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Prologue
A Babe in the Woods


May 1, 1987

You’re lower than pond scum,” said my new boss, leading me through the boardroom of LF Rothschild for the first time.

“You got a problem with that, Jordan?”

“No,” I replied, “no problem.”

“Good,” snapped my boss, and he kept right on walking.

We were walking through a maze of brown mahogany desks and black telephone wire on the twenty-third floor of a glass-andaluminum tower that rose up forty-one stories above Manhattan’s fabled Fifth Avenue. The boardroom was a vast space, perhaps fifty by seventy feet. It was an oppressive space, loaded with desks, telephones, computer monitors, and some very obnoxious yuppies, seventy of them in all. They had their suit jackets off, and at this hour of morning–9:20 a.m.–they were leaning back in their seats, reading their Wall Street Journals, and congratulating themselves on being young Masters of the Universe.

Being a Master of the Universe; it seemed like a noble pursuit, and as I walked past the Masters, in my cheap blue suit and clodhopper shoes, I found myself wishing I were one of them. But my new boss was quick to remind me that I wasn’t. “Your job”–he looked at the plastic nametag on my cheap blue lapel–“Jordan Belfort, is a connector, which means you’ll be dialing the phone five hundred times a day, trying to get past secretaries. You’re not trying to sell anything or recommend anything or create anything. You’ re just trying to get business owners on the phone.” He paused for a brief instant, then spewed out more venom. “And when you do get one on the phone, all you’ll say is: ‘Hello, Mr. So and So, I have Scott holding for you,’ and then you pass the phone to me and start dialing again. Think you can handle that, or is that too complicated for you?”

“No, I can handle it,” I said confidently, as a wave of panic overtook me like a killer tsunami. The LF Rothschild training program was six months long. They would be tough months, grueling months, during which I would be at the very mercy of assholes like Scott, the yuppie scumbag who seemed to have bubbled up from the fiery depths of yuppie hell.

Sneaking peaks at him out of the corner of my eye, I came to the quick conclusion that Scott looked like a goldfish. He was bald and pale, and what little hair he did have left was a muddy orange. He was in his early thirties, on the tall side, and he had a narrow skull and pink, puffy lips. He wore a bow tie, which made him look ridiculous. Over his bulging brown eyeballs he wore a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles, which made him look fishy–in the goldfish sense of the word.

“Good,” said the scumbag goldfish. “Now, here are the ground rules: There are no breaks, no personal calls, no sick days, no coming in late, and no loafing off. You get thirty minutes for lunch”–he paused for effect–“and you better be back on time, because there are fifty people waiting to take your desk if you fuck up.” He kept walking and talking as I followed one step behind, mesmerized by the thousands of orange diode stock quotes that came skidding across gray-colored computer monitors. At the front of the room, a wall of plate glass looked out over midtown Manhattan. Up ahead I could see the Empire State Building. It towered above everything, seeming to rise up to the heavens and scrape the sky. It was a sight to behold, a sight worthy of a young Master of the Universe. And, right now, that goal seemed further and further away.

“To tell you the truth,” sputtered Scott, “I don’t think you’re cut out for this job. You look like a kid, and Wall Street’s no place for kids. It’s a place for killers. A place for mercenaries. So in that sense you’re lucky I’m not the one who does the hiring around here.” He let out a few ironic chuckles.

I bit my lip and said nothing. The year was 1987, and yuppie assholes like Scott seemed to rule the world. Wall Street was in the midst of a raging bull market, and freshly minted millionaires were being spit out a dime a dozen. Money was cheap, and a guy named Michael Milken had invented something called “junk bonds,” which had changed the way corporate America went about its business. It was a time of unbridled greed, a time of wanton excess. It was the era of the yuppie.

As we neared his desk, my yuppie nemesis turned to me and said, “I’ll say it again, Jordan: You’re the lowest of the low. You’re not even a cold caller yet; you’re a connector.” Disdain dripped off the very word. “And ’til you pass your Series Seven, connecting will be your entire universe. And that is why you are lower than pond scum. You got a problem with that?”

“Absolutely not,” I replied. “It’s the perfect job for me, because I am lower than pond scum.” I shrugged innocently.

Unlike Scott, I don’t look like a goldfish, which made me feel proud as he stared at me, searching my face for irony. I’m on the short side, though, and at the age of twenty-four I still had the soft boyish features of an adolescent. It was the sort of face that made it difficult for me to get into a bar without getting proofed. I had a full head of light brown hair, smooth olive skin, and a pair of big blue eyes. Not altogether bad-looking.

