The Collectibles: A Novel

The Collectibles: A Novel

by James J. Kaufman
4.7 19


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Collectibles 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Evangeline_Han More than 1 year ago
30 years ago, Joe Hart started living by the motto "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't". Now, Joe is having a distinguished career as an attorney. But tragedy strikes. 30 years ago, Preston Wilson was rescued from a crevice by Joe. Now, Preston is the owner of one of the largest mega-car dealer company in the country. But he and his company's finances is in serious trouble. Joe is the only attorney who can help Preston out of his financial mess and he agrees to help but on one condition, Preston must promise to fulfill an unspecified request when called upon. The Collectibles is one of the few books I've reviewed so far which contains so many lessons in a single book and it is not glaringly preachy. In the book, the collectibles are Joe's friends who each have personal problems. These people are the nobodys in society. The Collectibles ends on a sad but triumphant note. Two men made a difference in the lives of six people. Since Joe is an attorney and Preston is embroiled in business problems, legal and business lingo was used. As I read the book, I wished there was a glossary explaining the uncommon terms. I had to Google certain terms to find out what they meant. Overall, I found The Collectibles a highly enjoyable and highly intriguing story. There wasn't much suspense in it, but what kept me turning the pages was the method of ingenuity in the plot. Besides that, it was also great fun learning about certain law and business practices!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be a "Must read" for all of us. Judge Kaufman has managed to pack a lifetime of life learning experiences within the pages of this wonderful novel. Highly recommended. J M Lydon ust" for all of us. There are so many life lessons for each of us that are contained
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i thourghly enjoyed this book, found it hard to put down
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SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Have you ever thought that lawyers are more concerned about how much money they make than how much good they do? If you have, The Collectibles by former judge, James J. Kaufman, won't change your opinion, but it just might modify it to allow for some lawyers being honest, determined and wise. Joe Hart, an orphan from the Adirondack mountains, turned Navy commander, turned distinguished attorney, is just such a one, though his life seems to fall apart under tragic circumstances, sending him running to his past. Meanwhile Preston Wilson is the privileged rich kid grown up, desperate to succeed and suddenly staring at the face of financial and emotional ruin. Preston needs Joe, and Joe doesn't want to be needed. The author creates a pleasingly evocative picture of the mountains where Joe grew up and is eventually found, then brings the story back to big-city America, big-fee lawyers, banks, foreclosures and loans. Joe turns out to be more than a briefly sketched childhood and tragic victim of circumstance. Previous acquaintances call with hopes and needs and he comes to their aid. For no clear reason, except a remembrance of his uncle's injunction to "help the other fella" and a memory of truths as tall as mountains, Joe seems to have impacted many troubled lives. But Preston has no real desire to meet these losers till Joe calls in an unconventional IOU and begins to reveal his "collectibles." At 308 pages, The Collectibles felt like a long read. But Preston's discoveries in the final third make a real emotional impact and redeem any slowness in the tale. Perhaps, if more of us tried to "help the other fella," more collectibles would find the truth of mountains, and more lawyers might have more good deeds to their names. This was certainly an enjoyable read, informative in its view of banks and lawyers, and pleasing in its invitation to look at the choices we make through the choices made by others. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Rebecca at the Cadence Marketing Group in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
aenewtonian More than 1 year ago
I had so much fun reading this book - the characters were compelling, sad, beautiful and sometimes hilarious. The business/legal aspects were captivating to read about. I'm really looking forward to Kaufman's next book!
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Joe Hart pulled himself up by his bootstrings from his unremarkable humble, but loving beginnings, beginnings that would stay with him for the rest of his life and always trying to live up to the words of his uncle. "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. And help the other fella. After a tragedy that sets his world upside down he comes back to life with a vengeance to help a businessman who's gotten himself in big trouble. Preston Wilson came from wealth and through out his life has tried to do one thing, never fail. Now in the face of the one thing he's vowed never to let happen he seeks counsel from the one man he thinks can help him out. But Preston has a lot to learn before he can really be a true success, the question is, will he. If you, like I are used to that often used prose like flowery, flowing dialogue in literary fiction, you will be pleasantly surprised by this author with his every day and every man narrative and as you get deeper and deeper into the read you'll understand the power it gives to the characters and the tale. Mr. Kaufman tells us his morality tale in his oh so mild mannered way so that no matter who reads it, from whatever walk of life, we all get it. It also makes it easy for his readers to see what a marvelous storyteller he is and he doesn't feel the need to shout it, he prefers a whisper. His dialogue is matter of fact, easy to read and it just works. His words take us from small town America to big city lights, from beautiful seascapes to the casinos in Vegas and each of these scenes are vividly and easily recounted in the eyes and minds of his readers. His characters however are all stars in their own right and each one has his or her story and Mr. Kaufman tells them in a way that goes right to the heart and soul of his audience. The Collectibles is definitely a love story, the love of your fellow man, the love of family, the love of your friends and how that love can really grow once reciprocated. The lesson is simple, the question is did we learn it, and if we did can we or more importantly will we do it. This is a novel that everyone should and can read, no matter where you are in your life, no matter the circumstances. Thank you Mr. Kaufman for the most enjoyable lesson in life I've ever experienced.
