Before I get into my review for this book, I have to tell you why I love audiobooks.
Way before I got into journalism, I’ve always been a fan of people telling their own stories—you get to hear a really interesting perspective that you might not have considered otherwise. Audiobooks are a perfect form of that. My favourite kinds of audiobooks are memoirs/autobiographies read by the authors—reading them in print is one thing, but listening to fascinating people tell incredible stories breathes life into them in a way you otherwise wouldn’t experience.
So naturally, I loved Penny Marshall’s audiobook of “My Mother Was Nuts.”
You may know her as Garry Marshall’s sister or Laverne in “Laverne and Shirley,” but this book introduces you to Penny the person and makes you fall in love with her almost immediately.
Penny brings her trademark dry humour and wit as she reveals intimate details of her professional and personal lives—anyone who loves behind-the-scenes stories from their favourite movies and TV shows will enjoy all her anecdotes from “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Big,” “A League Of Their Own,” and “The Preacher’s Wife.” Yet she can make you cry just as easily when she describes losing her mother, her abortion, and her lung cancer and brain tumour diagnosis.
A lot of famous faces make appearances in her memoir—particularly Garry and her “partner in crime” Carrie Fisher—but this is without a doubt her story, and she tells it beautifully. Her voice is unique, and no one’s lived a life quite like hers.
Near the end of the book, Penny talks about bucket lists and how she never had one—yet she managed to cross off everything she could have ever had on it. She’s a remarkable, accomplished woman who’s done everything anyone could hope to do and more.
She may have stumbled into fame, but she has most certainly earned her place among other Hollywood legends.