52 Five Star, 1 Four Star Reviews on Amazon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Huckster is funny, entertaining, beautifully written and will not dissapoint.

By Doug S. on February 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is a terrific business book that is very funny and entertaining from start to finish. The author is not only a highly successful AdMan who has honestly shared his personal experiences and learnings from business, he is a gifted writer with the skills that will make you yearn to read his (hopefully) next book.

I Laughed Long and Loud!

By Paul R. Marriott on February 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is one fun read. It’s the story of Ron Elgin who along with his partner, Dave Syferd, started a scratch advertising agency in Seattle and grew their billings to $500 million by the time they finally sold. Elgin’s life story is wrapped up in this humorous and creative book, and although he says it’s not a “how to” manual, his story reveals his own excellent business practices such as hiring top notch people and delegating at the highest level. He is also quick to praise employees for their valuable contributions to the business.

Additionally, Elgin makes clear that running an ad agency cannot be done without the use of meaningful and appropriate expletives. Who could?

His stories of various accounts he acquired, worked on and yes, lost, are fascinating and illustrative of the wide mix of creative talent that Elgin Syferd was able to provide. Among the chapters I personally enjoyed the most was the one entitled, “And Then God Said…” It deals with Kirk Lanterman, the executive at Holland America with whom Elgin worked. The chapter describes their relationship and the work, but includes 15 pages of Lanterman’s extremely humorous and intimidating comments to fellow workers and colleagues. Elgin calls Lanterman’s wit “acerbic.” That would be an understatement. These are simply hilarious. Despite the put downs, Elgin describes Lanterman as a really fine person. This chapter is worth the price of the book all by itself. Elgin took good notes.

You don’t need to know anything about advertising to enjoy Huckster, although anyone who ever started a business would definitely find this book to be a joy. Hats off to Elgin and Dave Syferd for the work they did over the years, and special kudos to Elgin and his charming wife, Bonnie (who I’m sure was a pocket editor), for putting this book together. Five stars from this reader.

New Book Tells Hilarious Tales of One Man’s Successful Advertising Career

By Tyler R. Tichelaar on February 13, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Ron Elgin may be one of the luckiest people who ever lived—and he knows it. He has been fortunate to be surrounded by smart people with bright ideas, including his business partner, David Syferd, who first had the idea that they establish their own ad agency. Huckster tells the story of that agency from womb to tomb and the role Ron played in its success. Established in 1981, for thirty years Elgin Syferd was a powerhouse ad agency in the Pacific Northwest. Ron was also lucky or smart enough to marry “the Beautiful Bonnie” so she could keep him in line when he needed it, to hire people smarter than himself, and to have enough sense not to hire jerks.

Fortunately for us, Ron also was smart enough to write this book and to write it well. He didn’t want to write a dry “How To” book, so he wrote this collection of stories about the history of his ad agency, filled with words of wisdom about how to run a business, and also loads of hilarious stories that will make anyone laugh regardless of any interest in advertising.

The story begins when Dave first suggests to Ron that they start an agency, saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a company that was always as nice as I am and you try to be?” I suspect Ron is actually very nice, but he won’t give himself credit for being so. Despite that, and putting aside the luck he had, it’s clear he worked very hard to make Elgin Syferd a success right from the start. In fact, he worked hard from a young age. As he tells us:

 

“I grew up living in a low-income housing project in Seattle that probably played a big part in my lifelong thirst to be rich. As a kid, I helped out our family where I could by collecting and selling beer bottles from the neighbors’ yards, and eventually, I graduated to killing rats at the Fisher Flour Mill for fifty cents each. I got my first hourly jobs while in high school. The two longest lasting were the graveyard shift at the railroad as a yard clerk (also aptly named “mudhoppers”) and after school at a service station pumping gas and changing oil.”

From there, Ron went on to college, interned at a successful ad agency, had a stint in the service during the Viet Nam War, returned to advertising, and eventually co-founded Elgin Syferd, bringing a great deal of experience with him, along with some arrogance, a soft heart, and a great sense of humor.

