Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: An Insider's Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting

( 12 )

Overview

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 ...

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Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: An Insider's Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Tom Ashbrook
"Maureen Stanton rips the lid off the whole business of antiques, hidden gems, dealers and auctions and the fevered American trade in objects of the past…Shaker furniture. Navajo rugs. Heirloom jewelry. Whale bone and weathervane. She takes us deep into the antiques biz."
Ellen Ruppel Shell
"Treasure seekers will find plenty in this penetrating and lyrical account of flea market culture.  From the provenance of the Ouija board, to where to find the greatest "steals" in antiques (and it’s not where you think) Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is chock full of wit, wisdom and surprises.  As Maureen Stanton's colorful protagonist puts it, "gold is where you find it," and this book hits the mother lode."
Parade
"An intoxicating read that rips away the lace curtains from the antiques biz."
The Wall Street Journal
"Ms. Stanton captures the lower and middle echelons of the business with great skill, and her diverting and wholly unpretentious book makes a fine companion for a day at the beach—or a weekend spent treasure hunting at Brimfield."
Parade

"An intoxicating read that rips away the lace curtains from the antiques biz."
The Washington Post
"After whipping through Maureen Stanton’s utterly engaging, heavily researched account of her old college buddy’s life on the yard-sale flea-market antiques-show auction-house circuit, I wanted to invite myself into his multi-state universe and hang out with all those dealers… Not since Larry McMurtry’s fictitious rogue ‘Cadillac Jack’ has there been such a charming emissary from the world of the previously owned."
The New York Times
"Ms. Stanton has a light, sure touch…if you truly love the subject matter, you will truly love [Killer Stuff and Tons of Money]."
The Associated Press
"A fascinating look at the life of professional dealers who check out all the stuff at these shows before the rest of us even show up."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is a deeply researched, memorably written narrative about the world of people who buy and sell antiques as their livelihoods...For anybody who treasures superb writing, this book will please page after page."
The Kenyon Review
"One of those books you’ll start early and won’t really be able to put down or shake till you’re finished…You should be reading this book. You should be purchasing this promptly and giving yourself the time and quiet and cool to sit and get through the whole thing."
The Portland Press Herald
"A fascinating look at Americans’ obsession with collecting stuff and searching the shelves of antiques markets for some kind of jackpot."
Bookpage
"Killer Stuff is a killer read. Enjoy it, then hop in the station wagon and see if you strike gold."
New England Antiques Journal
"Stanton does a great job of educating the reader, of weaving in the history behind both objects and shows and recognizable names…Start this book when you have lots of time, because you won’t want to put it down.”
Detroit News
"Fascinating…Anyone who has ever wondered what life would be like as an antique dealer should read this eye-opening account."
Antiques & Auction News
"Very well-written… a truly good education about the lonely and hard life of the single middle market dealer struggling to make ends meet…a must-read for everyone in the trade [and] a narrative that will appeal to many people."
Maine Antiques Digest
"[Stanton’s] book educates and entertains while giving an honest insider view of the trade."
Coastal Breeze News
"Full of interesting tidbits told in a fascinating way…I found this book hard to put down. [It is a nonfiction book so full of unbelievable stories you will think you are reading a novel."
The Wall Street Journal

"Ms. Stanton captures the lower and middle echelons of the business with great skill, and her diverting and wholly unpretentious book makes a fine companion for a day at the beach—or a weekend spent treasure hunting at Brimfield."

The Washington Post

"After whipping through Maureen Stanton’s utterly engaging, heavily researched account of her old college buddy’s life on the yard-sale flea-market antiques-show auction-house circuit, I wanted to invite myself into his multi-state universe and hang out with all those dealers… Not since Larry McMurtry’s fictitious rogue ‘Cadillac Jack’ has there been such a charming emissary from the world of the previously owned."

The New York Times

"Ms. Stanton has a light, sure touch…if you truly love the subject matter, you will truly love [Killer Stuff and Tons of Money]."

The Associated Press

"A fascinating look at the life of professional dealers who check out all the stuff at these shows before the rest of us even show up."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is a deeply researched, memorably written narrative about the world of people who buy and sell antiques as their livelihoods...For anybody who treasures superb writing, this book will please page after page."

The Kenyon Review

"One of those books you’ll start early and won’t really be able to put down or shake till you’re finished…You should be reading this book. You should be purchasing this promptly and giving yourself the time and quiet and cool to sit and get through the whole thing."

The Portland Press Herald

"A fascinating look at Americans’ obsession with collecting stuff and searching the shelves of antiques markets for some kind of jackpot."

Parade

"An intoxicating read that rips away the lace curtains from the antiques biz."

Bookpage

"Killer Stuff is a killer read. Enjoy it, then hop in the station wagon and see if you strike gold."

