Knotwell
    January 1, 1970
    I like Penny Marshall! I've only known her as an actor and director and the sister of Garry Marshall. So when I saw that she'd written an autobiography, I was already inclined to read it and like it. I didn't expect to come away with a real admiration for this multi-talented woman. From her life in New York as the 3rd (and unexpected) child of a mother who was nuts and a father who was boring - her words, not mine - Penny Marshall lived a life of dance classes in the basement studio her mother p I like Penny Marshall! I've only known her as an actor and director and the sister of Garry Marshall. So when I saw that she'd written an autobiography, I was already inclined to read it and like it. I didn't expect to come away with a real admiration for this multi-talented woman. From her life in New York as the 3rd (and unexpected) child of a mother who was nuts and a father who was boring - her words, not mine - Penny Marshall lived a life of dance classes in the basement studio her mother presided over. Everything revolved around dance - from her mother's point of view. Penny much preferred boys and smoking! Once she was able to do so, she left home for college in New Mexico and ended up in Hollywood where her much older brother, Garry, was making a name for himself in the TV and movie industry. From there, it was nowhere but up for this rising young actor. Surprisingly, I'd never watched her directorial movies, A League of Their Own or Big...until this past weekend, when ALoTO was on TV....having read the book, I more fully understood the story. Quite amazing! Thanks, Ms. Marshall, for a wonderful book....I will continue to watch your amazing career!
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  • Marla
    January 1, 1970
    I love Penny Marshall and have loved her since first seeing her in Laverne & Shirley. This is a very entertaining book read by Penny herself. I thought it might be hard with her thick accent but it wasn't. She read it with passion getting emotional when talking about her Mom's death and 9/11. It was really interesting to hear about the behind-the-scenes of the movies she directed and also the Laverne & Shirley show. If you like Penny then you will enjoy this. I recommend grabbing the aud I love Penny Marshall and have loved her since first seeing her in Laverne & Shirley. This is a very entertaining book read by Penny herself. I thought it might be hard with her thick accent but it wasn't. She read it with passion getting emotional when talking about her Mom's death and 9/11. It was really interesting to hear about the behind-the-scenes of the movies she directed and also the Laverne & Shirley show. If you like Penny then you will enjoy this. I recommend grabbing the audiobook. It will bring Penny directly to you.
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  • Glass House Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not ashamed to say I loved Laverne and Shirley. History may look back on the show as some screwball sitcom that introduced a number of forgotten trends to the pop culture lexicon (milk and Pepsi, anyone?), but I theorize the show was more feminist than people might believe. Think about it: it’s set initially in the fifties and focuses on two women who – unlike other female TV characters from actual 1950s shows – are not well-coiffed housewives rushing to greet Hugh Beaumont at the door after I’m not ashamed to say I loved Laverne and Shirley. History may look back on the show as some screwball sitcom that introduced a number of forgotten trends to the pop culture lexicon (milk and Pepsi, anyone?), but I theorize the show was more feminist than people might believe. Think about it: it’s set initially in the fifties and focuses on two women who – unlike other female TV characters from actual 1950s shows – are not well-coiffed housewives rushing to greet Hugh Beaumont at the door after a long day of work. They had jobs, they paid their own rent, and they went out for pizza. A lot.When I heard Penny Marshall planned her memoirs, I grabbed the book at first opportunity. I’ve always admired her as a creative force in entertainment. She was the first woman to direct a film that grossed over $100 million, and she’s probably one of the few directors to put out consistently good work. Reading her autobiography, you get the sense she is a perfectionist. She surrounds herself with familiar people at work (it’s a common theme throughout Nuts, as Marshall herself benefitted from nepotism in the business), and throughout the book you learn about her progressive second career.The first part of the book, as I expect with any celebrity memoir, is the rundown of early life and family relationships. Marshall’s style is reminiscent of long ramble, full of stories of living up to parental expectations and living in a tense household where the parents barely tolerated one another. She’s able to escape through connections with older brother Garry, who created an acting role for her on The Odd Couple. The rest of her career seems to fall in place – Marshall makes fame look too easy.The parts that most interested me – the Laverne and Shirley years didn’t disappoint. I did actually come away learning something new, in particular how the rift in Marshall’s relationship with Cindy Williams happened, and how the show’s success threatened her marriage to Rob Reiner. Other revelations of Marshall’s personal life, including a tryst with Art Garfunkel, are told so casually you can almost see Marshall shrugging as she talks.Nuts is a quick read. I downed it in two days. As an entertainment autobiography, it has enough substance to keep you interested. I like that it’s not overtly political like a number of recent bios I’ve read. If you like Penny, or Laverne, pick it up.Claire Stone for Glass House Reviews(c) 2012 Glass House Reviews