The stories Ron shares about advertising are that rare mix of true entertainment and education. For example, I loved the story about the airplane ad that he was convinced was great. The ad had an image of a plane taking off and a plane landing; unfortunately, the client told him the plane looked like it was crashing. Unwilling to change it, Ron went to the airport to show the ad to airplane passengers and get their reactions. By the time he was done, one man threatened to kick his ass if he didn’t quit scaring people and Ron ended up being arrested by airport security. The lesson—never be too arrogant to listen to others.

I don’t want to steal from you the pleasure of laughing over Ron and his colleagues’ many other antics, but if you’re looking to learn something by reading this book, Ron does sum up his stories with many key points, such as “A million ways exist to solve a particular problem,” “Doing good work is not enough to keep good clients. Constant care, contact, cultivation, and asking the right questions are essential,” and “If an employee shows reluctance to be replaced on any piece of agency business, perhaps it’s time for that person’s future with the company to be reevaluated.” Some of these lessons are common sense, some are like lightbulbs that went off for Ron, and others were hard-learned lessons from mistakes he made.

Ron is serious about his business, but he’s not above finding the humor in everything, and you’ll just have to read this book to believe the whacko clients and coworkers with whom he often dealt. One client invented a shield to prevent brain cancer from cellular phones, and another decided to breast-feed her child during a presentation. Then there was the woman dying of cancer who wanted to work for the ad agency, without letting on what her full agenda was, and you’ll never forget Ron’s client and friend who thought he was God. There were also a lot of good times at the ad agency—golf outings, boating parties, and some fun business trips where occasionally Ron or a colleague had one too many drinks. I swear if I didn’t know better, I’d have thought the writers of NBC’s The Office visited Ron’s agency to get material.

Through it all, Ron rarely got himself in trouble—except with his wife. Actually, Beautiful Bonnie sometimes got Ron in trouble, such as when she decided during a trip to the U.S.S.R. to help illegally buy baby formula for Jewish mothers, which could have resulted in the couple being shipped to a gulag. Even so, Ron kept taking trips with her—to China, Bangkok, Singapore, and the Kentucky Derby—all told in the book, and all hilarious.

Despite the humor, often self-deprecating, in these pages, I really appreciated the honesty Ron shows about his business, the mistakes he made, what he learned, and the overall sense of goodwill about work and life that he presents. Anyone in business will be able to appreciate the stories and lessons. People involved in advertising or seeking a career in it will especially enjoy this book—they’ll even find it eye-opening and enlightening about how the advertising world works. Huckster would make a perfect gift for anyone about to enter the business world as well as anyone who just likes a good story.

Huckster or Leader….

By Bonnie Hilory on February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

The Huckster is a must read for anyone in the ad business, re-branding or running a marketing related company.. It’s a quick read and the type of book you don’t really want to put down. For those of us lucky enough to have collaborated with Ron, when reading the book I found I could hear his voice. His humor, laugh, smile, and seriousness and critical thinking (opinions). I was Executive Director of a nonprofit and Ron joined our Board to support and guide us/me through rebranding. We brought him two names for the non-profit and instantly he said “you only have one name and its great. One good one is all you need.” That decisive leadership and tone is throughout this book. He is witty, sincere, and deliberate. This book is relevant to anyone developing marketing and ad strategies as well as leadership skills. Ron is very devoted to his family which comes through the when reading the book. He is also a dedicated philanthropist in the Seattle community. One of my favorite sections in the book was him reflecting about the indoor golf tournament that they held. Creative, fun and it worked for our weather and had great local impact helping non-profits with their work. In Ron’s next book I hope he ponders or shares more about community involvement, non-profit work, and how business and non-profits can work together. Even a monograph on the social sector and how to approach meaningful board and committee work. Note to Ron: You are so respected. Your influence will inspire others to get involved and not sit on the sidelines. Profile some of your charity work as it will inspire others. Regardless thanks for all you have done and continue to do. With Appreciation, BBH

 

Honest, brave and incredibly funny!

ByMatthew Reinhardon May 9, 2015

Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase

Ron tells a hilarious, must-read tale of a real life mad man. Anyone who has ever considered breaking free to start their own advertising agency should definitely read Huckster.

