Brooks Preik, owner of Two Sisters Bookery, Wilmington, NC
"When Preston Wilson contacts Joe Hart, the only attorney in the country who might possibly be able to save him from financial ruin, this totally absorbing novel takes off on a roller coaster ride of fascinating courtroom scenarios, intriguing personal relationships and life-changing choices. From the beginning tragedy that sets the tone for this carefully plotted narrative to the inevitable and poignant conclusion, I was completely captivated. James Kaufman's years of experience in the business world, and as an attorney and judge, serve him well as he deftly navigates the complicated legal aspects of corporate bankruptcy and ‘behind the scenes’ negotiations in a way that is both understandable and believable to the reader. It is not only a highly charged courtroom drama, it is a love story on many levels. The Collectibles, a beautifully written, extremely readable debut novel by an extraordinarily gifted writer, is one that I can heartily recommend to my bookstore patrons, I hope it will be the first of many more by author James Kaufman."
June Venable,Texas, reviewed on amazon.com
“Great characters! I won this book in a drawing, but before I got to read it, my husband picked it up and wouldn't let go until he finished it. He loved it. His first thought when I asked what most impressed him was, ‘the characters. They were so believable.’ This was not the type of book he generally reads, but he thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it highly. I can't wait to read it myself.”
Polly Boyd, Wilmington, NC
“I loved the book and want to read it again to get to know the characters better, and I want a sequel, so I can see where the characters go.”
Seldie Hutchins, Wilmington, NC
"This book is absolutely beautiful; I loved what the author wrote; I loved the dedication. I felt honored to have my own autographed copy.”
Jean Joyner, artist, Wilmington, NC
“The author certainly has every right to be proud of his first novel. It is excellent! I read some of it before I left for Wake Forest. I came home late this afternoon and finished it tonight. The Collectibles is better than many New York Times best sellers. Oprah should read this book. It's better than many of her picks. I am sure my book club will love it. The characters are compelling. The plot is full of twists and surprises. The business economic details are timely and make one wonder if every company would not benefit from a Joe Hart type. The last chapter brings one to tears. I was sorry when it ended and wanted to know more about the lives of the characters. What happens next? I find I myself thinking about the characters and comparing my weaknesses and strengths to theirs, comparing events in my life to events in theirs. I want a Buck in my life...and also an Alice. Wouldn't anyone love a Red in their life...someone who always has your back? Anyway, The Collectibles has all the ingredients of a best seller."
Travis Miller, author and automotive marketing consultant
"I thoroughly enjoyed The Collectibles for Hart was an inspiring character; the kind of man I’d like to be. I thank the author sincerely for sharing this story; he has a true gift to write such a remarkable tale."
George Kalkines, healthcare attorney, New York, NY
"When cynicism and self-centeredness are put aside and when, in the best tradition of ‘Pay It Forward’, we are called upon to do our part, how will we respond? With insights and sensitivity, in his first novel, the author has understood and captured in The Collectibles how one man fulfills this calling. The Collectibles provides a timely and compelling justification to lend a hand".
The Rev. Dr. Edward G. Connette, Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, NC
"Here is Kaufman's absolute genius and creativity at its best, as he sets the stage for the carefully developed main characters caught up in the crucible of life between good and evil, love and self-centeredness. Through the unfolding series of traumas, the reader suddenly recognizes the inescapability of the crucible, and ultimately, the costliness of unconditional love."
Kathy, reviewed on Amazon.com
"This is a story we can identify with in todays world. Preston Wilson is an elitist who reaks of wealth and success. When the bottom is about to fall out of his empire, he calls on Joe Hart a person from his past. Joe saves him financially and opens Prestons eyes to a new way of living and seeing people. I loved the part about refinancing and banking. Buck,the dog was an added treat. A great book and fast read."
Randy, reviewed on Amazon.com
"It was absolutely outstanding! You know your into a book when you can relate personally to your own past experiences while reading each chapter. I did just that. It certainly brought back a ton of wonderful and sometimes sad memories for me. And...YES......I will admit it....I cried and that is very unusual for me. Also, normally I have the ending of novel pretty much figured out before the last chapter, but not this time. It was great."
L.H., reviewed on Amazon.com
"I hadn't heard of this book before, so I wasn't expecting much from The Collectibles. Imagine my surprise when the novel not only kept me turning pages, but I feel I learned something about relationships. Go figure. Plus the glow from reading it lasted for days. Bravo, Mr. Kaufman!"
Coolbreeze, reviewed on Amazon.com
"I just finished reading The Collectibles and I could not put it down! The characters were so real to me. Since I am the controller of an automotive dealership, I know first hand how real the situations described in the book are! I can hardly wait for the movie version; maybe I won't cry so much. I highly recommend this book! FIVE STARS."
Diana Holdridge, Wilmington, NC
In today's angry world many of us long for away to make a positive difference. The Collectibles, an outstanding debut novel by James J. Kaufman, through his characters Joe Hart and Preston Wilson, demonstrates how to do that.
This is the story of Preston, a person of wealth and privilege, and his journey from a self-absorbed man to one who learns to care about and help others in need of support. His guide for this journey is attorney and former sub-marine captain Joe Hart, an orphan raised by his aunt and uncle of modest means, whose guide for living has been the words of his Uncle Howard, "Do what the other fella can't. Be what the other fella ain't. Then help the other fella."
Their paths cross when Preston seeks out Joe to save his financial empire, which is on the brink of collapse. Having suffered a tragedy of his own, Joe agrees to help Preston, but only on the condition that Preston agrees to "fulfill an unspecified condition" in the future. Desperate for Joe's help, Preston agrees.
The time comes for Preston to keep his promise. At first, he balks, when Joe tells him he wants him to "meet, earn the trust and care for" several people who are Joe's "collectibles." Finally, Preston keeps his promise, and we're with him, as he struggles to keep his word.
The reader is drawn to each of the characters, and the momentum builds, so much so that you get to a point where you can't put down the book. You laugh, you cry, and you learn, along with Preston, what is important in life, and how each of us can improve our lives by being there for others: a basic lesson, but one many of us never learned or have forgotten. Treat yourself to this outstanding read."
“Recently I was the recipient of Mr. Kaufman's book as a result of its mention on Suzanne Beecher's book club. Please tell Mr. Kaufman two things: 1. The underlying focus on decent ethics in the business world was welcome, refreshing and makes an absorbing read (in the main) I skimmed rapidly thru bank-turn-around planning and it was pretty plain where the story line was going as the new characters were introduced. As a 90+ reader on fixed income I would never buy this but I warmly wish him well in future sales. 2. Receiving a brand new book of my own was a singular pleasure. (read thrift store/public library customer.) It immediately reminded me of the day in the 4th grade when we got new geography books . During the depression, this was a Big Event. Before we hardly even peeked inside, we were instructed to place the book on its spine, drop the front and back cover on the desk and then alternately let 10-12 pages follow to each side, gently but firmly pressing them down. Through high school and college I must have done this at times but that's been a while and this unexpected gift added real lift to my day. Blessings and thanks to you all for adding a positive note to this polluted world”.
Ellen, reviewed on Amazon.com
"I thought this book was well written and very touching. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to all my friends. I look forward to Mr. Kaufman's next book."