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License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,572 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,237)
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Jun 20, 2011 Traci rated it really liked it
If you've never flipped over to "Pawn Stars" on the History Channel, then you probably have no idea who Rick Harrison is. Or the Old Man, or Big Hoss, or Chumlee. Do yourself a favor and watch an episode or two, then pick up this book.

Normally when a book is released in conjunction with a TV show, I find myself sort of flipping/skipping through it. The "author" never has much to say that hasn't already been covered on the show, and it's usually not written too well, either. Well, surprise! Harr
Jan 14, 2012 Eric_W rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars. It has wit, familial relations, historical trivia, old stuff and weird stuff. Rick Harrison is the owner of the pawn shop located in Las Vegas, and the show’s popularity has meant they have added thousands of square feet to the store and hired an additional thirty employees. They used to have about 100 customers per day; they now have over a thousand.

Harrison has an interesting background. He suffered from grand mal seizures as a child which
Feb 05, 2012 Marisa rated it really liked it
I have to say, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! I read it in two days. I'm a big fan of Rick's show, Pawn Stars, but I figured this was going to be just one of those strike-while-the-iron-is-hot deals.
This book was a lot deeper than I was expecting. I got to know the Harrison family and Chumlee as people, aside from their TV personas. I had no idea of the struggles Old Man, Rick, Big Hoss and Chumlee had faced in their lives. I didn't realize how hard they worked to overc
Khairul H.
Aug 11, 2012 Khairul H. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the show, fans of celebrity memoirs
Only two reasons why I even bothered with this book. Firstly, I'm sort of a fan of the show. I like history and some of the items that are featured are very interesting. Second, the book was like 60% off at Amazon. Can't resist a bargain.

The book is surprisingly good. Just like the show, it has a bit of humour and Rick is a natural storyteller. It's not difficult to tell stories I suppose when a lot of zany characters walk through your door looking for some quick cash. In fact, from what Rick te
Quite often my sweet husband takes a nosedive into the unknown and takes up with a new adventure/obsession with something “strange.” I found this serendipitous oddity a very attractive characteristic when we first met (I know…red flag??), and frankly, it’s had its ups and downs on my last nerve over the years. All in all; however, there’s never a dull moment with Anthony if you just sit back and brace yourself.

The show is mind-boggling. As I sit in my little apple green recliner writing reviews
Oct 13, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
I love Pawn Stars, and I have always been curious about the darker/seedier side of the business, which I knew must be present. Everything on the show is nice, clean, and orderly, but I knew any Las Vegas pawn shop open 24 hours had to see some crazy things. This is definitely the book to read if you are curious about that side of the store - and it made me wish History Channel might show a little more of it.

This book follows mainly Rick, but it contains chapters from the Old Man, Corey, and Chum
Jul 05, 2011 Ted rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pawn Stars TV show fans
Shelves: library-books
4.5/5 stars. Way better than I expected.

I'm a pretty big fan of the TV show Pawn Stars (the one and only reality show I like), so was quite surprised, and a little apprehensive, when I learned that Rick had written a book.

I was expecting nothing but the most extreme and weird stories of customers and items they've had in the shop. There is indeed quite a bit of that, but the book also goes into the personal lives of Rick, the Old Man, Corey and Chum, which was stunningly frank and honest (which
Terri Tinkel
Sep 18, 2012 Terri Tinkel rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
What a pleasant surprise. I've watched PAWN STARS reality show from time to time..enough to know the main participants in this pawn shop. I've even visited the actual WORLD FAMOUS GOLD AND SILVER PAWN SHOP in Las Vegas.
This book tells the back stories about the Old Man, Rick Harrison, Corey ~ his son and Chumlee. Their story isn't an easy one. They all had struggles and made decisions over the years that brought them to where they are now. They all love their jobs and enjoy going to work every d
Aug 14, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
This bio of Rick Harrison's life at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop was quick, enjoyable, and informative. I watch the show sometimes and I've learned a few things when people sell their antiques. I saw this book for sale at the shop when I went there a couple of years ago, but decided against buying it at the time. I've since borrowed it from the library and finally I've read it.