 

5Very entertaining

BySeattle Readeron May 8, 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

What was most entertaining was the detailed interactions with other top level executives of clients and competitors. Lots of dialogue leads to a feeling of being there.

 

5I am going to recommend a book to any of you who have or …

ByRobert Ayerson April 11, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I am going to recommend a book to any of you who have or ever had others working under you regardless of your profession. The book is “Huckster . . . My Life as an Ad Man,” by Ron Elgin. The theme of the book is centered around the author’s very successful career in the advertising field (as well as his life with Mrs. Elgin – the “beautiful Bonnie”), but the lessons/wisdom he imparts is applicable to anyone in a position of authority (e.g., I found much of what he shared to parallel the philosophies of successful athletic coaches). Particularly salient in this regard is his unique approach to delegating responsibility. The book is an easy read, reasonably priced, and will make you laugh out loud more than once. Not one to mince words, the pages do include a smattering of “colorful” vocabulary, seemingly necessary to capture the emotional/gritty reality of the moment. While this book will not be up for a Pulitzer, it is, in my humble opinion, worth reading. Ron will even autograph it for you if you order it through his web-site.

 

5Highly recommend this book

ByAnne Tarranton April 11, 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Ron has written with wit, shared great stories and through the laughter he imparts terrific wisdom and guidance for running a successful business. Highly recommend this book!

5I highly recommend Huckster and can’t wait for a sequel

ByMichael F Brustkernon April 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Once I started reading I was hooked! This was Ron speaking in his own voice and it was hilarious. I soon found myself making notes- not of the humorous episodes- but of his lessons learned and general business wisdom. I highly recommend Huckster and can’t wait for a sequel. Michael B.

 

5I loved it. Kudos for Ron for collecting these stories

ByChris Copacino on March 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

If you are a student of the advertising business, this is a must read. I loved it. Kudos for Ron for collecting these stories, important lessons and a lot of laughs–allowing us to enjoy ride along Ron’s career. My book is pretty beat up at this point, due to me having earmarked pages and made notes of things I want to hold on to and reflect at the agency where I work. I love the phrase “never pay too much for your money” and recounting the DDB Mission Statement is a “North star” every agency should recognize, socialize and aspire to realize. Great book that reads like you’re hearing stories over beers. Enjoy.

5I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the Seattle advertising world

BySamara Maynardon February 28, 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Having lived some of these events (I was lucky enough to work for Ron Elgin in the early, early years), I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the Seattle advertising world. Thanks for reminding me of the fun, Ron!

5I Laughed Long and Loud!

ByPaul R. Marriotton February 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is one fun read. It’s the story of Ron Elgin who along with his partner, Dave Syferd, started a scratch advertising agency in Seattle and grew their billings to $500 million by the time they finally sold. Elgin’s life story is wrapped up in this humorous and creative book, and although he says it’s not a “how to” manual, his story reveals his own excellent business practices such as hiring top notch people and delegating at the highest level. He is also quick to praise employees for their valuable contributions to the business.

Additionally, Elgin makes clear that running an ad agency cannot be done without the use of meaningful and appropriate expletives. Who could?

His stories of various accounts he acquired, worked on and yes, lost, are fascinating and illustrative of the wide mix of creative talent that Elgin Syferd was able to provide. Among the chapters I personally enjoyed the most was the one entitled, “And Then God Said…” It deals with Kirk Lanterman, the executive at Holland America with whom Elgin worked. The chapter describes their relationship and the work, but includes 15 pages of Lanterman’s extremely humorous and intimidating comments to fellow workers and colleagues. Elgin calls Lanterman’s wit “acerbic.” That would be an understatement. These are simply hilarious. Despite the put downs, Elgin describes Lanterman as a really fine person. This chapter is worth the price of the book all by itself. Elgin took good notes.

You don’t need to know anything about advertising to enjoy Huckster, although anyone who ever started a business would definitely find this book to be a joy. Hats off to Elgin and Dave Syferd for the work they did over the years, and special kudos to Elgin and his charming wife, Bonnie (who I’m sure was a pocket editor), for putting this book together. Five stars from this reader.

 

5I love, love

ByAnn Goreson February 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I love, love, love Ron’s book, Huckster. It is laugh out loud funny. I totally embarrassed myself while reading it on an airplane. Ron’s sense of humor definitely tickles my funny bone!!

