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License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver [Kindle Edition]

Rick Harrison , Tim Keown
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $27.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $15.01 (56%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Hardcover $20.20  
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Book Description

In Las Vegas, there's a family-owned business called the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, run by three generations of the Harrison family: Rick; his son, Big Hoss; and Rick's dad, the Old Man. Now License to Pawn takes readers behind the scenes of the hit History show Pawn Stars and shares the fascinating life story of its star, Rick Harrison, and the equally intriguing story behind the shop, the customers, and the items for sale.

Rick hasn't had it easy. He was a math whiz at an early age, but developed a similarly uncanny ability to find ever-deepening trouble that nearly ruined his life. With the birth of his son, he sobered up, reconnected with his dad, and they started their booming business together.

License to Pawn also offers an entertaining walk through the pawn shop's history. It's a captivating look into how the Gold & Silver works, with incredible stories about the crazy customers and the one-of-a-kind items that the shop sells. Rick isn't only a businessman; he's also a historian and keen observer of human nature. For instance, did you know that pimps wear lots of jewelry for a reason? It's because if they're arrested, jewelry doesn't get confiscated like cash does, and ready money will be available for bail. Or that WWII bomber jackets and Zippo lighters can sell for a freakishly high price in Japan? Have you ever heard that the makers of Ormolu clocks, which Rick sells for as much as $15,000 apiece, frequently died before forty thanks to the mercury in the paint?

Rick also reveals the items he loves so much he'll never sell. The shop has three Olympic bronze medals, a Patriots Super Bowl ring, a Samurai sword from 1490, and an original Iwo Jima battle plan. Each object has an incredible story behind it, of course. Rick shares them all, and so much more--there's an irresistible treasure trove of history behind both the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and the life of Rick Harrison.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RICK HARRISON lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he is the owner-operator of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. Pawn Stars is the highest-rated show on History and one of the highest-rated shows on cable television this year, with millions of viewers per episode.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the show get it June 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book if you like the show Pawn Stars on History. It's my favorite show so when I saw this book was coming out I pre-ordered it and read it completely the day it was released. It's a great insight to the ins & outs of the Gold & Silver pawn shop in Las Vegas. Rick covers things from his personal life, his family's dramatic push for financial success and everything (no, literally everything) in between. Thrown in the mix are stories about some of his memorable shop patrons and stories about them or the items they brought in. He goes in to details about the show as well.

This is an excellent, entertaining, insightful, fun and inspirational book for any fan of the show, of pawn shops in general or the American dream. (go figure, a NON fiction where hard work, dedication, knowledge, hustle pays off) Stop reading this and go read the book.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quick read behind the Pawn Star Curtain June 8, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a really quick and interesting read behind the curtain with the Pawn Stars. Pawn Stars is my running on the treadmill show, and when I heard about this book I preordered and read within 24 hours. It has several interesting stories about what Rick and company have seen and received on Pawn. Does make the show a little less watchable as they say they no longer work the desk and the show is set up and the store is closed, but I really enjoy the history lesson, bargaining, and interactions on the show. Always wondered the story behind the Patriot superbowl ring, and now I know.

The book gives background on Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumlee that gives more insight into the "characters". Worth the read if you enjoy the show.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent view behind the scenes June 9, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I received this book yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning. I was a good read and hard to put down. I was shocked at some of the things in the book and how open and honest everyone was concerning their backgrounds and struggles. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the show and really enjoyed reading it. If I had a complaint it would be I wished they talked more about some of the unique and historic items that have come through the shop. A few are covered but wish more had been.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the show, then get the book June 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really don't have a lot to add to the reviews already written, as they have pretty much summed it up. If you like the show (and I've watched it since the very first episode), you'll find the book very interesting. The best thing is that it lets you see Old Man, Rick, Corey and Chumlee as real people instead of just characters on a reality show. It also shows you that this family didn't have their current success handed to them, but came by it only after many years of struggle and hard work.

Someone previously mentioned feeling sorry for the Old Man for not being able to work the counter anymore. The reason none of the four Pawn Stars can work the counter any longer is because by law, a pawn is private transaction. Nowadays, with the shop packed all day with tourists with cameras and video recorders trying to get photos of the four guys, the privacy of any transaction they're involved in is compromised.

It's been a year since I visited the shop on a jaunt to Las Vegas. Just to give you an idea of the impact the TV show has had on this small business, a good part of the shop is now dedicated to souvenir sales - T-shirts, shot glasses, bobble heads, refrigerator magnets, etc. (they move all that stuff out when filming in that part of the store). Before the show started, they had 12 employees. Now they have 47. I dropped by mid-morning and the parking lot was about full (but I did get a space). I was able to walk right in, though the store was packed full of people and it's not very big. I drove by later in the day and there was a line of people down the sidewalk waiting to get in. In the book, Rick relates that they now have security outside that lets in 60 people at a time and they've also installed misters outside to cool down the people waiting in line.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Books by overnight celebrities tend either to be ghostwritten or they are sent to market so quickly that something gets lost in the process. This book falls into the latter camp.

Rick Harrison's book (which also features a chapter each by Old Man, Chumlee, and Big Hoss) definitely seems that it was written by them, or at least dictated to someone more suitable to writing the book, as it's true to their voice. It's a genuine, no-holds-barred look inside their story, but it seems that the goal of this idea was more to get the book on shelves than paint a pretty picture of their pawn shop's story.

Don't get me wrong -- there is a lot of interesting detail on their humble beginnings (including three of the four guys' struggles with illegal drugs). You'll also realize how hard they worked to get where they are today. Rick definitely deserves all the success he's achieved; he has more than earned it.

With all that being said, the book could have been pieced together more smoothly, and even copyedited more tightly. In truth, it doesn't seem like Rick and his team worked with a good editor at all, except perhaps to correct typos their manuscripts may have contained. It was so bad at parts that I wanted to find a red marker and annotate my suggestions. And I'm not even an editor!

Even with these flaws, it's a quick and enjoyable read if you're a fan of the show or if you're curious about the real side of the pawn business (the not-so-glamorous existence that you don't see on TV.) Some of the crazy anecdotes Rick shares and the quirky characters he describes are alone worth the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny.
Very interesting read. He is definitely a creative deal maker!
Published 23 hours ago by dmaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought this for my uncle who is a huge fan. He learned a bunch from reading the book!
Published 12 days ago by Robert Boehm
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by A. Peate
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Pawn Stars, you will like this book.
If you like Pawn Stars, you will like reading this book. Mostly Rick, but Corey and Chumley too, talk about their lives before the opening of the pawn store and after. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Catmama
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
You MUST read this if you're a fan of the show. Goes deep in the lives of the guys.
Published 2 months ago by Charles M Piscitelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Heather Piazza
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read to help you understand the family and learn ...
Great read to help you understand the family and learn about the pawn store. definitely a good easy fun read
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca Fieglein
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Discover
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book to read
Fun book to read... Give you an insight into the life story of some of the famous characters in TV....
Published 3 months ago by Teng Loong Tee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed the book and learning more about the backstory of Pawn Stars!
Published 3 months ago by Troy Bonar "The Samurai of Success"
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