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The Wolf of Wall Street Paperback – Unabridged, August 26, 2008

1,061 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Wolf Of Wall Street Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Belfort, who founded one of the first and largest chop shop brokerage firms in 1987, was banned from the securities business for life by 1994, and later went to jail for fraud and money-laundering, delivers a memoir that reads like fiction. It covers his decade of success with straightforward accounts of how he worked with managers of obscure companies to acquire large amounts of stock with minimal public disclosure, then pumped up the price and sold it, so he and the insiders made large profits while public investors usually lost. Profits were laundered through purchase of legitimate businesses and cash deposits in Swiss banks. There is only brief mention of Belfort's life before Wall Street or events since 1997. The book's main topic is the vast amount of sex, drugs and risky physical behavior Belfort managed to survive. As might be expected in the autobiography of a veteran con man with movie rights already sold, it's hard to know how much to believe. The story is told mostly in dialogue, with allegedly contemporaneous mental asides by the author, reported verbatim. But it reports only surface events, never revealing what motivates Belfort or any of the other characters. (Oct. 2)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Raw and frequently hilarious.”The New York Times
“A rollicking tale of [Jordan Belfort’s] rise to riches as head of the infamous boiler room Stratton Oakmont . . . proof that there are indeed second acts in American lives.”Forbes
“A cross between Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities and Scorsese’s GoodFellas . . . Belfort has the Midas touch.”The Sunday Times (London)
“Entertaining as pulp fiction, real as a federal indictment . . . a hell of a read.”Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553384775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553384772
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,061 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

236 of 279 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love business/Wall Street books as I work at a regional investment firm. Also, the movie "Boiler Room" is one of my favorites and supposedly this is the firm it was modeled after. Unfortunately this guy tries to be too cute in his writing style and he's not nearly as funny as he thinks. He wants to impress you with his drug use and his wild life and also manages to get in quite a bit about his business. BTW, he does appear to be very talented as a chop shop owner/manager and just from a few tidbits you can see he knows the aggressive sales techniques necessary to be successful. But this book is confusing, boring, too long, and has very few interesting points. The author tells you what he wants you to hear, then gets to the end of the story and runs out of time without completing the full story. For example, after going on forever about his beautiful wife and drug use, after rehab they divorce. But instead of completing the story for full disclosure it's about two pages with no mention of fault or what really happened.

The synopsis of this book is exactly the type book I like: true stories of Wall Street. But this book is hugely disappointing and not worth the time. I'd take a pass on this one as it's not worth the time invested.
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120 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Enroh T Tam on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after reading an excerpt printed in Registered Rep magazine. I thought that the book would be built around the rise of the author's business, detailing how he earned his nickname; instead the entire book is based on his fall from greatness, and doesn't recount any of the rise.
I find this ironic in that during the fall the author was supposedly drugged up nearly 24/7 (which is the primary reason for his demise) to the point any other man would have overdosed, yet he depends upon his memory during this drug-induced haze for all of the details of his story.
The Author's Note hits the nail on the head: "...a true story based on my best recollections of various events in my life."
I'm sure there is plenty of truth in the book, but the bottom line is that Jordan Belfort can no longer make money spinning lies in the securities industry, so he is trying to make money spinning lies as an author instead.
If you want to read this book borrow it or buy it used.
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91 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Ilya Grigorik on September 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
The even split between 1-start and 5-star reviews is very telling - you'll either love it or hate it, there seems to be very few in between. In short, the book is an over the top, fast paced, recount of non-stop drug abuse, sex, money laundering schemes, and stock manipulation. About halfway through the book I had to go online to confirm that this is, in fact, a non-fiction work - it reads more like a thriller.

If you're looking for stock market know-how, this is not the book that will teach you that, albeit the "chop stock" machinations on top of which Belfort built his empire are definitely an interesting historical artifact. Instead, this is a great tale of the lifestyle of the "rich and dysfunctional".

If you suspend your sense of reality, it is actually a quiet engaging book. Albeit personally, I am still shell-shocked from the thought that Belfort has lived and survived through all this.
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148 of 189 people found the following review helpful By George Bush HALL OF FAME on October 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is probably the worst book I've read all year. It consists of non-stop extreme drug use, promiscuous and pornographic sex, money laundering, and stock manipulation, while providing little or no explanation of how author Jordan Belfort built his firm and worked his financial machinations.

Other sources help fill in the blanks. Belfort's business, according to Business Week, was part of a $10 billion/year business that regulators lagged in controlling. "Chop stocks" (bought at a large discount) made up perhaps half the 1997 85 million-share daily volume of the OTC Bulletin Board, plus dozens of stocks on the NASDAQ Small Cap Market. Belfort would purchase a hidden stake in a relatively new firm that would then issue "letter" stock under Rule 144 of the securities laws, commonplace at many perfectly legitimate companies as a way of rewarding key employees and giving them an equity interest. Letter stock and warrants were also issued to compensate consultants in lieu of cash. And stock issued overseas, under Regulation S of the securities laws, is a widely recognized way of raising capital for emerging companies. Reg. S stock is cheap for a simple reason: Since it cannot be legally traded for two years, it is commonly issued at a steep discount. Rule 144 stock is also cheap because it is usually issued at little or no cost and must be held for one or two years.

Belfort would make large profits by ignoring the law and "laundering" the stocks by selling them long before the two years had expired. If customers were to see the stock (marked "restricted"), they might realize that it's not supposed to be sold to the public. So the chop houses had a simple solution: They didn't show the customers the stock.
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196 of 252 people found the following review helpful By BB2 on October 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Did anyone else lose count of how many times Mr. Belfort used the phrase "luscious loamy loins" in this book? The Duchess must have had some interesting private parts if they were indeed "loamy". Hmm.

This memoir is not worth reading unless you were an employee of Stratton Oakmont or had some kind of connection to the people mentioned in it. The book is mostly about Jordan's careless spending, complete disregard for others, and raging drug and prostitute habits. You don't even get the sense that he's remorseful about any of it in the end: it rather seems that Mr. Belfort is boasting about his bad behavior.

The beginning of the book details the rise of Jordan in the broker business and does have some interesting chapters. Then it takes a nose dive and turns into an ego trip down Mr. Belfort's memory lane. It gets painfully boring and quite unbelievable at points: Jordan describes miracle medical cures, his superhuman resistance to deadly doses of various drugs, ridiculous tawdry conversations... It's full of way-out-there stuff that makes you think maybe Jordan imagined these things in his drug-addled mind. Even if some of it is true, it's not very interesting and mostly I just felt embarassed for him and the people whose nasty habits he reveals in this tale.

Save your money, Jordan is a conceited bore.
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