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5Funny, informative 100% RON ELGIN

ByJack Andersonon February 25, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Just finished your amazing book! Brilliant, funny as hell, extremely informative, memorable and most importantly, 100% RON ELGIN, the man we all admire and love so much. Seriously honored to have made it onto some of the pages, more honored to have worked for you and alongside you and mostly honored to have you as a friend. Lastly, had I realized how damn smart you are, I never would have succumbed to your demand to sell your stake in Hornall Anderson.

 

5A Must Read for Ad / Marketing / PR Professionals

ByKarlion February 24, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

As a PR professional, I could personally relate to many of the stories in Ron’s book. Huckster is a smart and entertaining read for anyone in the PR/Ad/Marketing world. It will hit close to home if you’ve been in the game for awhile and reminds us that we’re not alone in the quest to perfect client service. A must read!

5This is a great book!

ByH. Reynoldson February 22, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

This is a great book! It is full of humor, life lessons, business lessons, and compassion combined in such a way that it is difficult to put down. Reading the book is like sitting with Ron while he tells his life story.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5Huckster is funny, entertaining, beautifully written and will not dissapoint.

ByDoug S.on February 22, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is a terrific business book that is very funny and entertaining from start to finish. The author is not only a highly successful AdMan who has honestly shared his personal experiences and learnings from business, he is a gifted writer with the skills that will make you yearn to read his (hopefully) next book.

5being good friends with Ron and Bonnie

Bygcwon February 18, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

If you want to laugh, see the inside of the advertising business, and learn some pearls of wisdom for any business, buy Huckster. I have to admit I’m prejudiced, being good friends with Ron and Bonnie. Spending 34 years in the television broadcast business, I witnessed first hand some of his hilarious stories and business successes. I know his philosophy to hire people smarter than him was true because he and Dave hired one of my daughters. We used to say in the advertising and media business, ‘you can’t make this stuff up’, with all the hilarious true stories. I have no doubt there will be a sequel to Huckster since it would be impossible for Ron to cover 30 years of successful business strategies and laughs in one book. So buy the book and enjoy the ride.

5Mad Men with more humor and heart

ByMike Haywardon February 18, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Ron holds nothing back in this revealing look at the crazy ups, downs and sometimes sideways journey of his incredible career. Part memoir and part how-to, Ron shares his guiding philosophy and business lessons that helped him build one of the best agencies in the country. And made him an icon in the industry. But did I mention it’s funny as hell too? And touching, and honest, and just a great all-around read. I think the one constant that kept popping in my head throughout was, “Damn, I wish I could have worked for that guy.”

 

5An entertaining ride through an amazing career!

ByKeith Reinhardon February 17, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I just finished reading Ron Elgin’s wonderful book and I loved it! All of it! It’s a more engaging and entertaining representation of the ups and downs of our beloved business than the Mad Men writers could ever imagine. I’m also impressed by the book’s design which reflects the class of its author. I’m ordering copies for other people. The italicized lessons that occur throughout the book will be helpful to anyone trying to make it, not only in advertising, but in business and life in general. And Ron’s gift as a storyteller makes the book a real page turner as character after colorful character comes vividly to life. Ron’s line for a client: “180 degrees from ordinary” could well describe Ron himself and the contributions he made to the advertising industry. Huckster is an often wild journey through an amazing career. Readers will love going along for the ride!

 

5Once I started reading Huckster, I couldn’t put it down!!!

ByAmazon Customeron February 17, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Of course Ron found the perfect blend of education, creativity, and charm as a way to share his insight, a treasure trove to anyone seeking knowledge of the dynamics of the advertising business. His insights into what makes a good client and/or what makes a bad employee is truly helpful in this crazy business environment.

And, I still think his idea of a “McDonald Duck Burger” is classic (I still ask for one when I can)!

