Wednesday, June 15, 2011


A few weeks ago I was asked by TLC Book Tours to review
 Maureen Stanton's new book,

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money
Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America.

 Being the avid and long time collector that I am...
I was interested and agreed to read the book.

I am so glad I did.
To me, this non-fiction book read like a
 "can't put it down."...all consuming novel.

It is the story of the experiences of Curt Avery, who starts out as a young bottle collector and over time develops
 an appreciation and passion for antiques
 and all sorts of aesthetic objects with historical importance.
 His thirst for knowledge and attention to detail
 helps him through the years as he fights his way up
 in his chosen profession as an antique dealer...
 ...from the nitty gritty flea market to high end antique shows. 

The book gives the reader a glimpse of the fascinating culture of the
 flea market and a bit of insight into what makes collectors,
 antique experts, auctioneers and dealers tick.

The author of the book, Maureen Stanton,
 becomes fascinated with her friend Curt's passion for antiques
 and begins to shadow Curt as he attends shows,
 sets up at flea markets and hunts his treasures.
 He welcomes her interest and shares his tips
 and insights into the culture.
 She learns how difficult it is to earn a living in this cutthroat field... stamina is needed for the physical work and extensive travel
... and that serious and dedicated study is required to gain the
 knowledge needed for success in the business.
Something you may or may not know about Mr. Flea and me...
 is that back in the late 70's and early 80's before we had kids...
we bought and sold antiques and collectibles...
mostly primitives and country antiques. 
For  about six years, we made the rounds
 of flea markets and antique shows.

 As I read the book I identified with many of the issues
 facing Curt Avery in the antique business.
 We made our share of mistakes...
and once in a while sold a valuable item way too cheap
 through our inexperience and lack of knowledge.

 It was a challenge to stay ahead of the trends in the market
 and try to be wary of repros and fakes.
It was hard work, setting up and taking down at shows...
reading and researching to find out about our wares...
...but we were young and enthusiastic.
It was fun too...lots of fun...
we met interesting people and learned a lot.
In the end though...we weren't up to the challenge
 and focused on other careers.

Having been there many times, I loved reading about Brimfield and all those markets in the Northeast.
Attending Brimfield...either as a shopper or a dealer is exciting...
but of course, it is always much more fun to hunt than to sell!

I think the book gives a pretty accurate account of the life of an antique dealer and the culture of the flea market. It is filled with interesting facts, humorous stories and fascinating characters. 

It even touches on the problem of the overcrowded home that we hoarders collectors all seem to have as we go about satisfying our  obsession love of beautiful and historical objects. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed Killer Stuff and Tons of Money 
and think that  many of you who also love the thrill of the hunt
 and spending time at the flea market will enjoy reading it too. 

Thanks to Trish for asking me to participate in this book tour!

To read other reviews of this book on the tour click HERE.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your review. It sounds like a book we could all get tips from, even those of us that have been in this business for awhile.

Curtains In My Tree said...

That sounds very interesting since I have been on both ends of the flea market buying & selling

I hope to find the book to read


Andy's Attic said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I loved learning the "history" of you and Mr. Flea :>).

Elizabeth said...

This looks like a great summer read, I love your review and your personal stories.

Hope you have a wonderful day, Elizabeth

time worn interiors said...

That sounds like an interesting book! I know all to well about making a living being a dealer, maybe I could identify with some of the stories! Thanks, it's on my list to buy!

Gracie's Cottage said...

Thanks for the review...was happy to find it in the Kindle's already downloaded onto my iPad and I have a feeling that I'll be reading all afternoon instead of getting to all my projects. ;)


eli said...

We all have a Curt Avery inside ha ha ha!
Some time ago my husband and I used to buy and sell "old things", but there were some situations at that time and we had to close. It's now a project for our future (sorry for my English Laura!)

cnjhooker said...

Been a Hunter and a Seller since the 70's, old,huh? Love Brimfield, Round Top, Nashville shows, etc., etc. and I am going to get this book for a friend who is drowning in stuff...long ago passe'...still looking for more...needs to sell...what a dilemma! Thanks for the heads-up and for your blog! Love it!

Home and Garden Decor said...

Thank you for the book review. It seems to be a very interesting book and about a subject I am very interested in as well.

outjunking said...

When time permits I love to read, and about something I can relate to. Thanks for the book review.

La Dolfina said...

Loved your review Laura and especially finding out a little history about you and Mr. Flea!

Jacqueline said...

Oh Laura,
That just sounds like the perfect book for you. No wonder they wanted you to review it. You have the perfect credentials !!....and, it sounds a great read too.
Hope that you and yours are well and enjoying the summer. Much love. XXXX

Ivy and Elephants said...

Thanks for the heads up, I'm going right now and place an order for a copy. It sounds fabulous, and so is your blog by the way! Following you, come check us out.

sell car said...

I noticed one thing in your blog that all blogs are very easy to understand as well as excellent for getting good knowledge. I really like it very much.

heathertlc said...

I love it when a non-fiction book reads like a novel.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for being a part of the tour!