Second Hand

Second Hand

A Novel

Book - 2000
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At last, the novel for everyone who has ever loved something secondhand--the High Fidelity of garage sales, the On the Road of thrift shopping, The Moviegoer of the flea market. Richard owns a secondhand store ("Satori Junk") just outside Detroit. He's the kind of guy for whom not much happens, until it happens all at once: His mother dies. He rummages his parents' basement for good junk and finds (alongside "every purse my mother has ever owned since the Fifties") a box of photos that changes his view of everything. He falls apart over his mother's notes on his favorite meal in an old cookbook. He meets Theresa, a fellow hipster, a thrift-attired junk goddess who shares his feeling for castaways, and he falls for her--hard. Along the way he acquires some junk wisdom about love and loss. Richard's inimitable, hilarious, philosophical, self-deprecating, yearning voice, and his sharp and loving eye for common foibles and unexpected virtues make for a comic novel crammed full of surprise and pleasure. Second Hand is peppered with insight as unpretentious and satisfying as the unexpected garage sale find. Junk, Richard tells us, "has taught me that to find new use for an object discarded is an act of glistening purity. I have learned that a camera case makes a damn fine purse or that 40 copies of 'Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass's Whipped Cream and Other Delights' may be used to cover a wall of a bedroom. . . . Junk has taught me that all will come to junk eventually, and much sooner than you think."
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2000.
ISBN: 9780393047974
Branch Call Number: ZADO
Characteristics: 270p. 22cm.


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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 27, 2015

Anyone who has fallen for the charm of old objects, hipster junk, or retro-kitsch, will fall for this wry tale of a happy underachiever trolling for cool stuff to stock his store, Satori Junk. This self-deprecating, witty, sweet guy feels like a friend and I almost cheered at the upbeat ending.

schiappetta May 02, 2012

I also tried this novel after finishing "The Leisure Seeker" which I loved. Both books start off slowly, but if you stick with them you are rewarded at the end. Second Hand has quirky, but likeable characters that are societal misfits that happen to "fit" each other. If you are into thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, old memorabilia or the thrill you get when you make a "good find" then you would probably enjoy this book. I'd call it a nerdy, but sweet coming of age story.

thart Mar 15, 2011

I think that this book was just sort of OK. I picked it up because I had read "The Leisure Seeker" and adored that novel. This one has the same sort of smarmy and sarcastic wit; but, nowhere near as polished or interesting, and a bit darker as well.


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