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  • Lesbianfunworld Online
    January 1, 1970
    Her books starts like this: "I'vealwaysbeencrazybutit'skeptmefromgoinginsanewaylonjennings." Except, slowly, like this: "I ' v e a l w a y s b e e n c r a z y b u t i t ' s k e p t m e f r o m g o i n g i n s a n e w a y l o n j e n n i n g s."It doesn't get better. This is the second worst audio book I have ever purchased, and it's all because of Penny Marshall. I was hoping for a quirky, funny book. I got a firky, qunky book instead. First, and this is probably going to sound horrible, but... Her books starts like this: "I'vealwaysbeencrazybutit'skeptmefromgoinginsanewaylonjennings." Except, slowly, like this: "I ' v e a l w a y s b e e n c r a z y b u t i t ' s k e p t m e f r o m g o i n g i n s a n e w a y l o n j e n n i n g s."It doesn't get better. This is the second worst audio book I have ever purchased, and it's all because of Penny Marshall. I was hoping for a quirky, funny book. I got a firky, qunky book instead. First, and this is probably going to sound horrible, but... Penny Marshall sounds horrible. She reads her own book aloud with the verve and vigour of someone who has never read a book in her life. Ever. Never ever.When she intones, "Like most people, I needed to live most of my life before I could look back and understand how lucky I was to have been tortured," what you don't hear is the slightest bit of humour, irony, sarcasm, anger, bitterness, rage, love, admiration or any other emotion I can think of that you might read that sentence with. I have never heard anyone convey a life story without any life to it. Until now.Maybe I can blame the audio editor. Maybe the editor did a great editing job, and cut the following sentence out of the end of that and every paragraph: "Like most people, I needed to live most of my life before I could look back and understand how lucky I was to have been tortured. Okay, I said all the correct words from the paper in front of me. What does the next paragraph say."Life is waaaay too precious to spend reading this book/listening to this book. It cost me $20.99 at Audible (well, nothing really, it was a credit). It was worth every penny (LOL) of that zero dollars. And I have just discovered that it's eligible for a return because I hated it. Yeah! Something good comes out of it after all!Anywhoo, I'd definitely recommend you avoid the audio book. If you're looking for something better to pick up, try picking up after your dog. It's still better. (bada bing bada boom!)
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  • AJ LeBlanc
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating, funny and emotional. Like all memoirs, if I can get it on audio read by the author, that's how I want it. I would have read it in her voice anyway, so I might as well have her read it to me. And this one is a must because Penny Marshall has such an identifiable voice.I found her story fascinating because she knows EVERYONE and it's not a big deal. It's a good reminder that people are people, even if they are in movies or on magazine covers. At the same time, she lives in a world whe Fascinating, funny and emotional. Like all memoirs, if I can get it on audio read by the author, that's how I want it. I would have read it in her voice anyway, so I might as well have her read it to me. And this one is a must because Penny Marshall has such an identifiable voice.I found her story fascinating because she knows EVERYONE and it's not a big deal. It's a good reminder that people are people, even if they are in movies or on magazine covers. At the same time, she lives in a world where she is surrounded by famous comedians who are sitting in her living room trying to one-up each other. This does not happen in for the majority of us.She's this great mix of not giving a fuck, fearless, warm and open. This is a woman who isn't going to put up with anything from anyone, but also sees the need to give back and be there for people. I loved how there's always someone living in her house because why wouldn't they? People need a place to stay and she has that place, so come move in for a few months. Or years.She doesn't flinch when being robbed by ninjas. She lives in a world where she was robbed. By ninjas. And she didn't have time for it. It's a perfect start to the book.She seems incredibly down to earth while also knowing she has money and doesn't need to worry about things. She's able to give back and make things better for people and it's clear that this is extremely important to her. She doesn't care about awards or reviews or box office returns. She wants to be able to help people, and her work has allowed her to do this.I really enjoyed this one and need to get her brother's book next.