The book gives background on The Old Man, Corey, and Chumlee (who all write chapters in the book). That was interesti
Quentin Stewart
Oct 23, 2011 Quentin Stewart rated it it was amazing
A fun book to read and to help the viewers of the show 'Pawn Stars" understand the personalities that they see each week on their TV screens. Rick does an excellent job of explaining his background and makes no excuses for the things he got into as a youngster. We see in his story the struggle that many families had to make ends meet and to raise a family. "Old Man" struggled in raising a family and Rick had problems in his personal life after marriage, but it did not stop either of them in tryi ...more
Oct 23, 2012 VegasGal rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
I thought that this memoir was going to be one of those poorly written ones that come zipping out after someone makes it big in a reality show and wants to capitalize on their fame. I was pleasantly surprised how wrong I was, not only was it well written, (sure he had a writer, but sometimes even those writers are terrible!) but it sounded like Mr, Harrison and his family really had their voices heard throughout. This was an easy read and quite enjoyable for two reasons. One, everyone in the boo ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Tracey rated it liked it
I'll admit to watching Pawn Stars, American Pickers and even the occasional episode of Storage Wars - so when I found out about this book, I thought I'd check it out from the library.

I was a little surprised at how non-fluffy this memoir was; not only does Rick talk about his early life and how his family got into the pawn business, he also shares the spotlight with Cory, Chumlee and The Old Man - they each get a chapter or two to tell their stories and are willing to talk about the bad times
Aug 24, 2011 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: biographic
I bought this for my husband since he's obsessed with the show. Of course, just like his obsession means I watch a lot of episodes of Pawn Stars, since he enjoyed the book I wound up reading it too. The main surprise is how much more gritty it is than the show--which makes sense, on the one hand, but on the other, I have huge respect for the Harrisons for keeping the show focused on the main point: the neat stuff that comes into the store. Any other show on any other channel would have romped in ...more
May 08, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is a great book for fans of Pawn Stars. I loved learning about the family, including Rick's rough childhood, and Corey's troubled adolescence. I also enjoyed reading about how they turned down HBO, who wanted to focus on the more raunchy customers who pawn their stuff. The focus on the historical items that come into the store makes for much more interesting tv. I hate how TruTV's Hardcore Pawn shows the worst side of the business, so much that they have to bleep out every other word. With ...more
Richard Bennett
Jan 17, 2016 Richard Bennett rated it really liked it
I love the History Channel show "Pawn Stars", so naturally I drifted towards the written story in book form, written by Rick Harrison, son to the 'Old Man' and father to 'Big Hoss' and friend to 'Chumlee'. It turned out to be more of the same, but went into a little more detail about the lives of the four mentioned and the background of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
It was interesting to find out that Rick was an epileptic (who finally outgrew his seizures), a genius with numbers who quit hi
May 30, 2014 Guitchess rated it liked it
I would wager that nearly everyone that reads this book does so because of their familiarity with the TV show. Hoping, as I did, that it would offer details that were deemed unimportant or too gritty for television, it did not disappoint. This book and its subjects are the embodiment of the "American Dream." The Harrisons are a modern example of how dedication and hard work can still create generation spanning wealth and success. Unfortunately however, I could only rate this book three stars as ...more
Teresa Law
May 21, 2014 Teresa Law rated it liked it
I wrote this as an Amazon Review. I saw a couple of people reviewing (this book on Amazon) and it is obvious that their politics kept them from enjoying an American success story. There is nothing wrong with "turning a fast buck," determination, hard work and getting ahead. One reviewer called it "greed" which doesn't make sense because Rick's very success supplies many people with jobs and health insurance (two things they might not otherwise have). The more successful, the more he can give and ...more
Colleen Lahey
Mar 30, 2014 Colleen Lahey rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book immensely. As an avid fan of Pawn Stars, I was anxious to know more about the Harrison family. This book is a honest view of the family and how they got into the pawn business. Their life was not an easy one and they worked very hard to get to be where they are today.

Watching the show, I always wondered why they put up with Chumlee. To me, the man seemed lazy and incompetent. This book certainly helped me understand Chumlee better and why he is so important to Rick, Corey and
Dierdra Byrd
I really loved the show, Pawn Stars so I was excited about reading this book. I am not really sure what I expected the book to be like, but there were a lot more stories then I thought there would be. The storys were intresting enough, but it would have maybe come off better in an audio version with Rick Harrison reading it.
Overall it was an intresting read. If you enjoy the show you will most likely enjoy the book. I learned a little and killed some time.
Jul 14, 2014 Casey rated it it was amazing
I love watching Pawn Stars, so when I found out Rick Harrison wrote a book about his life, I simply freaked. I fell in love with Rick Harrison's childhood and how he would look for silver spoons at yard sales on weekends. I felt tears roll into my eyes when Rick Harrison shared that he had epilepsy and had to go to the doctor so often to get his medications changed. I wish that I had the same abilities Rick has with doing math. WOW! This book also contains chapters written by Chumlee, Corey, and ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining book covering the people, the history, the deals, the dealing, and the odd stuff at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. I actually most enjoyed the author talking about his father's Navy life, his childhood epilepsy, and Corree and Chumlee's frank talks (everyone gets to write a chapter) about their drug use and subsequent steps to move on.
Jul 05, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I love Pawn Stars, so the book was loads of fun to read, and each person had a story of their own to tell. Rick, old man, Corey and Chumlee.
Rick overcame a lot and went through a lot as did Corey . It was interesting to see the pictures and to hear more about the family . Everyone who enjoys this show will enjoy the book I'm sure
Dec 17, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
A closer look into the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, as seen on the TV show "Pawn Stars" on the History channel. A fascinating memoir, with most of the narration by Rick Harrison. Several segments are told from the point of view of his Old Man, his son Corey, and Corey's friend Chumlee.

If you enjoy the show, you will definitely enjoy the book. It was a fast read, light and fun. A good little escape from the every day with some interesting details about how the show came about, some o
Nov 04, 2012 Robin rated it really liked it
This was a fun fast read, especially if you enjoy the TV show. It got a little repetitive at times but it has some fascintating information and the most interesting is why jewelry store staff are always offering to clean your rings.
Ava Davis
Apr 16, 2013 Ava Davis rated it it was amazing
this is the only good book ever when I die I want to be buried with this book
Jul 14, 2014 Brianna rated it really liked it
As someone who rarely reads memoirs(and who also counts Pawn Stars as the only show I really actively watch on TV), I was pretty interested in reading this book. It took me a while to pick it up, but once I did, I found it funny, really educational, and an entry to a whole business I know practically nothing about. The book was engaging, and i love the fact that there were chapters from the other key players on the show. The book really made for an interesting and different read, and I'm happy I ...more
sara frances
Jul 16, 2011 sara frances rated it really liked it
Recommended to sara frances by: Fresh Air
i am now mildly obsessed with Rick Harrison.
Jan 07, 2013 Lucas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: has-read
I loved it i watch the show and i loved it ALOT
Andrew Huynh
Mar 03, 2015 Andrew Huynh rated it really liked it
Although the tv show may seem repetitive and forced, this book fixes this problem completely. It shows the background of every item that is brought into the store. I love the atmosphere that every single item gives off. It was very unique to see this part of the world, as I was not very familiar with pawn shops and the lifestyle it brings to the people that uses it. I would recommend this book to those who want to read a story in which the people of Vegas live off of pawn shops to feed their add ...more
Dan Staud
Oct 14, 2012 Dan Staud rated it it was amazing
Lots of funny stories
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After 28 years in the business, Rick Harrison is an expert when it comes to spotting anything fake or stolen. As far as big-ticket items, Rick is the man for the job. Spotting a fake Cartier watch that most people would mistakenly purchase for $30,000 is just one of his many skills. Often acting as the middleman between his father and his son, Rick is the glue that holds this family and business t ...more
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