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Arthur Held

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 163
  • helpful votes
  • 107
  • ratings
  • Time Is Irreverent

  • By: Marty Essen
  • Narrated by: Michael Fell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43

What if you could make a change to history that would eliminate the Spanish Inquisition, American slavery, World War II, global warming, and an egomaniacal US president who thought he was smart enough to drop nuclear bombs here and there without negative consequences? What if that change also made the United States and five billion people poof from existence? Would you do it? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun Science Fiction Adventure.

  • By cosmitron on 06-07-18

Interplanetary ROAD TRIP!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-11-18

If this book was a wine, I would say I detected a bouquet of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,"
with overtones of Edward Abbey's "Monkey Wrench Gang." If those vintages are too dusty for you to remember, how about Yatzee Croshaw's "Mogworld" mixed with Scott Meyer's "Off to Be the Wizard" - but with far more social commentary.

Strident? Hell yes! And it's about time someone was! When half your country is in a nose-dive toward environmental oblivion and reactionary social injustice, it's refreshing to see someone call out religious and political extremists for their planet-destroying nonsense. It's even better when the author paints the outcome clearly, using the known results of following delusional approaches to their disastrous consequences.

Time travel, rock and roll, environmentalism, sex, booze, and equality. What does it take to pull it all together into a social commentary romp? Good, solid story telling and an entertaining plot. Like any good social commentator, Essen doesn't step away from the occasional opportunity to plop one of his characters on a soapbox, (or a potato-shaped boulder) to give a dandy lecture. You already know the general rant; it's the one you have really, really wanted to give to certain relatives who think we still live in 1950 and want to drag you and everyone else back into those dark ages with them. But 95% of the time Essen spins a yarn that rolls forward unstoppably, like the ball in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

While a shot of this book will help the spirits of open-minded people everywhere, not everyone is a candidate for this medicine. Contra-indications include a propensity to think the bible is literal truth, that religion gives better answers than science, or a belief that people with non-traditional beliefs or sexual orientations should have fewer rights and less self-determination. Homophobes should also stay well away; this book includes a lovely lesbian heroine who is NOT simply a girl in need of a male appendage. And if you think unrestrained capitalism and the exploitation of the environment for profit is more important than the flora and fauna that share the planet with us , you will definitely have an adverse reaction.

For the rest of us, those of us who give a damn about equal rights, the environment, and social responsibility? This book is a great big romp and a wonderful adventure. As an added bonus, the author has a wonderful knowledge of rock and roll that permeates "Time is Irreverent" from cover to cover.

The narration is first-rate. Often, narrators struggle to do the voices of both sexes. One or two characters struck me as a touch odd, but everyone was believable, and the main characters are all performed perfectly, male and female. The narrator even appears to have read the book in advance, so inflections always match the speech tags, and the tone of the scene.

I give this five stars for the delightful seven hours of optimistic entertainment and just fun it delivered, and for the great narration.

PS: I heard a rumor that there is a sequel in the works. That is a second coming I actually look forward to!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Long Time Until Now

  • By: Michael Z. Williamson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Holland
  • Length: 22 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,830
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,834

A military unit is thrust back into Paleolithic times with only their guns and portable hardware. Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow they arrived in Earth's Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Different Than Expected--But an Excellent Listen !

  • By C. Hartmann on 06-11-15

Great detail - but never gripping

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-16-15

Any additional comments?

"A Long Time Until Now" reminds me of "The Martian". It is technically detailed and accurate. The people and personalities are all realistic, though I found the female characters a bit thin and a little stereotyped. The problems don't have miracle-solutions. But sometimes its a bit more like a technical manual than a novel. Unlike "The Martian" which kept me on the edge of my seat almost the whole way through, there were never any "driveway" moments for me, when I was so engrossed I stopped what I was doing to keep listening. But the writing is consistently excellent, with thoughts and words (almost always) flowing smoothly. The narrator does a reasonably good (though not superb) job separating characters. If you like sci-fi without fantasy, and appreciate good research, then you should enjoy this; at 20 hours + in length, its a great value too. I'm glad I picked it; I wouldn't listen again, but I'm glad I heard it once, and I did finish it.

