Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

I finished The Wolf of Wall Street last year but didn't get a chance to write about it until now. I've been wanting to see this movie (despite its poor box office showing) and recently learned it's based on a memoir by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio's character).


Good Reads' Synopsis: By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids waiting at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called . . .


In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. Now, in this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess that no one could invent.

Reputedly the prototype for the film Boiler Room, Stratton Oakmont turned microcap investing into a wickedly lucrative game as Belfort’s hyped-up, coked-out brokers browbeat clients into stock buys that were guaranteed to earn obscene profits—for the house. But an insatiable appetite for debauchery, questionable tactics, and a fateful partnership with a breakout shoe designer named Steve Madden would land Belfort on both sides of the law and into a harrowing darkness all his own.

From the stormy relationship Belfort shared with his model-wife as they ran a madcap household that included two young children, a full-time staff of twenty-two, a pair of bodyguards, and hidden cameras everywhere—even as the SEC and FBI zeroed in on them—to the unbridled hedonism of his office life, here is the extraordinary story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down . . .
What I Thought: I liked this at the start and then things started to get really repetitive. You can only read so much (522 pages worth) about crooked trading on Wall Street, drug use, hookers, adultery, etc and so on. Belfort has led quite a life but his story could have been cut in half. It's a New York Times Bestseller but I'm not sure why. As long as I thought it was, it's not even the whole story! There's another book about how he got taken down, time in prison, and more. I don't think I'll be reading that one.

Rating: * *

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