Thursday, October 6, 2011

Killer Stuff And Tons Of Money by Maureen Stanton

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Whatever the American Dream once was, it now seems to be about making an Antiques Roadshow-worthy killing. Every weekend, thousands of us trawl cluttered flea-market tables of family heirlooms and rejects to search for the one thing that will establish our good taste and pay for junior's college diploma. Among those hunters is Curt Avery, the plucky antiques dealer at the center of Maureen Stanton's charming new book. Avery, a former high school wrestler who favors sneakers and shorts, doesn't quite fit the image of antiques connoisseur. Through his sometimes steep uphill learning experiences, Killer Stuff & Tons of Money guides us through this intensely competitive subculture.  

Before this book, I never realized that flea marketing had it's very own subculture.  I guess that should have been obvious, since everyone seems to have their own subculture, but it's not one I've ever thought of before.  It's an oversite that I'm glad to have fixed.  Maureen Stanton takes us into the lives of Curt Avery and his circle of friends and competitors.  Before this book, I never realized that you could make a living off of buying and selling antiques, well outside of a store that is.  It won't be a career I'll be starting anytime soon, but I will be watching all those antique shows with a new interest.
What I found to be the most interesting was the way antiques can keep passing through dealers hands, raising in price for years.  Sometimes these things never see the home of a collector, they just keep getting passed around.  The idea makes me sad a little bit, I think most of these things deserve to be in a home where they will be displayed and cherished.
One of these days I want to visit the large outdoor flea markets that Curt and his friends haunt, year after year.  I want to walk down the aisles, handle objects that have been cherished or used by someone long before I was born, and give a new home to a few of them.


bermudaonion said...

That sounds fascinating. I know my mom would LOVE this book.

Staci said...

I've often dreamed of finding that Antiques Roadshow show stopper item!! I think flea markets when done right are a lot of fun!

Heidenkind said...

I think some of those things could see the up-end of trash pile and it would be fine. :)

I loved how this book was about how material culture can carry so much history, and the passion some people have for it. Truly fascinating!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I don't think I'd ever do well selling antiques. However, I have always found it fascinating. I hope you find that one object where you are on the roadshow and get blown away by a price of it's worth that you didn't expect! :D If not, I still hope you find a treasure you will enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go way out of county to visit a flea market nowawadays. I remember when my friend used to show up with all of these fabulous, one-of-a-kind clothes and shoes which she always bargained for at a flea market.

Alexia561 said...

Who knew that there was a flea market subculture? Sounds intriguing!

LoriStrongin said...

I've been to one of those huge flea markets once and yeah, it's a totally different culture with its own etiquette and language. It still surprises me there are multiple reality TV shows about them (like that new one on A&E, 'Storage Wars.').


Simcha said...

I love flea markets! Back when I lived in America I used to love spending my Sundays searching for treasures in the local flea markets. Even years later I still get such pleasure from some of the great finds that I made. This sounds like a book I would very much enjoy.