avilbeckford More than 1 year ago
"The Collectibles by James Kaufman is one of those books that when you start reading it, you do not want to put it down because you want to know how it ends. Even though it's a novel, the scenes play out in the corporate boardroom every day. It's often recommended that authors should write about what they know. An attorney and former judge, Kaufman is the founder and CEO of The Kaufman Group where he assists companies worldwide to meet challenges, and help them to restructure and subsequently flourish. His knowledge of business makes the scenes realistic and the characters believable. ... The Collectibles is a story about love, loss, wrong doing and redemption. We are human, we all make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from our mistakes and try to correct them when possible. I recommend The Collectibles by James J. Kaufman, and though it's a work of fiction, it's also a wonderful business story which will teach you strategies and techniques that you can use in work and life."
TheMidwestBookReview More than 1 year ago
No matter how different we are, there are always factors to unite us. "The Collectibles" tells of two individuals, Joe Hart, an orphan and blue-collar worker. Preston Wilson is a man who would never have to work a day in his life if he didn't want to, and the fear of having to makes him have to cut a bargain with Joe. Joe's return favor though, is not one that money can simply solve. "The Collectibles" is a poignant and thoughtful read, highly recommended.
Night_Owl_Romance More than 1 year ago
By Terri of Night Owl Reviews Joe Hart's parents died when he was ten leaving him to be brought up by his aunt and uncle in the Adirondack mountains where his uncle worked as a guide. Joe considered himself pretty average; average height, average weight, average coloring. When he mentions that he's not happy being average to his uncle, his reply is "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. And then help the other fella." Joe takes this advice to heart becoming a distinguished Navy commander and later a respected attorney. (More about the story available in the full review on Night Owl Reviews) ------------ For a debut novel, Mr Kaufman has outdone himself. This book is nothing short of incredible and extremely heartwarming. I wasn't too sure about this book when I started it but when I finished it, I was so glad that I had the opportunity to read this outstanding story. The characters are awesome. While Joe considers himself average, no one else does. He takes the time to care about those he comes in contact with earning the respect of everyone. Preston is the product of the environment that he grew up in but he is open to change if shown where it will benefit him. He's selfish but doesn't truly realize it. Moving out of his comfort zone is eye opening. It's not just the main characters that are so well done. Each "collectible" has their own personality, issues and life. They exemplify many people that most of us shy away from. Yet, each is likeable in their own way and you become involved in their lives. A couple of minor annoyances were also present in this story. The first was Joe's life's timeline and his military career. He is portrayed as perhaps in his early to mid 40s. Not too old but not too young either. To become a commander of any Navy ship, he would have had to be in the Navy for quite a few years. Then, to make a name for himself as a lawyer after leaving the Navy, it would again take a few years unless he hit a big profile case. But given that he retained military medical privileges which you only get if you retired, that would usually make him in his early 40s upon retirement. The other is concerning Bethesda Naval Hospital. They would not have been able to get medical records as fast as it was given or appointments that quickly, unless you're a member of Congress. Still, it is an outstanding hospital with an excellent medical staff. But again, these were only minor issues and only struck me due to being in the military. Overall, I can't say enough good things about this story. By the end, I was in tears. It drew me in emotionally and just wouldn't let me go. I felt as if I knew these characters and they had become part of my life. Their problems became mine and their issues were real. I was rooting for Preston to see beyond his life and his realities to become a man that you could be proud to call your friend. With the end of this book, I felt as if I had lost a friend and truly felt as if I, as a person, had gained something. - Full Review on Night Owl Reviews
TarHeelRF More than 1 year ago
It was absolutely outstanding! You know your into a book when you can relate personally to your own past experiences while reading each chapter. I did just that. It certainly brought back a ton of wonderful and sometimes sad memories for me. And...YES......I will admit it....I cried and that is very unusual for me. Also, normally I have the ending of novel pretty much figured out before the last chapter, but not this time. It was great.