But, alas, I hadn’t been lying to Scott when I’d told him that I felt lower than pond scum. In point of fact, I did. The problem was that I had just run my first business venture into the ground, and my self-esteem had been run into the ground with it. It had been an ill-conceived venture into the meat and seafood industry, and by the time it was over I had found myself on the ass end of twenty-six truck leases–all of which I’d personally guaranteed, and all of which were now in default. So the banks were after me, as was some belligerent woman from American Express–a bearded, three-hundred-pounder by the sound of her–who was threatening to personally kick my ass if I didn’t pay up. I had considered changing my phone number, but I was so far behind on my phone bill that NYNEX was after me too.

We reached Scott’ s desk and he offered me the seat next to his, along with some kind words of encouragement. “Look at the bright side,” he quipped. “If by some miracle you don’t get fired for laziness, stupidness, insolence, or tardiness, then you migt actually become a stockbroker one day.” He smirked at his own humor. “And just so you know, last year I made over three hundred thousand dollars, and the other guy you’ll be working for made over a million.”

Over a million? I could only imagine what an asshole the other guy was. With a sinking heart, I asked, “Who’s the other guy?”

“Why?” asked my yuppie tormentor. “What’s it to you?”

Sweet Jesus! I thought. Only speak when spoken to, you nincompoop! It was like being in the Marines. In fact, I was getting the distinct impression that this bastard’s favorite movie was An Officer and a Gentleman, and he was playing out a Lou Gossett fantasy on me–pretending he was a drill sergeant in charge of a substandard Marine. But I kept that thought to myself, and all I said was, “Uh, nothing, I was just, uh, curious.”

“His name is Mark Hanna, and you’ll meet him soon enough.”

With that, he handed me a stack of three-by-five index cards, each of them having the name and phone number of a wealthy business owner on it. “Smile and dial,” he instructed, “and don’t pick up your fucking head ’til twelve.” Then he sat down at his own desk, picked up a copy of The Wall Street Journal, and put his black crocodile dress shoes on the desktop and started reading.

I was about to pick up the phone when I felt a beefy hand on my shoulder. I looked up, and with a single glance I knew it was Mark Hanna. He reeked of success, like a true Master of the Universe. He was a big guy–about six-one, two-twenty, and most of it muscle. He had jet-black hair, dark intense eyes, thick fleshy features, and a fair smattering of acne scars. He was handsome, in a downtown sort of way, giving off the hip whiff of Greenwich Village. I felt the charisma oozing off him.

“Jordan?” he said, in a remarkably soothing tone.

“Yeah, that’s me,” I replied, in the tone of the doomed. “Pond scum first-class, at your service!”

He laughed warmly, and the shoulder pads of his $2,000 gray pin-striped suit rose and fell with each chuckle. Then, in a voice louder than necessary, he said, “Yeah, well, I see you got your first dose of the village asshole!” He motioned his head toward Scott. I nodded imperceptibly. He winked back. “No worry: I’m the senior broker here; he’s just a worthless piker. So disregard everything he said and anything he might ever say in the future.”

Try as I might, I couldn’ t help but glance over at Scott, who was now muttering the words: “Fuck you, Hanna!”

Mark didn’t take offense, though. He simply shrugged and stepped around my desk, putting his great bulk between Scott and me, and he said, “Don’t let him bother you. I hear you’re a first-class salesman. In a year from now that moron will be kissing your ass.” I smiled, feeling a mixture of pride and embarrassment. “Who told you I was a great salesman?”

“Steven Schwartz, the guy who hired you. He said you pitched him stock right in the job interview.” Mark chuckled at that. “He was impressed; he told me to watch out for you.”

“Yeah, I was nervous he wasn’t gonna hire me. There were twenty people lined up for interviews, so I figured I better do something drastic–you know, make an impression.” I shrugged my shoulders. “He told me I’d need to tone it down a bit, though.” Mark smirked. “Yeah, well don’t tone it down too much. High pressure’s a must in this business. People don’t buy stock; it gets sold to them. Don’t ever forget that.” He paused, letting his words sink in. “Anyway, Sir Scumbag over there was right about one thing: Connecting does suck. I did it for seven months, and I wanted to kill myself every day. So I’ll let you in on a little secret”–and he lowered his voice conspiratorially–“You only pretend to connect. You loaf off at every opportunity.” He smiled and winked, then raised his voice back to normal. “Don’t get me wrong; I want you to pass me as many connects as possible, because I make money off them. But I don’t want you to slit your wrists over it, ’cause I hate the sight of blood.” He winked again. “So take lots of breaks. Go to the bathroom and jerk off if you have to. That’s what I did, and it worked like a charm for me. You like jerking off, I assume, right?”

