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Howie Cohen
I Can't Believe I Lived the Whole Thing
Howie Cohen, author
His famous Alka Seltzer TV commercials had the whole world saying, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” and “Try it, you’ll like it.” In this fun, fast-paced, and often hilarious memoir, Howie Cohen gives us a front row seat to those amazing revolutionary times: how pot and the pill opened the doors (and everything else) to sexual and creative freedom; the creative takeover by mensch-y Jewish copywriters and macho Italian art directors; the disruption of ad campaigns like “the dumb shoe” and “the exploding clown”; the madness of Hollywood movie moguls; the sacrifices, the struggles, the wins and the losses. I Can’t Believe I Lived the Whole Thing chronicles Howie’s personal journey from The Bronx to the Clio Hall of Fame in an era that changed the look and the language of American pop culture.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Idea/Concept: Cohen's text is a memoir of his experiences and a journey through the advertising world. He provides many anecdotes that are relatable, but more importantly, are incredibly entertaining.

Prose: Cohen's lively and often intimate prose is carefully crafted to captivate the reader from the outset and hold their attention. The work offers a fresh and inviting storytelling style with a gratifying narrative arc.

Originality: Cohen's book is set apart from other, less concept-driven memoirs. The author provides unique insight into the world of advertising in its golden era. References to (sometimes) familiar advertising slogans, provide a highly original element.

Execution: It is clear that Cohen has a purpose and direction for his memoir, each anecdote being intentionally timed and placed. Overall, the information is presented chronologically, deviating at times, but always for a compelling reason.

Date Submitted: December 12, 2019