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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,788 Ratings  ·  265 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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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
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
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
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
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 interesti
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: has-read
I loved it i watch the show and i loved it ALOT
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lots of funny stories
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.
A quick, easy, yet interesting read. I’m not a fan of the show- I’ve seen it a couple times- enough to think that Rick was interesting and to check out the book. Particularly liked learning about the alternative banking/fringes of financial “normal” that the shop serves as.
Kyle J
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read from Rick Harrison and Tim Keown

Tim Keown did a great job collaborating with Rick Harrison on getting his message across from youth to the growing of business to the success obtained. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick and easy read.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun and fascinating read! It was nice to get to know the men behind Pawn Stars by reading the book. And I loved reading about their experiences, both life and pawn shop. I also like how Rick explains how the pawn business works.
Laird Bennion
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was baudy, analytical and screwy with healthy dashes of finance and vice. A second edition should add more vegas pawn stories, more interesting finds, side hustles and more polish on Chum and Hoss's stories (oddly moving). A rambunctious guilty pleasure.
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
“License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver” by Rick Harrison, Tim Keown

“License to Pawn” is the story of the Harrison family-run pawn business, World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Rick Harrison takes the readers on a journey inside his life and into his now famous reality TV show pawn shop. This is a surprisingly candid look of all the characters that make the show so popular, the fascinating and at times shocking stories, and of course the history b
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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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