 

 

5funny and heartfelt book

ByLisa Dindingeron February 16, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

When Ron first told us he wanted to write a book, he was clear that he didn’t want it to be a “How To Guide”, but if you don’t learn something from reading this engaging, funny and heartfelt book, read it again. Hell, read it twice anyway. Ron recounts some amazing successes (and a few failures) in his chronicles, all the while acknowledging the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people (smarter than you), treating them well and allowing them to be creative. Oh, there’s also the “No A**hole Rule”, which I wish more people would learn and follow. We have Ron and his partners to thank for some great ad work during his long career, and now we have him to thank for his well told, if unintentional, “How To” on success not just in advertising, but in life. We should also thank Bonnie for keeping him in line…

 

5A good friend of mine recently told me about this book

Byalix ayalaon February 16, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

A good friend of mine recently told me about this book, but coming from a world far from the ad-world, I was a little skeptical, but my friend insisted as we share the same humor and taste in books.
By the time I was done reading the first four pages, and my stomach ached from laughing so hard, I was not able to put it down in fascination that the three martini lunch I had seen in Mad Men was actually the way business was conducted….Both in NY and Seattle!!.
A great read for anyone who is looking for laughs, and insight into this crazy world of advertising

5A Must Read!

ByKittyon February 16, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Ron Elgins story is a must read for anyone interested in what it takes to bring success to your business and more importantly how to enable your employees to achieve their own personal goals. Ron was a master motivator, great listener and major contributor to our success. In his book Ron tells the story of a group of down to earth professionals who achieved out of this, world results. You will enjoy reading “Huckster”
Bernie Schaefer, Former McDonalds Regional, Vice President

Great guy, great read.

ByTheresa L. Burrus and Kevin Burruson February 14, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Following my days at Elgin Syferd, I started my own shop with an ES co-worker. Yet 25 years later, I would still be proud to display a bumper sticker with the message, “I’d rather be working for Ron Elgin.” Why? In a word, passion. Ron had a passion for the business that inspired all who worked for him. Whenever I get together with others from the old days, the fondness they still hold in their hearts for Ron, Elgin Syferd and DDB Seattle is present in every story. And those stories come to life in this book. Simply stated, it offers an inside view of the Seattle agency business in the words of someone who helped to shape it. I assure you that it is a work of non-fiction, although there may be times when you wonder. Enjoy. –Kevin Burrus

5have fun, be brave

ByBridgit Griesselon February 14, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

This book is a must read for all of us interested in furthering our careers, our businesses and our relationships with our spouses and kids. While the book is utterly hilarious, the life messages resonated with me so many times. Ron shows all of us not to take ourselves too seriously, have fun, be brave, stay humble, truly listen and know aht your values you are and never compromise them. I still giggle when I think about the countless stories he regaled in the book!

5Entertaining, Education & A Joy To Read

ByNoneon February 14, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Buy it! You won’t be disappointed! I run a law firm, not an ad agency, and have already used many of the thoughtful lessons learned by reading Huckster in my law practice. This is one of those books you read & then reread and save on your shelf for a 3rd read years from now.

5Loved reading Huckster and not just because I loved working …

Bygeorge t nguyenon February 14, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Loved reading Huckster and not just because I loved working for Ron. His personality and spirit really come through in his writing and as I turned the pages, I was brought back to the agency where I cut my teeth. A great read and wonderful insight into this well coiffed character’s adventures in advertising.

5Huckster: humorous and inspiring!

Bygfoly1on February 13, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is an exceptional story offering a real world chronicle of success and adversity in business and life. Ron is a first rate storyteller, very humorous, with real world content from one of this era’s most successful advertising careers. Ron’s great sense of humor is prevalent throughout the book? I appreciated learning about Ron’s tenacious, creative approach to business and life, in the wildly creative and competitive world of advertising. Huckster should be a must read for business students with advertising/marketing or entrepreneurial aspirations, and for anyone who would like to enjoy a real world perspective of how drive, determination, humor and creativity can lead to business success. Very inspiring indeed!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5Punchy, funny and insightful

ByBill Hurmeon February 12, 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Even at the horrendous digital price I paid, the book provides great value. Ron can write, the stories are entertaining and many chapters have the ring of truth. Maybe a sequel?

5Reading this book is exactly like sitting with Ron and having a libation

ByMichel Brotman “brotsky”on February 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Reading this book is exactly like sitting with Ron and having a libation … or two. His story telling is a perfect combination of enthusiasm and laughs … and some very worthwhile business lessons to boot!

