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My Mother Was Nuts Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Prior to the book, I really liked Penny Marshall. After reading the book, I can't say I feel the same.
First, just looking at the book itself, the writing is okay...she talks like she is having a conversation, rather than writing "literature", and I like that. But, her conversations are somewhat superficial. There is no true insight into Ms Marshall. No great revelations of a "gee, that's really amazing" when it comes to her personal career and those celebrity friends she name drops ad nauseum (? spelling).
As far as what I walked away with? I found her lacking in any warmth, except when she talks about Carrie Fisher. She wasn't a good mother. She makes no bones about it, and no apologies or sincere regrets. She didn't like, respect or appreciate her parents. Her mother wasn't a great, loving mother, I got that. Her father was a blah personality, I got that. But honestly, nothing gave me the impression she tried to be a loving daughter, either, other than she moved them to California and helped support them financially, but that was done more, I got the impression, because she had the money to do so and was expected of her. You did drugs....I got that. Over and over, I got that. She apparently didn't care much for her sister, because I didn't see any overtures of closeness or wanting to be close to her...more pointing out her sister's faults.
I am sure that this is Penny in real life. Her words certainly ring true, and I appreciate the honesty. There was some humor, often sad or black humor. No true insight into her marriage with Rob Reiner or other personal relationships...everything seems to be glossed over.Read more ›
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.
This could have been written by anyone because the book also lacks that personal insight that makes a memoir interesting. Penny tells her story as if she was describing a story on the news. In other words, no emotion, no reflection, and certainly no lessons learned.
One of the things that struck me about the book was how little she seemed to learn as she got older. John Belushi died of a drug overdose and yet she talks about her own drug use as blandly as if she was discussing her morning shower. It was just something she did every day. She saw people around her behaving poorly and even dying but it didn't change her own practices. And yet, there's also no reflection here either.
She titled this book about her obvious negativity toward her mother, and yet she was an even worse mother. She dumped her kid off and had zero reflection on that either. What's worse, she continued getting pregnant twice more where she didn't even know who the father was.
She never talks about the consequences of her poor behavior. Perhaps she sincerely believes there wasn't any. The one redeeming quality of this book is that her brother Garry seems like a genuinely nice person.
Maybe she's not introspective; with her parents you couldn't expect self-awareness. But she could have given us more insight into the important people in her life. She saw a side of Carrie Fisher, John Belushi and Art Garfunkle, that none of us would ever get to see. What made them tick and connect with her? Other than they are "funny" or sang her a serenade; no clue.
Her mother was nuts, but not in a good way. I think Penny is just lucky she has a sense of humor. With her life she could have become a psychopath.
I didn't like this book much and I expected to enjoy and adore it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good. It's definitely Getting to know Penny on a personal level. So very down to earth and honest. Love this woman.Published 1 day ago by Tina Long
For fans of Laverne and Shirley, it's nice to finally hear the truth about the downfall of the show. Penny's honesty, humor, and openness are a breath of fresh air.Published 2 days ago by slester
I haven't finished the book but so far it is very enjoyable. Great Read!!!!Published 2 days ago by Marla
An engaging narrative written just like Penny Marshall would tell it, funny, sarcastic and direct. Bravo!!!!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
A conundrum - do you dislike the book because you end up so disliking the author/character?
It was an interesting read, but interesting mostly due to discovering that... Read more
This was an excellent read. Penny Marshall didn't hold back but as she is in real life, she is funny in her writing, too. I would recommend this books. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Barbara L. Cooper
I loved reading it and learning more about her childhood, family and friends. She is genuine, loving, hilarious, and honest, the characteristics I love in my friends. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Josephine Pierce
I wasn't expecting it to be good. I thought I would try it for my first audiobook. But it was great! She tells her life story herself and does it in way that keeps you laughing.Published 10 days ago by Cyd