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Name dropping, drugs, parties, family and honesty fills Marshall's memoir.The obvious? As I read this one, I could totally hear Marshall's voice in my head--the gravely, low pitched, slow, grating voice. And I loved that. I felt twitchy reading about her drug use in the 80s and the pregnancies that seemed to crop up unexpectedly. Really? A grown woman who gets knocked up more than once by surprise? Wow. I sound harsh. But *I* couldn't relate to that. I just couldn't. And Marshall is very frank a Name dropping, drugs, parties, family and honesty fills Marshall's memoir.The obvious? As I read this one, I could totally hear Marshall's voice in my head--the gravely, low pitched, slow, grating voice. And I loved that. I felt twitchy reading about her drug use in the 80s and the pregnancies that seemed to crop up unexpectedly. Really? A grown woman who gets knocked up more than once by surprise? Wow. I sound harsh. But *I* couldn't relate to that. I just couldn't. And Marshall is very frank about her use of pot, ecstasy an coke. Which I can't relate to. However, in spite of the above, I feel like I would really like Penny Marshall in real life. She apparently knows EVERYBODY! I would invite her and her brother Garry to the fictional dinner party my husband and I plan filled with famous people we think we would enjoy great conversation with. Marshall can tell a story. "My Mother Was Nuts" isn't this deep emotional gut wrenching memoir. Most revelations are frank, but with little more than surface details. She doesn't spend a lot of time navel gazing here. But when you look at it in the whole, you can see that Marshall told us quite a lot about her priorities. She isn't bitter. She puts people before things. She puts friendship ahead of being right. Family is key. Her priorities are in the right place. I like her.
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  • Abuela Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to the Audible download, read by Penny Marshall herself. I was once a big fan of "Laverne and Shirley." This autobiography is truly funny, from its descriptions of her mother's dance studio when she was a kid in the Bronx and sharing a room in a small apartment with her senile grandmother to her hospital stay with a brain tumor and lung cancer, Penny Marshall cannot utter a single sentence without being funny. I have read many books which supposedly were comedies, but few books that a I listened to the Audible download, read by Penny Marshall herself. I was once a big fan of "Laverne and Shirley." This autobiography is truly funny, from its descriptions of her mother's dance studio when she was a kid in the Bronx and sharing a room in a small apartment with her senile grandmother to her hospital stay with a brain tumor and lung cancer, Penny Marshall cannot utter a single sentence without being funny. I have read many books which supposedly were comedies, but few books that are actually humorous. This one succeeds where many have tried. Yes, it name-drops, but Penny seemed to have been friends with many many people in movies and TV in Hollywood and New York. She is a jet setter who never lacks for traveling companions. Her early years were full of drugs, sex and rock and roll, but again her highs (and lows) are described with humor and self-understanding. She is forgiving of others and shrugs off slights and quirks of other actors. I never understood that she also wrote scripts and directed movies. I always thought of her as a comedian. Now I hope to seek out some of the movies she directed and watch them. She gave me a new understanding of the crazy life in Hollywood and an appreciation for her comic spirit.
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  • Ricki
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to read this book because I have always like Penny Marshall,and like her, my mother was nuts! Penny Marshall has had a remarkable life. The people she met and worked with, and also been friends with brings back the nostalgia of "those good old days". Penny Marshall's book did not let me down. I knew so little about Penny Marshall and found her writing and story utterly fascinating.Perhaps it's because of our age. She is approximately 10 years older than me and the 60's was a very long I decided to read this book because I have always like Penny Marshall,and like her, my mother was nuts! Penny Marshall has had a remarkable life. The people she met and worked with, and also been friends with brings back the nostalgia of "those good old days". Penny Marshall's book did not let me down. I knew so little about Penny Marshall and found her writing and story utterly fascinating.Perhaps it's because of our age. She is approximately 10 years older than me and the 60's was a very long time ago. Women, for the most part, were just entering the work force. So I have to ask:How does a young woman, who has left a marriage and a child behind, go to Hollywood and become the first woman to break the $100 million mark for a movie? She tells you. She also tells you all about her well known and fascinating friends she hung out with. (I never knew she dated Art Garfunkle...I always loved him!) Penny will also tell you that making movies is not all the fun you'd think it would be. The book is this and so much more.I found this biography to be honest and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Great book!
