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The Wolf of Wall Street Hardcover – September 25, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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. Can't blame her too much, her husband was engaging in unprotected sex with call girls and strippers, despite professing his eternal love every third paragraph.
Mr. Belfort says very little about the real nuts and bolts of his operation which leads one to second the suspicions that he was probably a front for some real heavyweight folks. If you are looking for a sober rendition of corruption on Wall Street, forget it, you'll learn more on a Yahoo message board at four in the morning.
Even the children are romanticizd into demi godlike creatures that border on messiah status. another typically American delusion. too bad their parents couldn't even keep together long enough for them to emerge from veritable infancy with an intact family unit. Children as things, not human beings. What can you say? Impulse control doesn't seem to be too evident in this relationship.
That's enough, you get the picture, if you must, take this out of the library like I did. Better yet, go get "Bonfire of the Vanities", "The Long Goodbye" or "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" It will be a much better use of your time, trust me. This book will only have value to future historians tring to document the zeitgeist during the collapse of the great American Empire.