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License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver Hardcover – June 7, 2011


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License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver + American Pickers Guide to Picking
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Printing edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324308
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Harrison lives in Las Vegas, NV where he is the owner-operator of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

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Customer Reviews

My husband and I both read the book in one day!
Amazon Customer
"License to Pawn" offers a fun and enlightening behind-the-scenes look at the show and its stars - Rick Harrison, Big Hoss, Old Man and Chumlee.
Paper Pen
A true fan of the show will really enjoy this book - it's a quick, fun read.
Janice in Albuquerque

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Frederick on 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 By The Chupacabra on 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 By Gregory T. Hallett on 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 By Kent Arwood on 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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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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