My Library| The Wolf of Wall Street

Wolf of Wall Street, The - Jordan Belfort“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor! And I’d choose rich everytime!”

I enjoy stories about power, like the trials of Jean Valjean or the transformation of Edmund Dantes into the Count of Monte Cristo. They give me an insight as to how much excess could affect the morals of a man to the point that he would just begin to wonder if it was all worth it? The corruption that continues to dwell in our hearts is, what I believe, the reason for existence; where we would wake up each day resisting the urge to take advantage of other people, to deceive and manipulate to rise above the rest and gain power. Where at the end of the day, when we retire to bed, we commend ourselves for ‘doing the right thing’ and not taking that money that fell on the floor, or lying to our love ones about our mistakes.

That’s the very core of religion, where we place the governance of our morals to higher body outside ourselves, so that however our conscience would affect us, it’s all the work of God. But in the end, we want to defy those rules, we want to indulge and break rules. Maybe because of cheap thrills, or constantly living in deficit, we all want to be the bad guy at some point, but again at the end, we think: “Is it worth it?”

The Wolf of Wall Street took me to this mental exercise in the time I was reading it, and I have to say, I have no real answer for it. Being a fan of Robert Greene and his protege Ryan Holiday, I’m leaning towards being the bad guy, but after reading this memoir, I may have tipped the scales.

Here’s why you should read it as well:

I’m trying out a new format for my book reviews to help in the reading without too much go around. The SHORT is a quick impressions of the book, that would give you an idea what the book is about, the LONG on the other hand would be a detail on the plot & characters, writing and relevance to the reader.

The Short

The Wolf of Wall Street is a non-fiction story that tells the tale of Jordan Belfort. Former Stock-Broker/Substance Abuser turned Rehabilitated Speaker. In this memoir, Belfort tells how the lifestyle of being a man of power could destroy your life and those around you. The Wolf of Wall Street takes the reader into the shoes of a man who had too much of what he wanted, only lose it all in the end. The memoir is divided into three books that details the rise of the Wolf, his tribulation and fall. It’s a long read, with a lot of explicit content that keeps us a spicy read as well as technical sections that make you think you’re reading a manual by Robert Greene.

Recommendation: ☻☻☻☻☺ A great book on the world of the money men and the destruction of one who could have had it all.

The Long

“Those phones are licenses to print money”

Jordan Belfort is known as the Wolf of Wall Street, a title he got because of the aggressive business tactics he used in building his brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmount, into a money making empire grounded on debauchery and excess; characteristics that defined the brokers that dwell in the walls of the firm. The story of Jordan Belfort begins with his first day in L.F. Rothschild, where he discovers the unusual culture of the Masters of the Universe, Wall Street stock brokers who make millions of dollars a month in the world of money. This was the beginning of his descent, as with each million he earns through elicit business practices, he dives into a dysfunctional lifestyle that became his way of maintaining power and control over his people. With the help of his friend Danny Porush, they built the money making empire of Stratton Oakmount, which became one of the most successful firms listed on the NASDAQ. He accomplished this by exploiting loop holes and using aggressive sales strategies that allowed him to funnel in more money through each stock exchange. But as time goes by, the sins begun piling up and his drug habit became the very reason for his fall, as he lost touch with the world, losing himself to drugs and other substances, his mistakes catch up to him and making him lose everything he built, leaving only with a lesson he tries to pass on to other people and making right in his life.

I loved how the story began with with an Innocent young aspiring stock broker, with much ideals as anyone fresh out of school, thinking that the American dream was there to give him the opportunity that he wanted, only to realize that in the real world is either use or be used.

How Jordan Belfort, with the help of his editors, managed to tell his story in such a way that made sympathize with the different characters involved is amazing. I appreciated how damaged Danny was, how absurdly enabling Nadine and the Nanny Gwynne was, and how significant Janet was in building who Jordan was. The book introduced me to dozens of characters, all were diverse in personality that at the end I was a bit disappointed that I never knew what happened to any of them. Did George get another job? What did Bo have to say about what happened? What happened to either Rocco?

But that isn’t a negative to the books writing, it just means how well each character was introduced and given such a personality that at the different points, I was angry at Danny, I hate the Depraved Chinaman, I was saddened by what happened to Aunt Patricia.

With each page turned, I can’t help but be excited as how the story progresses, and was a bit saddened that it ended the way it did.

Though, it did take Jordan Belfort 500 pages to tell his story, which is very tiring, that sometimes I wonder why so much exposition was needed for certain events, or how unnecessarily detailed his actions were. Like how a rathole works, how he made so much money through action A leading to action B facilitated by person X. It had too much technicalities that were not essential to the story, yet it failed to describe a lot of things that constantly popped up in the book. Like what does WASP mean? I never knew, and the book fails to tell me, other than they are high-class fancy Jews.

That said, if one would give enough patience to those parts, the story is very engaging, full of deceit, backstabbing, undermining and revenge; I have never felt more sympathetic to the bad guy than ever with how the story was set out.

Definitely one you should read if you like explicit material on a rise-and-fall story.


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