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The Wolf of Wall Street Paperback – August 26, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 1,141 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.


“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: 6.2 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 (1,141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Rick 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this 5 stars, not because it is a good read or a truthful memoir, but because it is a fine example of criminal psychology and drug addiction.
The supposed facts related by Belfort must be taken with a large dose of salt. He readily admits with some pride deceiving everyone he deals with including his wife and supposed friends and business partners. We would be quite gullible to then take his writing at face value.
He portrays himself as generous to a fault, but of course the money he passes out is mostly stolen. The judgement against him included a requirement to pay over 100 million in retribution to those he defrauded. Most of that has never been paid even though his income from books and movie rights is quite substantial. By the way his sentence was lighter than those of all his cohorts because he turned against them when the law caught up with him. This after spilling a lot of ink in his book about loyalty, trust and "omerta." Does he still have hidden assets that rightfully belong to the victims? You guess. I bet he does.
He tries to present himself as a reformed bad actor who has seen the light and conquered his addiction. I hope he has conquered his addictions, but that wasn't his only problem. He is quite intelligent and seen as such by all around him. The schemes he ran were carefully designed and couldn't have been conceived and executed while stoned, so there is more to this than addiction. The most important part of the story is left out. How did a broke guy starting at the very bottom of a major brokerage firm get to be a criminal millionaire? That's the guts of the real story, and it was left out. We only see him at the climax just before the downfall.
Sex and drugs sell books and movies and that's the new scheme, and it is lawful even if only partly true and even if the main facts are left out.
The schemer and deceiver is still at work.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a sad book on many levels, not because the characters are at all sympathetic but because its mere existence underlines many of the dysfunctional elements in American culture and society.
The book itself is horrid in its style, lazily edited and ultimately uninformative. Whoever edited this thing should be banished from the publishing industry. On top of the aforementioned "loamy loins" this manuscript contains literally repetitive similes, tired, cliche, over the top dramatics and impossibly unbeleivable and hackneyed dialogue. The acknowledgements thank an alleged industry professional who encouraged the author to quit his job after reading the first three pages. One wonders if any of the folks involved here had read anything by Raymond chandler, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson or Don DeLillo, all writers who have dealt with this genre of the American underbelly that make this effort look like a comic book. My sense is that everybody concerned figured this would be a really hypable book and everybody could hustle their way to a big payday. Some things never change.
Not a word really from Mr. Belfort about the hundreds of millions of dollars that was the result of defrauding gullible folks out of their hard earned dollars. It's all me, me, me, even when he has supposedly hit rock bottom in rehab, he's still the smartest guy in the room and everybody is just a mark or a schmuck. Even though the guy can't get through an hour without being massively sedated and insensate. Sure.
His wife in this pasted up love story is also a prize. You can bet she held on to the very last moment and then dumped her unconditional love right after he got indicted. Time to move on to the next wallet and sperm donor.
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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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