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  • Mom
    January 1, 1970
    Biographies are my favorites, I love to learn about others' lives. Penny Marshall tells us of her wonderfully talented family. How can they be so talented but yet down-to-earth people that have lives just as tough as we do? It's just on a very different scale. We put stars on a pedestal and feel that their lives must be perfect. They love, laugh, cry, have family problems, heartaches, ups and downs just like we do. Penny writes as if you were sitting with her in her living room and talking about Biographies are my favorites, I love to learn about others' lives. Penny Marshall tells us of her wonderfully talented family. How can they be so talented but yet down-to-earth people that have lives just as tough as we do? It's just on a very different scale. We put stars on a pedestal and feel that their lives must be perfect. They love, laugh, cry, have family problems, heartaches, ups and downs just like we do. Penny writes as if you were sitting with her in her living room and talking about her life. She makes you feel that after she was finished with her story, she would want to hear yours. She loves people and having fun. My favorite part of her story is in her early to rise-to-fame, when she was Laverne on Laverne & Shirley. I guess that is natural since I loved that show. If you are expecting a hilariously funny book, you will be disappointed. You can't judge this book by its cover. Still, it's a worthwhile read if you like biographies.
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  • Katz Nancy from NJ
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to this and loved every minute. It was one of the funniest memoirs I have ever listened to it. Maybe it was Penny Marshall's voice but her delivery of the lines she wrote especially about her mother was the best.
  • Mahlon
    January 1, 1970
    What could be better than Penny Marshall reading her own book? Not much :) If you're a fan of her, or her Brother Garry, you know exactly what to expect here. I don't think I would have made it through this book without the Audible edition.
  • Casceil
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very gossipy book. Penny Marshall seems to have known everyone who was anyone in television in the 1970's, and over the next thirty years or so, she seems to met everyone else. I enjoyed parts of the book. Other parts just seemed like a little too much name-dropping.
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  • Mediaman
    January 1, 1970
    This is a good autobiography that is flawed by its positive portrayal of illegal drug use and its incomplete nature. Marshall seems to have had a pointless, meandering life that she has learned nothing from. Her constant positive promotion of heavy drug usage as normal makes her an unsympathetic character, especially when so many of her friends died so young from it. She also had an abortion (claiming she didn't know who the father was), had a miscarriage (not knowing she was pregnant and unsure This is a good autobiography that is flawed by its positive portrayal of illegal drug use and its incomplete nature. Marshall seems to have had a pointless, meandering life that she has learned nothing from. Her constant positive promotion of heavy drug usage as normal makes her an unsympathetic character, especially when so many of her friends died so young from it. She also had an abortion (claiming she didn't know who the father was), had a miscarriage (not knowing she was pregnant and unsure which man would have been the dad), and continues to smoke today (even though she had lung cancer). Namely, if you're looking for a woman with morals this isn't the book for you.However, she does better than most celebrity autobiographies by actually telling stories about her projects and making snide comments about people who were difficult to work with (Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, Drew Barrymore). She doesn't spend enough time on Laverne & Shirley, while spending way too much time on some of her movies. As for her famous feuds, she denies them all and even tries to put a positive spin on her breakup with her TV co-star Cindy Williams and her second husband Rob Reiner.It's hard to tell how much to believe in the book. If she did as many drugs as she claimed it's difficult to know how she could remember so many minute details and conversations. The book also glosses over a number of bad incidents, which could be chalked up to her not wanting to embarrass her friends.I didn't like the title of the book until the acknowledgements at the end, where she reveals that her daughter often says, "My mother is nuts." So the title not only refers to Marshall's oddball mother but to Marshall herself, who is as kooky and unpredictable as the TV character she made famous. You only wish for more details as to why certain things happened in her life and for greater introspection regarding what she has learned.
