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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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My Mother Was Nuts Hardcover – September 18, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,968 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Penny Marshall's Photo Album

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  Penny and Rob Reiner cutting the cake at their 1971 backyard Hollywood wedding.
  Penny with her close friend John Belushi in New York in 1976. John passed away in 1982.
  Art Garfunkel on a motorcycle trip through France and Italy with Penny.
  Penny with her daughter, Tracy; Tracy’s husband, Matt; and their children Spencer, Bella, and Viva in 2011.

From Booklist

On the heels of her brother Garry’s memoir, My Happy Days in Hollywood (2012), comes Marshall’s own recounting of her career as an actress and a director. The youngest of three, Marshall grew up in an apartment in the Bronx and reluctantly attended her mother’s dance school. Her college career was cut short by pregnancy, which led to a brief marriage. After her marriage fell apart, Marshall found her way to Hollywood to give acting a shot. A guest-starring role in her brother’s hit show Happy Days turned out to be fortuitous, leading to Marshall’s own show, Laverne & Shirley, a big success that ran for eight seasons and made Marshall famous. When the show ended, Marshall added directing to her credits, taking her first gig with the Whoopi Goldberg movie Jumping Jack Flash and going on to helm classics such as Big, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. Hollywood aficionados will get a kick out of Marshall’s anecdotes about her circle of friends, including Albert Brooks, John Belushi, and Carrie Fisher, all told in a funny, down-to-earth manner. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547892624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547892627
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,968 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read the five star reviews, and sadly, I can't give the same rating.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really liked Penny Marshall before I read this book. I wanted to read it to find out more about her life. Now? I have absolutely no respect for her. But there's more than that. For a memoir to be interesting it has to have something that interests, amuses, or entertains. This book does none of those things.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only laughed out loud once while reading this on kindle. I expected more of a creative, funny woman like Penny Marshal. Mostly her book was an endless list of names. She name checked everybody except the doorman at her building. I would have liked a little more depth.

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.
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