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The Collectibles (The Collectibles Trilogy #1)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  779 ratings  ·  103 reviews
In his debut novel, James J. Kaufman delivers a gripping and unforgettable story of two strong men from separate wolds - one touched by tragedy, the other by greed - brought together with unexpected results. In chronicling how their lives and those they touch are dramatically changed by their encounter, Kaufman reveals the power of realtionships, the nature of love, and ul ...more
Paperback, 309 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Downstream Pub. (first published November 30th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,292)
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The Loopy Librarian
What a load of sentimental sticky sweet ooze! I feel a little nauseous from having to digest this book. I had wanted to read it because I thought the premise sounded interesting: one good man asking another to take care of a few people when he no longer could. But when this one good man turns out to be practically perfect and leaves trails of sunflowers wherever he goes, it gets a little maddening. Jesus himself didn’t perform as many miracles as Joe, the main character. As for the boardroom dra ...more
I purposely did not read any GR reviews before I started reading this book because I wanted to be objective. I was swayed to buy the book by the 198 5 star reviews on Amazon. But I am seriously doubting Amazon's 5star reviews after having read a blog about how authors pay companies for good, but not necessarily honest reviews.

This story's premise sounded very promising. The reference to Grisham, in my opinion, is very misleading as there was nothing that reminded me of Grisham's writing. The boo
I started out really wanting to like this book. I met the author at an event last year, and he was a great guy, very funny and engaging. The story sounded good, so I bought the book.

I expected I would give the book four stars (really liked it) or at least three (liked it), but in all honesty I can’t. There are too many rookie mistakes—stereotypical characters, contrived dialog, lots of telling instead of showing and an overuse of cliches. Joe is too saintly to be real. Two-thirds of the way thro
I would recommend reading all the one star reviews on to get a good idea of what this book is like. I generously gave it three stars because early on the writing is coherent, readable and with very few errors. (Mostly these consist of things like Cannon for a Canon camera).
Unfortunately it is HUGELY sentimental and there is absolutely no(I add the adverb to show you that I use 'no' literally) dramatic conflict. One or two lawyers in the boardroom scene get a little warm and Buck the d
Jan 06, 2013 Monika rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one
My review:
This book is like reading Paulo Coelho pseudo-philosophical rambling. But worse: the author makes a promise at the beginning, and unfortunately never delivers. The more or less interesting part finishes with all the proceedings (half of the book?) - I was expecting more action, a mystery maybe, unexpected turns and twists (especially that several reviewers suggested it's like Grisham's books - well, it's not). Instead I got a cheesy story of an angelic lawyer redeeming a cap
This book was only 99c for the Kindle version, and had over 180 reviews giving it a total of 4.5 stars, so I was excited to read it.

I was left disappointed. I honestly don't know how so many people rated it so highly.

I found the story empty with a lot of pointless detail that didn't flow smoothly.
I kept waiting for something exciting to happen, or some major twist but it never showed up.

The only positive thing I can say about this book is that the story had a good moral to it - that you should a
Jan 04, 2012 kent added it
This book is a third person narrated story told from the point of view of 2 main characters and about 8 minor characters. Many reviews mention the similarities to Grisham but that comparison is fleeting. The story moves on and develops more about people and relationships.
As far as the typical protagonist antagonist battle with good winning over evil this book doesn't have it. Actually at some point I started to think this book is about nothing. Then I got to 95% on my kindle and the tears start
Halfway through the book I decided I just couldn’t slog on any further. At that point the desire to find out what happened in the end was outweighed by the effort required to continue reading. The book is loaded with excruciatingly minute detail, and the action, dialogue, and characters are stilted and not quite realistic. Joe is particularly unrealistic – no one could be that perfect.

I chose to read the book partly because of all the 5-star reviews, but I think my fellow readers misled me this
Mark M
Terrible, sentimental bullshit. I can't put a book down without finishing it or I would have abandoned this one by the first chapter. Don't waste your .99 and keep looking!
The characters fit so well in the story line, No character seem out of place. Red was a great supporting character and he spoofed me a little. Always right around the corner, even startling Joe a few times. Alice was a wonderful dear and a superb assistance to Joe. Preston, I liked, and his character is definite one any business owner /entrepreneur can spot in his/herself. Tommy, loud but I liked his spirit, Corey, a master wood maker and Johnny, the forgotten child.
This is a well written novel
A Too Perfect Man

The truth is I almost threw this book across the room - but I didn't want to break my Kindle! Ever since grad school, I have been obsessive about reading everything that is set before me, in case there was a question about it in the comprehensive exams. Although I got my Ph.D many years ago, I still can't just abandon a book no matter how bad it is. The Collectibles is not really a bad book, it just isn't a good one. The prose is perfectly prosaic: most of the time it reads like
While this book is a definite change of pace from what I've been reading lately, I enjoyed the story so much. The prose is abrupt in places but I didn't think it deterred from the storytelling. It's a feel good, do the right thing kind of story. It left me happy I read it.
Jun 07, 2013 Lily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lily by: B&N Book Group
Five stars not because its a great book or great writing, but because it is a wonderful little story with some delightful characters who are a case study on how to live life decently and fully. It even includes a mini study on how to save an extensive network of franchises (automobile dealerships) from bankruptcy in the current (2010-11) economic environment, saving jobs and reputations. But one lives in community with all types of people, and this book is also about possible healthy relationshi ...more
James J. Kaufman may be new on the literary scene, but he writes like a pro. This work of art is crafted so seamlessly and effortlessly that you feel drawn into it immediately and completely forget the world around you.

Joe Hart’s life growing up wasn’t always easy. His aunt tried to smooth things over for him though after his parents died. The death of parents while you are young is difficult to deal with. A person can either us that experience to make themselves better or to just give up and l
The Collectibles
James Kaufman
Downstream Publishing
309 pages

The Collectibles is a must read. It makes a believer out of us that Angels do walk among us, however most of them are of the corporeal variety.

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
Sandra Stiles
Joe grew up with a strong work ethic taught to him by his uncle. Preston grew up wanting for nothing financially yet no real role model when it came to ethics. As teens these boys crossed paths when Joe saved Preston from drowning. Several years later Joe is once again called on to rescues Preston. Preston’s greed has brought him to the brink of financial ruin. His advisors call in Joe to help restructure things. Joe agrees under three conditions. Preston must disclose everything, be honest and ...more
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 runni ...more
Calvin Hecht
“The Collectibles” by James J. Kaufman is an otherwise well-crafted and well-written novel that is marred at the end by an instance of a vulgar slang that the author no doubt intended as an utterance of amazement. I understand how the slang can be used as the author intended; however, that intent does not negate how the slang initially impacts the reader in its more common derogatory manner. Because of that impact, the slang seemed jarringly out-of-context, especially given the almost sacred nar ...more
Denisa Howe
This read is about a wealthy man in trouble with his business and wife. One man can ease his trouble if he agrees to three things. One of those things is one day in the future, he will need Preston to do something for him and he must do it without questions and he must complete it. Preston agrees, he is desperate and worried. In the end Preston finds out who he really is and was all along.
At first I was a bit put off with so much description being on the business side. I have no idea what a SOT
Jessica H
I really enjoyed this book. A few of the characters were hard to swallow, but for the most part, I liked Kaufman's characters, their histories, and the way they interacted. I haven't figured out how there are 2 more books in the trilogy, but will definitely give book 2 a shot. Kaufman's characters are damaged in different ways, but trying to heal and make themselves better people. I found myself pulling for them, and I am interested to see where they will go in the rest of the series.
Evangeline Han
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 ...more
Kathleen Kelly

I won't go into the details of what this book is about because I do not want to rehash the description. But let me just say that this book is awesome!! The book was a pleasure to read and the characters are very likeable. I did get lost a bit in the business part of the story but I found myself learning new things about banking and car dealerships. That said, I found Joe to be such a caring individual who has suffered several losses. These losses make him who he is and his ability to lead and he
To me, the plot was from a different era. It could have been from the 1930s or 40s, when a man's ethics and good name were the most important things he had. I felt the writing was a bit stilted, but I read the story quickly, interested to know the outcome. There were some major surprises, not plot twists, but things that happen in life. At one point I was concerned it was a more religious book than I was interested in reading, but that was just another part of the main character's life. I comple ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I found this to be such an interesting premise for a book. Joe was a little too good and Preston came around a little too quickly, but this was an engaging and inspiring story, if a little predictable.

The legal jargon in the boardroom was a bit much for me and I finally just skimmed those parts, because honestly, I don't care about the legalities of the automotive world. But, the idea that people look out for people is inspiring and the story certainly made me think about how I view other peopl
Interesting ... easy summer read. Real tear jerker.
A very good read..well written. A good analysis and presentation of the many different characters. Joe Hart grows from a 15 year old boy, raised by his aunt & uncle to a successful attorney who loves the outdoors. Sought out by an acquaintance from his youth, the attorney accepts a new job. The second man meets the many people in Joe's life and their bond grows. This novel is a moving story about giving to others and about taking care of yourself, how those two acts are combined. A book full ...more
I really struggled with how to rate this. Here is my best way to sum up my reading reads like an after-school special or movie on Lifetime. Good story, great life-lesson, but the writing and characters felt a bit like B-team actors. That said, I really think I got something out of this book and am glad that I read it. I believe it will even influence my decisions and relationships. I thought about giving it a 4, but at the end of the day the writing style and a couple of the char ...more
Diana Eberhardt
May 24, 2015 Diana Eberhardt marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
Too many adjectives - especially brand names! - and mediocre writing. I quit.
Loved this book! It seems strange that I enjoyed every moment of it because of the lengthy parts regarding banking, business or law, but it is so interesting and moves along so well, that I actually enjoyed those parts. It's to the writer's credit that Joe is everything that anyone ever hopes to be as a person, but he's still realistic and believable. This book makes you believe in mankind again and want to make helping others a characteristic of your own life. I wish I could've been one of Joe' ...more
Lisa  Marie
I enjoyed this one. The deal making parts were a little too detailed for my taste, but even with that it was still good. I think the ending was worth the whole book, but I won't give that away - my lips are sealed! Anyways, not a normal book I would read and, in fact, I accidentally clicked "buy" and thought "what the heck, it was only 99cents, I might as well give it a go". I'm glad I did and didn't click "bought on accident", it was worth it!
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An attorney, businessman and former judge, James J. Kaufman has published several works of non-fiction.
The Collectibles, his debut novel, draws heavily from his experiences in law, his dealings in the business world, and his interactions with people from widely different backgrounds. Kaufman lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife, Patty, and is working on his second novel.
More about James J. Kaufman...

Other Books in the Series

The Collectibles Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Concealers - Book 2 in The Collectibles Trilogy
The Concealers - Book 2 in The Collectibles Trilogy What to Do Before the Money Runs Out: A Roadmap for America's Automobile Dealers

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