New England Antiques Journal

"Stanton does a great job of educating the reader, of weaving in the history behind both objects and shows and recognizable names…Start this book when you have lots of time, because you won’t want to put it down.”

Antiques & Auction News

"Very well-written… a truly good education about the lonely and hard life of the single middle market dealer struggling to make ends meet…a must-read for everyone in the trade [and] a narrative that will appeal to many people."

Maine Antiques Digest

"[Stanton’s] book educates and entertains while giving an honest insider view of the trade."

Coastal Breeze News

"Full of interesting tidbits told in a fascinating way…I found this book hard to put down. [It is a nonfiction book so full of unbelievable stories you will think you are reading a novel."

The New York Times

"Ms. Stanton has a light, sure touch…if you truly love the subject matter, you will truly love [Killer Stuff and Tons of Money]."

The Associated Press

"A fascinating look at the life of professional dealers who check out all the stuff at these shows before the rest of us even show up."

The Wall Street Journal

"Ms. Stanton captures the lower and middle echelons of the business with great skill, and her diverting and wholly unpretentious book makes a fine companion for a day at the beach—or a weekend spent treasure hunting at Brimfield."

The Washington Post

"After whipping through Maureen Stanton’s utterly engaging, heavily researched account of her old college buddy’s life on the yard-sale flea-market antiques-show auction-house circuit, I wanted to invite myself into his multi-state universe and hang out with all those dealers… Not since Larry McMurtry’s fictitious rogue ‘Cadillac Jack’ has there been such a charming emissary from the world of the previously owned."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Killer Stuff and Tons of Money is a deeply researched, memorably written narrative about the world of people who buy and sell antiques as their livelihoods...For anybody who treasures superb writing, this book will please page after page."

The Kenyon Review

"One of those books you’ll start early and won’t really be able to put down or shake till you’re finished…You should be reading this book. You should be purchasing this promptly and giving yourself the time and quiet and cool to sit and get through the whole thing."

The Portland Press Herald

"A fascinating look at Americans’ obsession with collecting stuff and searching the shelves of antiques markets for some kind of jackpot."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143121053
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 496,243
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Maureen Stanton’s writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Florida Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Sun, and many other journals, as well as several anthologies including Best of The Sun, Best of Brevity, and Best Texas Writing.  Five of her essays were listed as “Notable Essays” in Best American Essays series. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Iowa Review nonfiction award, and the American Literary Review nonfiction prize. She currently teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Missouri.

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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader ix

Prologue: Treasure Hunters: The Reality 1

Chapter 1 Opium Bottles and Knuckleheads 5

Chapter 2 One Man's Trash 14

Chapter 3 Boot Camp 19

Chapter 4 An Antiques Dealer Is Made 34

Chapter 5 That Good, Good Thing 43

Chapter 6 Everything Rich and Strange 55

Chapter 7 Ovoid Nuts and Southern Belles 62

Chapter 8 All Sad Things Are Just Like This 71

Chapter 9 Hot Potato 90

Chapter 10 Tea for Two 111

Chapter 11 Crowded House 136

Chapter 12 Two Heads Are Better Than One 145

Chapter 13 Stump the Dealer 156

Chapter 14 Shop Victoriously 170

Chapter 15 Gold Is Where You Find It 183

Chapter 16 Roadshow Rage 190

Chapter 17 Wilmington, aka the John Malkovieh Show 202

Chapter 18 Living the Pilgrim-Century Life 211

Chapter 19 Red Carpet Affair 223

Chapter 20 Captain Antiques 238

Chapter 21 Life with Principle 256

Coda: A Thousand Years 270

Acknowledgments 277

List of Pseudonyms 279

Notes 281

Bibliography 311

Index 317

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Well-researched look at the world of antique shows and flea mark

    Well-researched look at the world of antique shows and flea markets. It inspired me to do research on my favorite items from the past. Anyone who is a fan of American Pickers would love this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Page turner

    Good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Great book anda fun read.

    Too bad it squished my dreams of quitting my job and making a living buying and selling junk

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    For antique lovers

    I loved this book it was an eye opener into the world of antiques fun read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 8, 2011

    The great book The best book evere The Best E

    Hey I enjoy this book becuase it's interresting and it is the great book I ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Highly Recommended-check it out

    I loved this book mainly because of the subject matter and the information it imparts. I collect and sell antiques so I know the problems involved with finding and identifying antiques and collectibles. I know there are many of you out there who would really love this book. It is also well-written and researched. Try it and see!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Excellent literary journalism book, fascinating and well researc

    Excellent literary journalism book, fascinating and well researched.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2011

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    Posted January 4, 2012

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    Posted November 8, 2011

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted August 14, 2011

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