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John P. DERMODY

Jack Dermody

Phoenix, AZ | Member Since 2012

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 83 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13132)
    Performance
    (5476)
    Story
    (5522)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Historical fiction is a best way to study history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Pillars of the Earth again? Why?

    I would listen several times over, savoring the culture of the 12th Century, but particularly because John Lee has the voice of God. Do not miss this book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The women were the best characters, especially Ellen and Aliena. Even in the 12th Century, a strong and smart woman could grab power and change an entire nation.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Courage and hope in the face of unrelenting injustice


    Any additional comments?

    I read the book and interspersed that by listening to most of it on Audible. Isn't historic fiction a very best way to read about history? The Pillars of the Earth is cultural history around the 12th Century -- rulers, religion, regular people alongside supremely powerful lords, "witches," architects and craftsmen, strong women, evil warlords, saintly and sinful priests. Contrasted with life in the 1100s in England, the Great Depression was a cakewalk. After a while it seemed that each week of peace and happiness had to be purchased with months of attacks, abuse, blood-letting, injustice, and pure evil. The book ends with the martyrdom of Thomas Becket inside a cathedral -- the type of ediface the reader gets to know intimately. Cathedral construction is the star of this story.You will want to buy an illustrated coffee table book about cathedrals before you finish reading. Better yet, you may have bought airline tickets to both London and Paris so you can see and touch as many cathedrals as you can find.You can choose between nearly a thousand pages of reading or forty-plus hours of listening. In either case, you want it to go on forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words with My Father

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Druga
    • Narrated By David W. Dietz, III
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Moments before midnight on New Year's Eve, Danny D'Argenio suffers a massive heart attack and dies. There in the delicate space between life and death, he is given a special gift. Reunited with his deceased father, he is given the opportunity to see what his life would have been like had he been granted the wish to change some of his life choices. His journey is a priceless eye opening experience, all while getting the precious chance to spend one more day with a father he adored on this earth.

    Deedra says: "Words with My Father"
    "Potentially great story, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was immedialy engaged with this story about a second generation Asian man, but got quickly turned off by the poor writing. Lots of self-talk addressed the protagonist's reactions to people, but we rarely get to feel what he felt based on behavioral or locational descriptions.


    Which character – as performed by David W. Dietz, III – was your favorite?

    The best character was the father, complete with a Chinese accent that evolved as more and more authentic as the book progressed. For the other characters, David nailed voices for age and gender. Watch for him in the future as serious writers discover his clean, crisp and engaging voice.


    What character would you cut from Words with My Father?

    You can't cut characters if there is little character development to begin with.


    Any additional comments?

    Authors probably should not do everything themselves. For me, the three most crucial people to spend money on are editors, narrators, and studio engineers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Stupid Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Aurora Smith
    • Narrated By David Dietz
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    All seventeen-year-old David really wants is to fly under life's radar. In a typical cold winter day in Montana he does something extraordinary: he rescues smart, funny, gorgeous good-girl Lucy Peterson from drowning in a freezing lake. As their friendship grows, David realizes that risking his life was the easy part. His friendship with a girl who is different from him in every imaginable way forces David to challenge himself and those around him.

    Valeria says: "Very truthful deep and fun"
    "Excellent narrator despite a two-star story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about My Stupid Girl?

    This is a morality play, a script idea for a low budget Lifetime Channel movie. The language is abstract, not concrete -- telling us instead of showing us. If I were allowed to be a "masculinist" with a political agenda, I would rant about women continually portraying males as insensitive and selfish sociopaths.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Aurora Smith again?

    No, but I WOULD listen to anything by narrator David Dietz again!! The author lucked out with him. Hopefully David will be discovered by serious writers in the future.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    If the book was saved, it happened through the narrator's voice -- crisp, clear, engaging, professional. Voicing gender and age works well for him. David Dietz will likely get hired by writers on the New York Times Best Seller List one day, so stay tuned, everybody.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from My Stupid Girl?

