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Publisher's Summary

Everyone has dreams of what they want to accomplish in life. Marty Essen’s childhood dream of becoming a herpetologist gave way to his dream of becoming a popular DJ, which led to his dream of becoming a big-time talent manager, which morphed into the dream of becoming an in-demand author and college speaker. While he achieved most of his dreams at various levels, he also realized that he didn’t necessarily have to reach the top to find success or happiness. Sometimes, “almost” is close enough.

Hits, Heathens, and Hippos: Stories from an Agent, Activist, and Adventurer is a humorous and inspirational memoir that explores relationships and careers and how seemingly minor events can lead to life-changing results. Compelling stories have filled Marty’s life, and he tells those stories in a conversational style that combines his talents as an award-winning author with his talents as the creator of a one-man stage show that he has performed at hundreds of colleges across the United States.

This is a must-listen for anyone faced with an unexpected career change, worried about finding and keeping the partner of their dreams, forced to take on bullies (whether individual, political, or corporate), eager for ideas to make life more satisfying, or just in search of a fun-filled adventure.

Be inspired, intrigued, and entertained!

Recommended for open-minded listeners, who are not offended by liberal concepts and ideas.

©2021 Marty Essen (P)2021 Marty Essen

Critic Reviews

Hits, Heathens, and Hippos proves life is mostly luck and a little timing with many laughs along the way. Marty Essen has demonstrated that life is what you do while you decide what you are going to be when you grow up. This is a great book about a life of ventures, friends and a few lessons about winning and losing.” (Governor Brian Schweitzer, Democrat, Montana 2005-2013) 

“What I like about this book is the personal style Essen writes with. You really get a sense of his personality, sense of humor, and the way he thinks. It’s a fun, clever way of discussing the world of work and relationships, more memoir than self-help, yet the advice is there, dramatized. His talent for storytelling gives you the feeling you’re in an audience, listening to him. You'll find yourself amused, shocked, and touched. One of the best stories is about the hippo attack, but you’ll have to read the book to get the details. For an entertaining read that would make a great movie or documentary, pick up your copy of Hits, Heathens, and Hippos: Stories from an Agent, Activist, and Adventurer by Marty Essen.” (Tammy Ruggles for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews)

"A thoroughly absorbing and inherently fascinating account of a most unusual life lived out in a series of equally unusual circumstances." (Midwest Book Review)  

What listeners say about Hits, Heathens, and Hippos

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Susan Straley, Author, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George
  • Susan Straley, Author, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George
  • 28-06-2021

An Adventurous and Talented Life

Marty Essen has had a life so-far that is well worth writing about. From his early days helping bands and artists get gigs to his amazing travels on seven continents with the love of his life, he has not led a boring life.

He takes us through his frustration with his father's over-the-top evangelism and into the laugh-fest with his wife after he and she survived an attack by a huge hippopotamus.

I will be looking up his Irreverent series of fiction stories in the near future. He is a talented salesman.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rayc
  • 19-06-2021

not the usual biography

Hits Heathens
I don't usually read/listen to autobiographies . but having read the authors fictional books I gave it a go.
Enjoyed it immensely every single chapter!
Laughed often maybe not every 10 minutes like the author aimed for but often.
So pleased I listened to it.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily left this honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Norma Miles
  • 26-05-2021

"I will adjust as I always have."

What and interesting life Marty Essen has lived and in Hits, Heathens and Hippos he shares a small part of it with us. He tells of his childhood days and the divorce of his parents, his infuriating Born Again Christian father, how he met the woman who was to become his wife and a taste of their adventures together. It's an easy read, peppered with amusing anecdotes told in an unsophisticated, direct to reader style which allows emotional convictions to trickle through without over dominating the story.
Narrated by Brian Marchant, also reading in a natural but well cadences style, it is nice to think that he has also captured something of the authentic voice of Marty, himself. But given that, before this book, I had never heard of Mr.Essen nor know how he speaks, I can only say that he carries the entire monologue well, maintaining interest throughout.

With some harrowing adventure moments endured amidst travelling highlights, Essen skilfully deflects reader envy of the exotic opportunities Marty and Debs have created for themselves and I would have rated this worthy of five, rather than four, stars had not much of the final hours been devoted to what felt like a prolonged advertisement for earlier books published and his current lecturing tours, either in person or via zoom, since the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic: still interesting but too much of a cheat. But I am grateful to the rights holder who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. This was an interesting and enjoyable romp through an action filled life and it's O.K. for the author to include a touch of self aggrandizement and publicity - just,, perhaps, not for quite as long.. Recommended.x

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