I thought, after numerous encounters with Ron and Bonnie at auctions, openings, and nights out with the boys, that I knew this advertising icon and pillar of the Seattle community. Wrong! I had no idea how much I could learn from his incredible history, so I was thrilled to be reading a book about him and what he’s been through over the years. Who knew?

I do a lot of consulting for entrepreneur students at the Univ. of Washington business school. I’m going to make this book required reading for all of them. Ron’s candor and breadth of experiences can teach all of us some important lessons about business and life … that it’s people who make businesses successful, not business plans. All of that and a very fun read. Can’t wait for his sequel!!

5Pitch Perfect

ByDavid Horsfallon February 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Ron Elgin’s book had me smiling in the first three sentences. Hearing him tell the story about a drunken lunch at Rosellini’s had me laughing out loud. This is a fun book to read, filled with anecdotes about the advertising business in Seattle at a time when the Creative Revolution was in its full swinging glory – oh behave! If you were a part of that scene you’ll recognize many of your co-conspirators. If you weren’t, get ready to meet some memorable characters in a crazy business that somehow made sense. Occasionally.

5A Great Business Tool to Inspire Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders

ByOpt-In Mediaon February 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I was introduced to Ron Elgin 30 years ago by a mutual friend, Alex Barumous. I was impressed with Ron’s honesty and humility about some of his life’s failures and successes that he is willing to publish in his book for the world to see. More importantly I was impressed with Ron’s willingness to help out others with no strings attached showing that he has a good heart.

Some parts of his book are so hilarious at times it inspired me to give a copy of his book to my good friend, Val Stores, retired Sr. Vice President of Bartell Drugs Store Chain. Val absolutely loved it and then gave it to his daughter, a senior executive for the largest Ad Agency in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I gave a copy to my lifelong friend, Bob Jones, one of my company’s leading investors who said he loved it too!

Ron’s book is a great business tool to inspire entrepreneurs, and business leaders to aim high because it teaches good lessons about business. One of the lessons that that stood out to me from his book is that business owners should not be the bank when it comes to accounts payable! I sincerely believe that if it contained less colorful speech adjectives then more audiences would find his book to be a great asset to their business libraries. I personally purchased 15 copies to give to my friends. Thanks Ron!!!
John S.
CEO Opt-In Media Corp / CyberCoupons.com

 

Bysharleen m burkon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is as engaging as Ron Elgin himself. If you have any interest in the reality of business and promoting business, you must read this one. It may be shocking, but it’s honest. If you want a sugar-coated take on how to run a business, I suggest you avoid this book at all costs.

5An amazing adventure in the world of advertising

ByScott Janzenon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I worked with Ron Elgin for 11 wonderful years, so I’ll admit my bias up front: I love the man. Always have. Always will.

So, I could hardly wait to devour Ron’s book. I started it Friday night and finished it in two days. Never have I read a book so fast. And rarely have I enjoyed the ride so much. Ron didn’t want to write an advertising textbook with Huckster. Instead, the book invites the reader on an amazing ride through 40 years in the advertising business. But through the hilarious stories, Ron leaves behind a lot of marketing wisdom – much of it I learned the first time around. From Ron himself. Huckster is a terrific book. I’ll probably read it a second time, and I can’t remember the last time I did that.Thanks for hiring me, Ron. And to the rest of you: read this book.

4the ad industry really can be fun

BySusan Kaiseron February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

While I have known Ron for several years I never really understood what he did. This gave me some real insight into the industry in an informative and very entertaining way. If you are at all interested in the advertising business this book is for you intelligent, witty and an overall fun read.

5Lose weight – read this book

ByTLP “tlpseattle”on February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I lost 10 pounds reading this book – I laughed so hard it was aerobic; skipped meal reading “just a few more pages”, so intrigued was I by the great storytelling. Ron is a great advertising guy…sure. And his copy got him far. But he is also a great writer. (or just had a really good editor :))

You will enjoy this book if you have any sort of sense of humor. Or if you ever got caught in a fancy restaurant ordering pancreas salad. How many books can you say THAT about?