    To the writer: The reader needs to see, feel, touch, and smell the characters; sit, stand, and walk around in the settings. None of that was possible here with all the tortuous mind gymnastics, the "shoulds," the guilt trips, the morass of "morality." In future books, let's get real. And pay serious bucks for a content and style editor. It's worth it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wrong Man

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Matthew Louis
    • Narrated By Robert Neil DeVoe
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Sam Schuler is starting a new family, trying to begin a respectable life, and trying to extricate himself from the seedy people he once knew. But when his former best friend involves him in a petty drug theft, a local street gang is stirred to action and Sam finds himself the target of harassment from the gang's leader. When the situation escalates from threats to violence to the worst transgression imaginable, Sam's reality is warped beyond recognition.

    John P. DERMODY says: "The Right Reader For The Wrong Man"
    "The Right Reader For The Wrong Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Wrong Man to be better than the print version?

    This book was made to be read aloud. A superior listen! No endless lists of details. The story keeps moving and the pictures that Louis paints of his characters are vivid to eye and ear.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    No spoilers here, so I struggle to offer opinions without giving the story away. This book is about male fear, male courage, and male stupidity. Louis can write. He focuses on people, their looks, their personalities, their speech, their place in society. You will find yourself saying at each plot turn, "Holy crap...you gotta be kidding!"


    What does Robert Neil DeVoe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The flawless part of the audiobook The Wrong Man is the narration by Robert Neil DeVoe. DeVoe is destined to be recruited by today’s best writers and to win Audiofile and voiceover awards. If the successors to Grisham, Wouk, Dahl, and Poe do not scoop him up, then the world is not right. DeVoe’s voice is clean, masculine without pretense, and trained to dig up visceral interpretations of the young, old, accented, gendered, emotion-ridden requirements of the most challenging authors. I could not pull out my earphones until the last few words of the epilogue. You will probably agree that the story seemed to contain a live cast of actors, not just a narrator – the college-guy protagonist, his druggie friend, the girlfriend, the local Mexicans, his grandparents, and others. Each character should make you react as emotionally as the lead character must..


    Who was the most memorable character of The Wrong Man and why?

    Louis’ main character, Sam, is highly opiniated and politically incorrect. I like that. My own world depresses me with hordes of easily offended people and The Wrong Man gave me delicious escape. Sam is equally disdainful of small-town people, Mexicans, middle-aged women, and old people – just for starters.Unfortunately, protagonist Sam’s thinking does not jive with his behavior. I think this problem could have been fixed if the entire story had been told in the third person instead of the first. How does a guy who spins words like Ian Fleming make such idiotic decisions?


    Any additional comments?

    Author Matthew Louis just started writing novels and should continue writing. The storytelling and imagery grab you in this novel and probably will for decades to come.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9280)
    Performance
    (8359)
    Story
    (8367)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Best reader in the world with predictable book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I could never listen to Michael Beck enough. He is a force of nature.


    If you’ve listened to books by John Grisham before, how does this one compare?

    John Grisham probably ought to retire. There were zero surprises and an overabundance of repetitious details. He actually gave away the ending in the early chapters.


    What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

    Beck's ability to transform his voice for gender, age, dialect, etc. is incomparable. Whatever he is paid cannot possibly be enough.


    Do you think Sycamore Row needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No follow-up book. Just listen to the abridged edition of this one. Nowhere near enough twists and surprises, nowhere near enough character delvings. It would have been nice to know more about the people related to the main character.


    Any additional comments?

    My favorite books are The Partner and Playing for Pizza. When Grisham goes international, he is on fire!!! I am really fatigued with the lame brains in Mississippi.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (7279)
    Performance
    (6620)
    Story
    (6632)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Beautiful English but TEDIOUS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Move the story quicker, develop the characters deeper. Do not overdo one storyline.


    What could Robert Galbraith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Do multiple storylines to keep it interesting. For now there's too much detail and redundance around one timeline and one unendimg, grueling investigation.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Comoron and Robin in the dress shop.


    Did The Cuckoo's Calling inspire you to do anything?

    To aim to write beautiful prose.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave 3 stars instead of 1 because the language is so beautiful. It is elegantly, artistically read by the narrator at Audible.com. Just when it seemed J.K. Rowling had created the new Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the story deteriorated into tedious detail no more exciting than watching grass grow. Yes, the mystery is important, but story movement and character development are far more important than finding only one new clue to the mystery every 50 pages or so. I hope the author reads this and brings the progagonist and his assistant back for another try in the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1889)
    Performance
    (1722)
    Story
    (1714)

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela J says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "Do not die before reading this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Still Foolin' 'Em rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among biographies, this has inspired me more than any other in my life.


