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Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America

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Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America Cover

ISBN13: 9781594202933
ISBN10: 1594202931
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One dealer's journey from the populist mayhem of flea markets to the rarefied realm of auctions reveals the rich, often outrageous subculture of antiques and collectibles.

Millions of Americans are drawn to antiques and flea-market culture, whether as participants or as viewers of the perennially popular Antiques Roadshow or the recent hit American Pickers. This world has the air of a lottery: a $20 purchase might net you four, five, or six figures. Master dealer Curt Avery, the unlikely star of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, plays that lottery every day, and he wins it more than most. Occasionally he gets lucky, but more often, he draws on a deep knowledge of America's past and the odd, fascinating, and beautiful objects that have survived it.

Week in, week out, Avery trawls the flea and antiques circuit-buying, selling, and advising other dealers in his many areas of expertise, from furniture to glass to stoneware, and more. On the surface, he's an improbable candidate for an antiques dealer. He wrestled in high school and still retains the pugilistic build; he is gruff, funny, and profane; he favors shorts and sneakers, even in November; and he is remarkably generous toward both competitors and customers who want a break.

But as he struggles for a spot in a high-end Boston show, he must step up his game and, perhaps more challenging, fit in with a white-shoe crowd. Through his ascent, we see the flea-osphere for what it truly is-less a lottery than a contact sport with few rules and many pitfalls. This rich and sometimes hilarious subculture rewards peculiar interests and outright obsessions-one dealer specializes in shrunken heads; another wants all the postal memorabilia he can get. So Avery must be a guerrilla historian and use his hard-earned knowledge of America's past to live by and off his wits. Only the smartest survive in one of America's most ruthless meritocracies.

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is many things: an insider's look at a subculture replete with arcane traditions and high drama, an inspiring account of a self-made man making his way in a cutthroat field, a treasure trove of tips for those who seek out old things themselves, and a thoroughly fresh, vibrant view of history as blood sport.

Synopsis:

Whether it’s Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers, or any of the number of TV shows on flea markets, the world of collecting inspires a cult following of millions of Americans. Celebrated author Maureen Stanton takes readers behind the scenes and deep into the “flea-o-sphere,” following master antiques dealer Curt Avery from the populist mayhem of flea markets, to the rarefied realm of high-end antiques shows, to the heart-pounding competition of auctions. Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is a captivating tour of the outrageous world of American antiques, jam-packed with colorful characters, high-stakes scores, and insider tips for all who seek hidden treasure.

About the Author

Maureen Stanton's work has been featured in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Iowa Review, American Literary Review, The Sun, and Riverteeth, among other journals, and anthologies, including Best of The Sun, Best of Brevity, and Best Texas Writing. She has received numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. She teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Missouri.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Parnassus on Wheels, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Parnassus on Wheels)
My first foray into the second hand world was in fourth grade, buying a pink and red prom dress to wear in a school play.I've been hooked ever since. This book follows an itinerant antique dealer for a number of years as he buys, sells and trades his way, mostly at the holy grail of thrifters/ antiquers: Brimfield Market in Massachusetts. It's not an easy way to make money, but the addictive nature of the business keeps one going. Also included is a chapter on Antiques Roadshow (the appraisers make no money and pay their own expenses!), comic book collecting, and creating fake antiques. If you're a collector you'll want to add this to your shelf!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Parnassus on Wheels, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Parnassus on Wheels)
My first foray into the second hand world was in fourth grade, buying a pink and red prom dress to wear in a school play.I've been hooked ever since. This book follows an itinerant antique dealer for a number of years as he buys, sells and trades his way, mostly at the holy grail of thrifters/ antiquers: Brimfield Market in Massachusetts. It's not an easy way to make money, but the addictive nature of the business keeps one going. Also included is a chapter on Antiques Roadshow (the appraisers make no money and pay their own expenses!), comic book collecting, and creating fake antiques. If you're a collector you'll want to add this to your shelf!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594202933
Subtitle:
An Insider's Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting
Author:
Stanton, Maureen
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Americana
Subject:
Antiques, American
Subject:
Antiques-General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20120529
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » American
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Miscellaneous Collecting

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America Used Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594202933 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Whether it’s Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers, or any of the number of TV shows on flea markets, the world of collecting inspires a cult following of millions of Americans. Celebrated author Maureen Stanton takes readers behind the scenes and deep into the “flea-o-sphere,” following master antiques dealer Curt Avery from the populist mayhem of flea markets, to the rarefied realm of high-end antiques shows, to the heart-pounding competition of auctions. Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is a captivating tour of the outrageous world of American antiques, jam-packed with colorful characters, high-stakes scores, and insider tips for all who seek hidden treasure.

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