JohnnyTan More than 1 year ago
The Collectibles gives the reader a unique perspective of life because it provides a window into what people value and why they value it. Two very unlikely people meet in a most unlikely way. Preston Wilson emerges from affluence, having never learned the meaning of earning his way. This leads him into trouble. His counterpart, Joe Hart, was an orphan, mentored by his uncle, and grew up in a working class family. Joe struggled to attain an education, subsequently overcoming all obstacles to be an attorney. Joe crossed paths with Preston the first time around as teenagers when he saved Preston's life. In in cycle of life, when Preston found himself in all sorts of trouble, he learned that Joe had become a successful attorney and seek him as a legal counsel. Joe agreed to represent Preston on the condition that he would return a favor in the future. When Joe came to collect the debt Preston promised to pay, Preston was surprised to learn the unusual nature of Joe's request. Preston must acquaint himself and earn the trust of a group of people Joe had befriended. For the first time, Preston faced the compromise of his life. The book is about living life, the power of human relationships and how people sort out obligations. The author's first book is easy reading. James Kaufman is an attorney, former judge, and a succcessful businessman. He write an intense tale that forces one to reflect on the meaning of his own life. It's a substantial book that teaches us a valuable lesson in life. When we allow our love to exceed our fear, then harmony will follow in everything we do. A must read for those seeking to understand the human power deep within us.
Debby236 More than 1 year ago
Growing up with his aunt and uncle, Joe learned an important lesson from his uncle - "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. And then help the other fella." Joe has always tried to live by these statements as he grew up and became a Naval submarine commander and then an attorney who excels in his field. His world crumbles with one senseless tragedy and Joe returns to his beloved Adirondack mountains. Preston Wilson had met Joe as a young teen and the two were from different worlds. Born to wealthy parents into a world of privilege, Preston had one fear - financial failure. Through mismanagement and market crash, Preston is on the verge of just that. The only man who can help is Joe. Tracking him down in the Adirondacks is not easy but Preston is determined. Joe reluctantly agrees but his payment demand is a bit unique. Preston must promise to complete a task that Joe will specify in the future. Preston has no choice but to agree. All to soon, Joe tells Preston what he needs to do. He is to meet and gain the trust of several people called Joes "Collectibles." These people all have various problems and come from backgrounds that Preston never knew. This task calls upon Preston's very integrity and trustworthiness. Can he complete this task? Joe Hart was a tremendous man, someone we could all benefit from if he was in our lives. Since we cannot have that, we at least have his uncle's advice that shaped him to the core. Preston Wilson, by contrast, had all the characteristics of a rich spoiled child. He needed Joe to show him what live is really like. The Collectibles is so much more than an entertaining novel, with its many lessons to learn, not the least of which if that we all need to look deeper into not only ourselves but those around us. There are so many other things you can glean from this book, but I would not dream of depriving you from your enjoyment. Taking us through the full range of emotions, you will be laughing at some parts and crying at others, but one thing is sure; you will not forget James J. Kaufman and his riveting book, The Collectibles.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The son of Manhattan high societye Preston Wilson grew up with a platinum spoon. On the other hand orphaned as a child Joe Hart was raised by his working class Uncle Howard and Aunt Lettie with a sterling silver spoon. Whereas Preston has an extremely easy path to success; Joe works his way through the US Navy, college and law school. They met as teens when Joe saved Preston's life in the Adirondacks. Years later, a distraught Preston is in deep financial trouble and needing a lawyer. He asks Joe to represent him; Joe agrees on the stipulation that Preston owes him a debt that one day he will collect. Preston accepts the strange terms. Not long after reluctantly agreeing to help, Joe saves his client from financial ruin. The attorney demands remittance. He directs Preston to obtain the trust of Joe's friends "The Collectibles"; as he expects Preston to care for these troubled people when he soon cannot. He explains he helps them as homage to his uncle helping him. Johnny is a mentally challenged dishwasher; Missy is a domestic abuse victim waiting tables; Tommy is a gambling addict; Harry is a bipolar photographer and Corey is a carpenter suffering from early Alzheimer's. This is a character driven inspirational tale that makes a case for people to select and help "Collectibles". The key to this strong message is that each of the Collectibles contains different personalities and woes. Joe shows first hand by example to Preston that life has no meaning if you fail to, as his uncle said," . help the other fella". This work is si thought provoking, readers will reflect on who their "collector" is and who their "collectibles" are. Harriet Klausner