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Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort's memoir about making millions in the stock brokerage game is too wild to believe.  This is the yuppie "American Psycho"/"Wall Street [the movie]" era, but it's a real account.  I didn't realize it was possible to make that much money.  What is even more jaw dropping is reading what Belfort does with the money once he has it: a 165 foot yacht, gold watches for all hospital employees in the wing when his children are born, prostitutes galore, and drugs, drugs, drugs.  I have no idea how his wife put up with all of his shenanigans.

Let's talk about the drug use a little more because it becomes a centerpiece of the story.  Though it seemed like some of the narcotics stories were repetitive, I must say it was exceptional to see such immense quantities ingested while still managing to be productive at a level few have attained sober.  It's also interesting to see how the main drug user views his enablers - like pawns.  After reading this, I would love to have a sit down with one or two members of Belfort's entourage.

Though I don't understand the stock market or the financial world in general, it was interesting to read about the tactics [of questionable legality] employed to increase the already massive fortune these characters have built.  I call them characters even though they're real because they are too crazy to believe.  Only a few moments root them in reality, like the business dealings with shoe magnate Steve Madden.  Reading about their partnership, you suddenly stop and realize - whoa - that's a real dude.  This crazy life all happened.

They are currently filming a movie version of the book with a top notch cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill), and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  

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