5A Colorful Career Fondly Remembered

ByJim Copacinoon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Ron Elgin is a Seattle advertising legend who created and ran a powerhouse agency in the Northwest for more than 30 years. Huckster is a chronicle of his professional life–from his apprenticeship at Cole & Weber, followed by the entrepreneurial decade of Elgin Syferd, through his glory years as part of DDB (the global agency that acquired his firm), concluding with the demise of the agency in the wake of the Great Recession. Written as a string of funny, quirky and occasionally touching anecdotes, the author has a sharp ear for dialog (either remembered or invented), and sprightly comedic timing. Huckster is also a darn good advertising textbook. Ron sprinkles in plenty of wisdom and insights on how to market products and manage people. But the overriding goal is always entertainment. Rollicking and often profane (the book could have been entitled Fuckster, for its liberal use of f-bombs), it’s a fun read for anyone who’s worked in advertising–or anyone who wants to peek through the Mad Men keyhole.

5Great and amusing insight into the ad world.

ByRichard M.on February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Don’t be put off by the title. This book focuses on the Northwest ad business, but should be read and enjoyed by any marketing , advertising and PR professional as well as anyone interested in some memorable insights into the world of advertising.
The author has done a wonderful job of relating how the relationships between client and agency can mold a strong business connection and provide opportunities for growth to a wide range of agency employees and media-related industries.
And it’s one of the funniest books you will have the pleasure of reading.

5Huckster is a masterpiece!

ByEarl Bellon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Huckster is a seriously hilarious book which will have you in stitches! Great anecdotes are accompanied by astute business lessons. All of this is wrapped up in a well put together tale which occurred during interesting times in the “world of advertising,” as recounted by a legend and master story teller.

5Excellent book!

Byloyal to amazon “loyal to amazon”on February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Excellent book written by a master at his craft!

5Buy This Book

ByJim Cissellon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Why should you buy this book? 1) It’s as good a “how to run a top-notch business book” as any out there–bar none. 2) It’s as funny as any Dave Barry book. And it’s based on the truth. Hell, it IS the truth. 3) It’s as shocking as any episode of Mad Men. The legendary alcohol-fueled DDB pitches are a total hoot. 4) The dirt you learn about the legends of Seattle advertising (and beyond) will give you a leg up in your next RFP. 5) I’m pretty sure Ron offers a money back guarantee. 6) Ron needs the money. He has very expensive tastes in wine.
ByLucas Mackon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Funny. Informative. Inspirational. Ron’s telling of his story and the stories along his amazing career are worth your time. Everyone could use a reason to smile and Huckster is one.

5Where Mad Men Ends, Huckster Begins

ByMary Holmeson February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Where Mad Men ends, Huckster begins. Ron Elgin gives you a look behind the curtain of the ad business with some cringe-worthy moments, lessons in business, and a good dose of laughter.

5Sage Advise from a Pro

ByDougarson February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

A delightful romp through the ad game in the northwest. This book is not only humorous, but also contains lots of excellent advise for anyone starting, or running a business . . . inside, or outside, the advertising field. Having been involved in the business in the late 50’s and early 60’s, it brought back some fond memories. Ron obviously must have been a great copywriter . . . its a great sell! Can’t wait for the sequel.

5This Huckster hooked me

ByPamela Longon February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Reading Huckster on the plane yesterday, I was reminded of so many important business lessons, while trying desperately not to laugh out loud. Ron’s approach is both unique and engaging – a wonderfully down to earth voice delivering shockingly insightful nuggets. And while he consistently tries to convince the reader that he’s a real as**ole, he comes off as one of the most genuine, endearing ad guys around. A highly entertaining read for advertising alums, with business tools that anyone can employ. Enjoy this guilty pleasure of a business book.

5Buy it for the laughs. Stay for the lessons.

ByV. Werneron February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I picked this up to read as entertainment, plus I love a good biography. I found the biographical aspect of the book both inspiring and often hilarious, and boy, was I entertained! What I guess I DIDN’T really expect were some bona-fide sage life/business lessons woven right in there with the over-the-top Mad Man anecdotes. The writing style is very personal and accessible. At times I felt like Ron was telling me these stories as we shared a really expensive bottle of wine (from his cellar, of course.)