  • Trading in Danger

  • Vatta's War, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Moon
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,266
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 909
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914

The first of the acclaimed Vatta's War books, the exciting military science fiction series that features a swashbuckling spaceship-captain heroine who mixes commerce with combat.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Recommend

  • By L'Aura on 11-28-09

Performance threatens to kill a strong story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-15

What didn’t you like about Cynthia Holloway’s performance?

Sometimes robotic, often mispronounces words, tone often doesn't match the sense of the scene. Fails to break sentences in the right places or properly differentiate quoted text from unspoken thoughts.

Any additional comments?

The characters are good, and the plot interesting. Its unfortunate that the narrator is either unskilled or didn't bother to read the book before performing it.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 162,114
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 149,620
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 149,454

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

A compelling story, well read.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-26-14

Any additional comments?

If you like hard sci fi, this is a must-listen. While I spotted a couple minor errors (for example, ASCII is read as "A-S-C-2 code", and 36 volts is referred to as "high voltage" -- I suspect he meant "high current") everything else felt "spot on". Unlike many "true to science" books, the plot never suffers from being tied to reality. His characters are incredibly true-to-life with the techies and the hard-science folks I know and love. There is GREAT use of intelligent humor and dialog. This one is hard to turn off.

  • 100 Ways to Motivate Others

  • How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results
  • By: Steve Chandler, Scott Richardson
  • Narrated by: Steve Chandler
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 72

100 Ways to Motivate Others is the culmination of many years of successful leadership coaching and training by best-selling author Steve Chandler and attorney Scott Richardson, and the natural follow-up to Steve's previous best sellers, including 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself. Chandler and Richardson have crafted a vital, user-friendly, inspirational guide for executives, managers, and professionals...and those aspiring to reach their level.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You can't Manage - you must Lead

  • By Arthur Held on 04-23-05

You can't Manage - you must Lead

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-23-05

The first 1 1/2 CD's are about sales forces, and how to lead them, setting goals, etc.

I don't lead sales forces, and I almost quit listening. I didn't like the reader's voice, and thought it "dippy". A bit like Zig Ziggler and Tony Robbins rolled into one.

But one day I didn't have any other CD's, I was caught in bad D.C. traffic, so I went on through 2 and .....

Disks 3-5 (and part of 2) are a wonderful set of stories about how to become self-aware enough to lead yourself, and thereby others. By disk four, I was so enthralled. I sat in the parking lot at work, and my driveway at home to hear the end of a point. I had to quickly turn it off so I wouldn't go through another one! I bought the book. (I bought multiple copies of the book.) I've listened to it again. I still don't like disk one much - I'm not a salesman. But I really enjoy this book.

Buy it. If you aren't a "sales manager" use disk one to get used to his voice (it grows on you, and won't seem "dippy" after about 90 minutes). Then forget it. Grow with disks 2-5.

To write this, I just went to the book to pick my favorite idea number (yes, there are truly 100). I thought it was #30: "Don't Go Crazy," but then I recalled 35: "Score the performance," and then..... you get the idea - every item here has something to offer.

Get it!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

  • Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround
  • By: Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 660
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356

In 1990, IBM had its most profitable year ever. By 1993, the company was on a watch list for extinction, victimized by its own lumbering size, an insular corporate culture, and the PC era IBM had itself helped invent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moderate Start, Picks up FAST!

  • By Arthur Held on 02-08-05

Moderate Start, Picks up FAST!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-05

Upon starting this book, I felt like I was listening to a rather large ego telling me how great he was. But it rapidly became a great listen. I found his discussion of the evolution of the computer industry, and how IBM had to re-invent itself to fit the new paradigm, clear and true to what I've watched happening in the IT world.

Disk 5 was outstanding in his discussion of how he expected managers to be part of the solution, not spectators and supervisors of it. And his views on where the internet is going are extremely insightful.

A Must-Listen that finishes strong. A sure winner for anyone with an interest in IT, IT Companies, or our Business world and its IT components.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Re-imagine!

  • Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age
  • By: Tom Peters
  • Narrated by: Tom Peters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57

What, according to Tom Peters, Chairman of Tom Peters Company, is the problem with the way people do business today? Well-intentioned people who like to get things done are being thwarted at every step of the way by absurd organizational barriers and by the egos of petty tyrants.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dead-on and Relevant

  • By Kevin Christy on 02-18-04

What is the next creative business idea for YOU?

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-10-04

Great business isn't just about improving what you did yesterday. It's about coming up with new ideas, and understanding that there are numerous models for building success. I found this book an incredible source of ideas to try on, argue with, and agree with.

The presentation is strong and clear. My only problem is that some mornings my commute isn't long enough and I have to sit in the parking garage for 10 minutes to find a good stopping point.

This book is NOT about hard data and careful research. It is about understanding that CREATIVITY is a big part of business. This is Peter's view of what the next general step in business creativity is, and how to be a part of it.

HIGHLY recommended.

  • Good Business

  • Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning
  • By: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Narrated by: Truitt Blassingham
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 248
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 128

In today's corporate upheaval, a new business paradigm is evolving. This audiobook reveals how business leaders, managers, and employees can find their "flow" and contribute not only to their own happiness, but also to a just and evolving society. It identifies the factors crucial to the operation of a good business: trust, the commitment to fostering the personal growth of employees, and the dedication to creating a product that helps mankind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Flow and Corporate responsibility

  • By Arthur Held on 05-24-03

Flow and Corporate responsibility

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-24-03

Nearly a decade ago I was captivated by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's books "Flow" and "Finding Flow". Here he takes his ideas to the next logical step - moving from the individual to the organization.

This program takes you first through why, and then HOW organizations can get better resuts, how executives can better themselves, and how everyone can be more creative and more rewarded by their jobs. It simply(!) requires creating an environment where flow is more easily achievable.

Yes, most of us probably could find a way to find flow in almost any work situation, with enough practice and thought. But few have the time and focus to achieve this. This book helps the manager see how (and why) to focus their organizations differently, to promote flow. It discusses PERSONAL choices in how we live, and why we live that way, and how changing the environment to promote flow will promote our entire wellbeing.

This is not a "How To" book. It is much more powerful than that, if you bring the right skills and background. Like the book "Learned Optimism", "Good Business" helps you learn and think about yourself, why you function as you do, and how you can change it.

In personal growth, there is no substitute for personal effort. But there are some outstanding guidebooks. They will be different for each of us - but this is one of mine.


49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Difficult Conversations

  • How to Discuss What Matters Most
  • By: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  • Narrated by: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,549
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 842
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823

Holiday gatherings can be stressful times for families, and occasionally the conversation around the holiday table can get heated. Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Slow Start - Powerful book

  • By Arthur Held on 04-25-03

Slow Start - Powerful book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-25-03

I only listened to the first 20 minutes of this because I didn't have anything else in the car.

BOY, AM I GLAD I DID!

The authors read this, and at first they seem dry and without energy. But their content lured me in. I've learned more in four hours of listening that I have in 20 years of self-help books on active listening and communicating with people.

If you have ever struggled to have a good conversation with a spouse, child, co-worker, or boss, this is worth listening to. I am getting ready to start my second time through.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Running with Scissors

  • A Memoir
  • By: Augusten Burroughs
  • Narrated by: Augusten Burroughs
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,565
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 737
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 740

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Way better than the movie

  • By Kim on 01-06-14

NOT what I was expecting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-25-03

This book takes you on a journey of growing up and discovery from a child's point of view. It's an "adult" tape, (definitely not for children - I wouldn't want to explain parts to my 8 year old son, but its not salacious either). It has kept me fascinated for the 40 min. drive home every day for a week. Its like discovering parts of my own family from the viewpoint of one of my younger relatives.

Sometimes previews and marketing do a book a dis-service trying to lure people in. I found this to be true - the value far exceeds what I expected.

The reader is outstanding, bringing each individual character to life with a voice that seems to match the author's words exceedingly well.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful