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

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,007 ratings  ·  273 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 behi ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,007 ratings  ·  273 reviews

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Feb 04, 2012 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
Jun 19, 2011 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 09, 2012 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
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
Khairul Hezry
Aug 08, 2012 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
Oct 07, 2011 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
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Entertaining book for fans of the show. Fun.
Terri Tinkel
Sep 17, 2012 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
Dierdra McGill
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.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you've always wanted to know how and what a pawn shop does in the business world, look no further. If you're interested in what makes the fabulously successful television show "Pawn Stars" so interesting in the first place, this is the book to read.
Rick Harrison does a good job narrating his biography, and how he, his father and son managed to get The Gold and Silver Pawnshop off the ground in Las Vegas.
Starting from his medically challenged childhood all the way through the decisions, and ne
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
My brother first introduced me to 'Pawn Stars' about 10 years ago--and I've watched a lot of episodes ever since. This book is just a little grittier than the television show--but all their personalities come through--especially Rick's, who narrates most of the book. If you're a fan of the TV show, you will definitely be satisfied with this book. ...more
Rod Hansen
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Anyway, she finally shows up at the window with her mouth full of toilet paper. She drops the gold tooth and the pliers through the slot.

“A gold tooth covered in blood.

For $40.”

This is one of the many startling, and strangely enlightening tales to unfold in LICENSE TO PAWN, a memoir from Rick Harrison of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars. No mere TV tie-in or celebrity puff piece, LICENSE TO PAWN is a freewheeling account of back alley financing, ghetto economics, and harvesting trash into treas
Apr 11, 2014 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 interesting a
Quentin Stewart
Oct 23, 2011 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 13, 2012 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
Jerry B
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
We’re longtime fans of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” show, and have even visited the actual (surprisingly small!) shop during a Las Vegas vacation. So Rick Harrison’s book, mostly autobiographical, was both interesting and entertaining as of course we knew him and dad “Old Man”, son “Big Hoss,” and the clownish “Chumlee” pretty well from years of the TV episodes. We were surprised to learn of Rick’s troubled upbringing, during which first he was severely epileptic, which played havoc with his s ...more
Jun 20, 2012 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 21, 2011 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
Nov 19, 2012 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
Jul 05, 2012 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
Sep 23, 2012 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. ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I just could not put the book down. Great stories about what goes on at a pawn shop and what happen after the TV show started. I am impressed with Rick with the way he overcame his demons and is the first to tell you he messed up. Included stories from family and friends. I am giving it four stars because in a few places it does repeat itself. I highly recommend this book.
Nov 04, 2012 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.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining

I'm a recent big fan of the show as I just started watching it this year. I now find myself with 20 episodes of Pawn Stars on TiVo and binge watching them. I loved the book and read it in one afternoon. If you like the show I would recommend the book.
sara frances
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to sara frances by: Fresh Air
i am now mildly obsessed with Rick Harrison.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lots of funny stories
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: has-read
I loved it i watch the show and i loved it ALOT
Ava Davis
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this is the only good book ever when I die I want to be buried with this book
Michael Massad
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This isn’t a literary powerhouse, but it is entertaining. Written in the perspective of all the major characters of the show, stories are the central theme. Stories regarding interesting pawns or store regulars, and stories about the upbringing and familial history. Fascinating read portraying a different side of Vegas. The pawn industry is adequately explained and the tribulations of being tv insta-famous are detailed. A light read with some cool insights.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This was a fabulous book. I'm a sucker for a good book. Sorry for the pawn pun. But this was a great, entertaining book. Rick Harrison allowed the viewer into his family and I came away with a lot of respect for his family. As I write this review, I understand Rick's dad, Old Man, passed away a few weeks ago. I feel so much respect for the family after reading their struggles. I also learned a lot of behind the scenes from reading this book. This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. ...more
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American businessman and owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. Star of Pawn Stars reality television series.

There are multiple authors with this name in this data base. This one is Rick^^Harrison.

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