5HUCKSTER is just as sharp as Ron

Bybobpeton February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

What can you say about a man that always dressed better than you. Well HUCKSTER is just as sharp as Ron is! Wonderful read about a world I lived in and remember fondly. It also proves that Ron can remember lots of stuff while drinking quantities of great red wine.

5Huckster brings up fond memories

ByPeter B. Lewison February 10, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I just finished reading and enjoying your book, Huckster..
Thank you for the laughs and tears!

Thank you also for the memories I have of my good fortune to work on Cole & Weber and Elgin broadcast business you generated.
Thanks also for mentioning Larry Field and the brilliant Terri Small. It was especially fun for me to learn about your history prior to moving into the C&W downtown office, which is where we first met. I got to work on a bunch of your stuff. Mostly, it was thrilling to read the memoir of a fellow entrepreneur who eclipsed the ad industry in which I worked, as I watched. Because I worked frequently with Bill Bruning, David Levy, Palmer Pettersen and Vandy Kindred, I got to see it from a variety of POV’s! Your book fills in a number of blanks, of course! It sucked me in from the first and it’s rewards on each page held me thru the end. I loved the format, writing, editing and everything about it! A great ride with some sharp cookies! Thanks again,

5Huckster: a review from the trenches

ByDr. Billon February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I was in the trenches for Ron, so some of this is very familiar territory and reading it through reinforced several truths, the first that Ron is a good man — it comes through in this book. He’s done wonderful work in his community. He was fun and fair to work for and he was respectful of his creative people. That says a lot. Underlying this conversational story telling are a lot of wonderful business gems, some related to advertising and many to life. If your business is advertising, or not, read this book for the love of life in it.

5This book is a lot of fun to read

ByDonald S Morganon February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I wasn’t in Seattle during the rise of Elgin/Syferd, but Ron’s reputation as a daring (audacious) ad man and the quality of their work was well known in my native Atlanta. Ron’s book doesn’t change that impression at all. This book is a lot of fun to read, with LOL anecdotes and stories that made me wish I could read more. Hidden in all of that bravado are some good lessons on how to manage and grow a company. I recommend this book to young agency turks who want some practical advice, and old farts (like me) who know first hand how crazy the ad agency business really is.

5Reality corporate America in a book!

ByAndrew Skotdalon February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

The Mad Men underside of corporate America is shared candidly and often by the man who built the largest inter-disciplinary media agency on the West Coast before they even existed. Ron’s first-hand accounts of disasters and successes along with direct assessments of clients, employees, and friends will propel you through this book in a weekend. You won’t put it down. Grab your favorite beverage, preferably a cocktail, and sit down for the tale. Ron’s already ahead of you!

 

5Laugh out loud while capturing strategy and leadership lessons

ByGregory Brownon February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I’ve read many business books covering everything from strategy to leadership to operations, etc. Never have I read a single business book that covers all of these topics in one place while brilliantly relating real stories that provide an opportunity for laughing out loud! Elgin’s frank style of story telling with all of the descriptive narrative, foul language and debauchery that could only be achieved in person makes this a one-of-a-kind autobiography. My wife’s, “What are you reading!?” as I would repeatedly crack up or gasp was enough to make her want to read it next. Enjoy this; I certainly did.

5… more entertaining and astute business book – full of wonderful experiences and lessons along with some of the funniest …

ByNevil Hermeron February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I can’t remember reading a more entertaining and astute business book – full of wonderful experiences and lessons along with some of the funniest recollections imaginable – I laughed hysterically on a number of occasions!
Ron has warm,flowing style that grabs you and does not let go until the story has been told. He is clearly someone who has enjoyed enormous success – and yet he is self-deprecating and without ego throughout the lengthy book. I strongly recommend this book – not just for all the valuable lessons but also for a “jolly good time”.
I’m looking forward to the sequel.

5LOVED THIS BOOK

ByT.on February 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

LOVED THIS BOOK ! INSIGHTFUL, FUNNY, WITH SIGNIFICANT LIFE LESSONS FOR ALL – ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE AD BUSINESS!