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  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    January 1, 1970
    I'll tell you how forgettable this book is. I started to read it last month and got three chapters in before it started sounding familiar. Suddenly I realised, I had read it not six months before.I never cared for "Laverne and Shirley" (nor yet Happy Days nor any of the other series spinoffs from American Grafitti or Grease Fever). Maybe that's why none of it stayed with me. I re-read books all the time. Even without that, I often find I have committed sentences or whole passages to memory. Not I'll tell you how forgettable this book is. I started to read it last month and got three chapters in before it started sounding familiar. Suddenly I realised, I had read it not six months before.I never cared for "Laverne and Shirley" (nor yet Happy Days nor any of the other series spinoffs from American Grafitti or Grease Fever). Maybe that's why none of it stayed with me. I re-read books all the time. Even without that, I often find I have committed sentences or whole passages to memory. Not just books--the second time I watched Moonstruck I realised I had internalised most of the script. This one isn't going to make the cut.Marshall's mother was a self-constituted dance teacher (with apparently little to no formal training). That part of the book reminded me of the mothers I knew in my own small rural town who "put on shows" at school or church and/or taught dance, theatre, etc. Most of them were hard as nails under the big smiles reserved for the parents who wrote the checks to keep their little darlings in class and hopefully in the running for the bigger parts in the annual recital, play or whatever specialty they "taught." To their students they were often demanding, sarcastic, and less than kind to anyone who wasn't their idea of talented. It was all about being in charge. There are unhappy, ugly family dynamics out there--I know, I grew up in one. But I don't feel the need to write about it or want other people to read it. It was bad enough living through it the first time.I know I've read the rest of this book, but none of it stayed with me. During my second re-read, I realised why. Neither the style nor the story was entertaining, amusing or engaging. If dysfunctional families are your thing, feel free. For myself, I have other things to do. So many books, so little time.
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  • Lisa Brandt
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I'm a sucker for dishy, insider stories from those who have made their living in some form of popular entertainment. I grew up with Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley and remember very well when Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams made their debuts on H.D. Back then, of course, I wouldn't have known or cared that Penny's big brother Garry was in charge of the show and Williams was worried about him favouring his sister. Boy, was she ever. (Side note: I had the good fortune to meet Ci Admittedly, I'm a sucker for dishy, insider stories from those who have made their living in some form of popular entertainment. I grew up with Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley and remember very well when Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams made their debuts on H.D. Back then, of course, I wouldn't have known or cared that Penny's big brother Garry was in charge of the show and Williams was worried about him favouring his sister. Boy, was she ever. (Side note: I had the good fortune to meet Cindy in person and interview her a few years ago and she was sweet and wonderful!) You know how some stars say they "fell into" showbiz? That's pretty much Penny's story. Same with directing. Luckily she had gifts for both comedic timing and being in charge of a movie set. This book is full of tales about her famous friends, some very surprising, and enough insider stories to make you almost feel you're on the sidelines.This will tell you what you need to know about the Marshall kidsL Their parents were awful at raising them but they banded together and made great lives for themselves and for others. Garry, one of the most successful producer/director/writers of all time, had a policy of giving a certain number of people "a life" on one of his shows or movies. "A life" meant bringing them on board and giving them a job with the show. Boyhood pals, cousins, anyone who was good to them and had a respectable work ethic could be given "a life". I'd like to think that's how I would be in his position. Terrific book. Loved it.
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  • Angela Risner
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Laverne & Shirley. When my friend Heather and I would play that we were Laverne and Shirley, we fought over who would play what. Of course, Shirley was the coveted role at the time - she was all girlie and chaste and prim. But I would have to say that Laverne is much more my style now. Penny Marshall writes in a very easy-to-read, conversational style. I enjoyed that she shared a good deal of her childhood, especially the difficulties in her parents' marriage, her mother's lack of in I loved Laverne & Shirley. When my friend Heather and I would play that we were Laverne and Shirley, we fought over who would play what. Of course, Shirley was the coveted role at the time - she was all girlie and chaste and prim. But I would have to say that Laverne is much more my style now. Penny Marshall writes in a very easy-to-read, conversational style. I enjoyed that she shared a good deal of her childhood, especially the difficulties in her parents' marriage, her mother's lack of interest in her, and her relationship with her elder siblings. I was surprised to learn that Penny had done drugs. I understand that it was a huge part of the culture in which she came to Hollywood, and I don't think people quite understood the damage that LSD and other drugs could do at that time. I never knew that she was involved with Art Garfunkel until this book. I also didn't know that she was married to anyone but Rob Reiner - and I thought her child was his, not her first husband's. I was disappointed that there was not more behind-the-scenes stories and information on Laverne & Shirley. That was a large part of her life and she really doesn't go into as much as I'd hoped. I did think that she gave a great background to the movies she has directed, including her relationships with the stars of those movies. Overall, it's a bit fluffy and not quite as deep as I'd hoped, but it was entertaining and funny. Recommend if you're a fan.
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