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Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family Hardcover – October 31, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316198936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316198936
  • ASIN: 0316198935
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This biography about Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's clan is chock-full of drama.... anyone curious about this fractured, once tight-knit family will find plenty of food for thought here." 3-1/2 Stars—Nicole Weisensee Egan, People

"Although there have been at least 10 books written about the scandal, none has taken such an inside look at the personal lives of the Madoff nuclear family as this latest one by author Sandell. Although the Madoff family has been constantly hounded by reporters and the paparazzi since the story broke, Sandell has been the first to get the family to open up and tell their side of the story. Treated as pariahs, the family members have had to deal with the brunt of the ridicule and shame in the court of public opinion, while Madoff himself remains locked deeply inside a high-security federal prison.... Sandell spends a great deal of time setting the stage in a biographical account that includes typical family ties, celebrations, trials, and tribulations; the story... really starts to heat up after the confession, when the lives of Ruth, Andrew, and Mark begin to completely unravel. Sandell paints a sympathetic portrait that partially redeems Ruth and Andrew as they attempt to rebuild their lives and achieve some semblance of normalcy."—David Siegfried, Booklist

"Sandell makes a legitimate case that Mark and Andrew Madoff really were caught off guard by their father's crimes."—Kevin G. Keane, San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Laurie Sandell has written for Esquire, GQ, Glamour and InStyle, among others, and has contributed cartoons to New York, Glamour and The Wall Street Journal. Her first book, the graphic memoir The Impostor’s Daughter—about her own experiences with her eccentric, secretive father—was nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

She obviously has a very high opinion of herself (and many photos in the book to prove it!).
You can argue that they did not know - but boy, they really lived like Kings and Queens on someone else's money.
Second strike, the book is little more than an adoring puff piece for Catherine, the finacee of Andrew Madoff.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 87 people found the following review helpful By 10za on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A poorly written unsatisfying read. This is one of those books where a woman doesn't "pick up her purse" she instead..."picks up her $5,000.00 Prada clutch." The brand name dropping is so excessive...we get it ..they are very rich. Andrew's girlfriend, Catherine figures prominently (and she is the least interesting person in this drama. Including a color picture of Catherine in a bikini (in full make up) holding a fish kind of summarizing how cheesy this book is.

Instead of background on Catherine (who cares?) I was looking for more info on Ruth and Bernie to see what in their backgrounds prepared them for this horrible scam.

Those that cooperated with the author (Ruth, Andrew, Catherine and Susan, Andrew's first wife) come off as total victims and saints. They apparently lack any character flaws, are beautiful, etc.

"I like The End of Normal" by Stephanie Madoff Mack much better than this book and felt that Stephanie showed her flaws (and strengths) and gave the story a very personal spin.

If you are looking for a unbiased character study of those involved in this horrible scandal. This is not the book.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By voraciousreader on November 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
self-aggrandizement - "an act undertaken to increase your own power and influence or to draw attention to your own importance." Yup, that about sums it up.

I usually borrow books from the library, but I bought this one because I was interested in the story after seeing Andrew and Ruth Madoff on 60 minutes. The parts of the book that dealt with Andrew and Ruth were okay (at best) but it got really annoying after a while to constantly read about Catherine. The whole style of the book would change when it came to parts about her. Instead of a factual accounting of what went on, we get mundane, ridiculous details like what kind of lotion she put on her legs while waiting for Andrew to tell her why he was lying on his bed fully clothed and not speaking (he had just been told of the Ponzi scheme by his father) or what the nightgown she "slipped on" looked like. We also get numerous detailed accountings of how she picked out her outfits to pack for trips with the Maddoff's and how many guys gave her appreciative whistles.

Andrew and Catherine also come across as one of those annoying couples who fall in love and just get all gross about it without any regard for anyone around them. I can do without the childish details like Catherine greeting him at the door in a cheerleading outfit and rollerskates, or the fact that after they made love they fell asleeep "wound around each other like woodland creatures". Yes, that is the description they gave themselves.

The book details everything Catherine does as just perfect, from the way she conducted business to the way she interacted with anyone and everyone. Any conflict with Andrew's family was due to their craziness or paranoia or jealousy. She was always the epitome of class, elegance and style.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Srd1 on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was extremely disappointed with this book. There was way too much emphasis on Catherine Hooper, who is not even a member of the Madoff family. She obviously has a very high opinion of herself (and many photos in the book to prove it!). I thought it was so sad and unnecessary how they depicted Mark, the Madoff son who committed suicide. I hope his kids never read this book. What a disgrace to his memory. Andrew must have been extremely jealous of Mark during his lifetime.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By tellthetruth on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Erin Arvedlund, a serious financial reporter who wrote for Barrons and who penned the very first article questioning Madoff captures the situation best:

this book is a slap in the face to the victims of Bernie Madoff's billion-dollar swindle.

Andrew was the head of the firm's Nasdaq trading desk; so why did he redeem nearly $15 million in Dell trades-an important Nasdaq listing-that took place before he ever opened the account? Where is the rest of the $60 million he withdrew from all his accounts and why haven't the family members given the money back to victims?

All one needs to do is review the trustee's suit against the Madoff family members which shows: a) Peter Madoff "invested" $32,000 in the hedge fund and redeemed $17 million; b) Mark Madoff "invested" $745,000 in and took out $18 million and c) Andrew "invested" $900,000 and took out $17 million. And these profits were made on trades that never took place in the phony hedge fund.

Excerpts from the suit: "Mark and Andrew Madoff supervised trading at the company's proprietary trading and market-making operations. They were, therefore, aware at all times--or, at the very least, should have been aware--of the trading volume and price ranges of the stocks traded... They knew or should have known that the profits and executions described in customers' account statements, including their own, did not correspond to actual market conditions."

"Andrew made most of the phony trades in his account #1M0140. No money was invested into this account, yet he redeemed over $14.5 million between 1998 and November 2008. A July 21, 1998 entry on the account statement shows that the Dell shares were purportedly `sold,' generating a gain of $1,985,000.
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