The Collectibles : The Collectibles Trilogy

  • by James J. Kaufman
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • Series: The Collectibles Trilogy
  • 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his award-winning debut novel, James J. Kaufman delivers a gripping and unforgettable story of two strong men from separate worlds - 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 relationships, the nature of love, and ultimately the meaning of life.
"Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. And then help the other fella."
Joe Hart has never let go of his uncle's words. An orphan from the unspoiled Adirondack Mountains, Joe leaves his humble beginnings and goes on to distinguish himself, first as a navy submarine commander, then as an attorney unequaled in his field. But Joe's world crashes with an unexpected tragedy.
A child of wealth and privilege from New York's Upper East Side, Preston Wilson harbors a fear of financial failure. When that fear threatens to become reality, Preston tracks down the one attorney who might be able to save him. Joe reluctantly decides to help - but only after extracting a promise that Preston will fulfill an unspecified condition when called upon. Preston, desperate, agrees.
Too soon, Joe calls in his unconventional IOU. The self-absorbed Preston balks when Joe tells him he must meet, earn the trust of, and care for several people. Each of Joe's collectibles - none of whom Preston would ever want to know - has a serious personal challenge. Can Preston find the integrity to make good on his promise to Joe? Does he have a choice?


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The Collectables is the first in a trilogy written by James Kaufman. It is categorized as a mystery but I'm not sure that's where it belongs. There's not a whole lot of mystery going on in the story, which is not to say there's not a whole lot going on in the story. It almost seems like the lawyering is secondary.
The protagonist (Joe Hart) is an attorney who's own life is full of personal tragedy and loss, the apex being the shooting of his innocent wife. He's gone into the mountains that he grew up in, where as an orphaned child he was raised by his uncle. His lesson in life: "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. And then help the other fella."
This book is about an attorney who is atypical in that he sometimes gets involved in his clients lives, for life.
There are very few books that I get choked up while listening to but this is one of those. Can't say why, I don't want to spoil this for anyone but this book, although it is a really really great story, the author gets his point across and offers some really great lessons for life with no judgements or boundaries.
Joe Barrett, I just love this narrator. He is also the voice of Joe DeMarco (Mike Lawson). Anyway, as always - superb!


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- shelley

Read the reviews carefully!

A number of positive reviews show up at the top but if you keep going you will find about as many negative reviews. Read them carefully and consider whether this is the type of book you will enjoy. Obviously some people did - in fact they loved it.

I'm afraid I am with the group who found the story 'goody-goody,' contrived and unrealistic. I didn't finish the book so I'm not positive the story wasn't redeemed by the end but after checking back over the reviews to try to figure out if I wanted to keep on listening or not I decided it wasn't going to work for me. Maybe I'll finish it someday, but I doubt it.
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- Sarah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-28-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.