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The Songaminute Man Reader Reviews

The Songaminute Man

Nicola Edwards

The story of Ted McDermott told by his son Simon is an amazing read – a memoir of family, love, and hope that will stay with you for a long time.

I had briefly heard about The Songaminute Man in the news a year or so ago, but hadn’t picked up much detail so was very intrigued to find out more about the man and his son behind this all. This book is the memoir of Ted McDermott, written by his son Simon. It captures Ted’s childhood growing up in 1940s Wednesbury as the eldest of fourteen children right through to the present day and his rise to fame in the carpool karaoke videos.

This is an extremely powerful book and definitely one that I will remember for a long time. It is incredibly well written and detailed, considering that Simon had to source all the information from other people as Ted has dementia. Ted led a fascinating life and I really enjoyed reading about his life as a talented entertainer and Butlins Redcoat.

The latter sections of the book, leading up to the present day really took me on an emotional rollercoaster. It was an honest, heartbreaking account of what Simon and his family have gone through in the lead up to Ted’s diagnosis and since. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it very highly.

Val Rowe

A moving and inspirational tribute from a son to his father.

I first learnt of Ted McDermott when his son, Simon, posted a video on Facebook of the pair of them singing joyfully whilst in the car. As my mother had dementia and listening, and dancing, to Glenn Miller was one of the only ways that she seemed to come to life and engage with me, I was interested to learn more and followed their story. 

When Ted was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Simon discovered that his father's talent, and love of, singing enabled him to connect with others and ease his sudden distressing and aggressive bouts. As well as providing Ted with some respite and helping to support his relationship with his son, their performances have raised much welcomed funds for the Alzheimer's' Society.

With the aid of his family and friends, Simon has written a highly readable biography which tells his father's story in a fascinating and poignant way. I especially enjoyed the chapters about Ted's early life and felt that I really began to walk in his shoes. I found the process where Ted's condition was eventually diagnosed and its progression extremely moving and anyone who has experienced dementia in their own family will be able to identify clearly with it.

However, it is not a depressing tale as the bond between father and son is so powerful and hope, love and positivity pervades the writing.

I thoroughly recommend this tender and touching account of the power of family love.

Tina Tse

A poignant and unflinchingly honest account of a son’s tribute to his dad.

‘The songaminute man’ is an unflinchingly honest portrait of a man by his son. It was well written and easy to read. 

There are certainly some sad moments such as when Ted forgets his wife and his son then behaves rather aggressively towards them. What I particularly liked though was the fact that the memoir started off by telling the story of the life of Ted. Although we know from the start Ted has Alzheimer’s, by telling us his life story, Simon’s portrayal of his dad ensures our view of him is not defined by the disease.

Christine Woolfenden

A compelling story told from the heart. It stays with you long afterwards, especially knowing so many are going through the same ordeal with loved ones.

This story starts with an ordinary family, it could be you, me, anybody. In fact, it brought back many parallels to my own upbringing and childhood. Simon Mcdermott has painstakingly pieced together the story of his father's childhood and young adulthood from talking with friends and family. It's an amazing piece of work. The intricate account of his father's, (Ted) decline into dementia is shocking and heartbreaking, and we are not spared the details of hurt and violence which occurs. This story will strike a chord with many families going through a similar ordeal. As a straight story, it is compelling; as an account of what it's like to live with this disease, it's a must read.

Elizabeth Winsor

A lovely family record, and maybe there is an audience from the touching YouTube clips. However I'm not sure such a detailed biography would be of interest to the general public.

I can see why this was written, there is obviously a close family bond and there may be an interested audience because of the touching YouTube clips. Also a story of dementia may be useful to others, and very touching. 

However, when I started reading it I just felt that such a detailed biography was not of interest to me, or probably the public in general, so I didn't read very far I'm afraid.

It makes a really lovely family record, though, so well done for writing it. 

Julie Bertschin

Alzheimer's and dementia affects the lives of so many families today. The story of Ted McDermott's life is superbly written by his son Simon; it is an emotional and extremely touching read.

A beautiful tribute from Simon McDermott to his father, Ted, whose love of singing provides a release from the shackles of dementia. As the daughter of a dementia sufferer myself, I could identify with everything Simon and his family have gone through in caring for Ted.  The ups and downs, the frustration and fear and the utter anguish it causes is all consuming.  Music is one of the only things that seems to stay with dementia sufferers, when all else is stripped away.  Singing with my dad was this only way we were able to communicate at the end.  This is the most honest and touching book I've read in a long time.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008232627
Publication date: 5th April 2018
Author: Simon McDermott
Publisher: HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, The Real World,
Categories: Biography: arts & entertainment, True stories,
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