    What other book might you compare Still Foolin' 'Em to and why?

    On the scale of important biographies, compare it to Leonard Bernstein's or Sargent Shriver's.


    What about Billy Crystal’s performance did you like?

    Hey, it's Billy Crystal. Just say thank you.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Inspiring.


    Any additional comments?

    Get the Audible version of this book right now. Of course it is funny. It's Billy Crystal! More importantly, it's the most inspiring biography I've ever read. He is 65. I am 68. I enter my next part of life right now with the Billy-inspired mantra: I have yet to create and perform my best work.

    Folks, you will laugh and cry throughout the book. If you lived in the 20th century, you will visit favorite people, places and events. You learn about idols from Mohammad Ali and Joe DiMaggio to Johnny Carson and Sophia Loren. You re-learn that it takes character and discipline to be great. Nobody is born great.

    I don't want to spoil it for you. There are many reasons to buy the audio version...to begin with, Billy's imitations of Ali and Cossell.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Guy Kawasaki, Shawn Welch
    • Narrated By Lloyd Sherr
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    APE's thesis is powerful yet simple: filling the roles of Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur yields results that rival traditional publishing. We call this "artisanal publishing" - that is, when writers who love their craft control the publishing process and produce high-quality books. APE is 411 minutes of step-by-step, tactical advice and practical inspiration.

    Amanda says: "Progressive marketing anyone with online access"
    "This is Self-Publishing 101 AND 102 -- a roadmap!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book to be better than the print version?

    No, the audiobook cannot -- by the very design of the book -- be better than the print version. I listened while on a 7-hour drive then immediately ordered the print version. APE is one of those books that even Kindle fanatics will want the print version of. The reason: lists, lists, lists...references...contacts...a roadmap for five years of training and work. Smell the book, write in it. bend the pages over.


    What did you like best about this story?

    If you have already published an e-book, half the book is old hat but, believe me, you will learn who the big boys are and how to play better than you might have thought you could on your own. We are easily lured into Amazon's publishing wonderland and that may still be an option, but we learn plenty about good options for printing, distribution, marketing, etc.


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd Sherr – was your favorite?

    Lloyd Sherr mercifully read at a fast speed so that this data-heavy book stayed interesting. Loved his voice and upbeat tone.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book?

    I am starting the next book with the best outline ever. I am mounting the biggest campaign of my life to engage a large crowd of supporters, influencers, editors, and buyers. The steps outlined in the last 10 chapters provide a roadmap for success. I can feel, taste, and fully imagine what success looks like.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Threat Vector

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3754)
    Performance
    (3284)
    Story
    (3303)

    Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People's Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy's plans to protect the island.

    Jean says: "Spies and a counter espionage"
    "Narrator the best, story not designed for audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Threat Vector? What did you like least?

    I love stories with multiple simultaneous activity. Threat Vector has all that -- in spades. What I don't like is endless jabber about computer programming, especially on an audio book. We should be warned. When reading a book, you can happily skip past the five pages of geek language and get on with the story simply by skimming and scanning. With sound, all you can do is stay with it. When you fast-forward, you have no idea what you are missing. I like to have some control over the reading. I want to skip pseudo-technical bullcrap, long chases, endless descriptions of firearms construction, etc. I'm one of those guys that prefers relationships, character development, and a story that keeps moving forward. This audiobook is a case where the unabridged edition would have saved both time and money.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting was the scary possibility that governments have to outsource spying and killing. Least interesting is the highly improbably brinksmanship of the Chinese government.


    What does Lou Diamond Phillips bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Lou Diamond Phillips might be the best reader in Audible.com history. He nails gender, accents. One truly forgets there is only one narrator. So clean. So clear. I probably can't afford him, but I want him on my next book. My name, Lou, is Jack Dermody. Find me on the web.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No movie -- too much violence, too many chases, too many improbable outcomes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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