I was a bit taken aback by the question, but as I would later learn, a Wall Street boardroom was no place for symbolic pleasantries. Words like shit and fuck and bastard and prick were as common as yes and no and maybe and please. I said, “Yeah, I, uh, love jerking off. I mean, what guy doesn’t, right?”

He nodded, almost relieved. “Good, that’s real good. Jerking off is key. And I also strongly recommend the use of drugs, especially cocaine, because that’ll make you dial faster, which is good for me.” He paused, as if searching for more words of wisdom, but apparently came up short. “Well, that’s about it,” he said. “That’s all the knowledge I can impart to you now. You’ll do fine, rookie. One day you’ll even look back at this and laugh; that much I can promise you.” He smiled once more and then took a seat before his own phone.

A moment later a buzzer sounded, announcing that the market had just opened. I looked at my Timex watch, purchased at JCPenney for fourteen bucks last week. It was nine-thirty on the nose. It was May 4, 1987, my first day on Wall Street. Just then, over the loudspeaker, came the voice of LF Rothschild’s sales manager, Steven Schwartz. “Okay, gentlemen. The futures look strong this morning, and serious buying is coming in from Tokyo.” Steven was only thirty-eight years old, but he’d made over $2 million last year. (Another Master of the Universe.) “We’re looking at a ten-point pop at the open,” he added, “so let’ s hit the phones and rock and roll!”

And just like that the room broke out into pandemonium. Feet came flying off desktops; Wall Street Journals were filed away in garbage cans; shirtsleeves were rolled up to the elbows; and one by one brokers picked up their phones and started dialing. I picked up my own phone and started dialing too.

Within minutes, everyone was pacing about furiously and gesticulating wildly and shouting into their black telephones, which created a mighty roar. It was the first time I’d heard the roar of a Wall Street boardroom, which sounded like the roar of a mob. It was a sound I’d never forget, a sound that would change my life forever. It was the sound of young men engulfed by greed and ambition, pitching their hearts and souls out to wealthy business owners across America.

“Miniscribe’ s a fucking steal down here,” screamed a chubbyfaced yuppie into his telephone. He was twenty-eight, and he had a raging coke habit and a gross income of $600,000. “Your broker in West Virginia? Christ! He might be good at picking coal-mining stocks, but it’s the eighties now. The name of the game is hightech!”

“I got fifty thousand July Fifties!” screamed a broker, two desks over.

“They’re out of the money!” yelled another.

“I’m not getting rich on one trade,” swore a broker to his client.

“Are you kidding?” snapped Scott into his headset. “After I split my commission with the firm and the government I can’t put Puppy Chow in my dog’s bowl!”

Every so often a broker would slam his phone down in victory and then fill out a buy ticket and walk over to a pneumatic tubing system that had been affixed to a support column. He would stick the ticket in a glass cylinder and watch it get sucked up into the ceiling. From there, the ticket made its way to the trading desk on the other side of the building, where it would be rerouted to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for execution. So the ceiling had been lowered to make room for the tubing, and it seemed to bear down on my head.

By ten o’clock, Mark Hanna had made three trips to the support column, and he was about to make another. He was so smooth on the phone that it literally boggled my mind. It was as if he were apologizing to his clients as he ripped their eyeballs out. “Sir, let me say this,” Mark was saying to the chairman of a Fortune 500 company. “I pride myself on finding the bottom of these issues. And my goal is not only to guide you into these situations but to guide you out as well.” His tone was so soft and mellow that it was almost hypnotic. “I’ d like to be an asset to you for the long term; to be an asset to your business–and to your family.”

Two minutes later Mark was at the tubing system with a quartermillion-dollar buy order for a stock called Microsoft. I’d never heard of Microsoft before, but it sounded like a pretty decent company. Anyway, Mark’s commission on the trade was $3,000. I had seven dollars in my pocket.

By twelve o’clock I was dizzy, and I was starving. In fact, I was dizzy and starving and sweating profusely. But, most of all, I was hooked. The mighty roar was surging through my very innards and resonating with every fiber of my being. I knew I could do this job. I knew I could do it just like Mark Hanna did it, probably even better. I knew I could be smooth as silk.

To my surprise, rather than taking the building’s elevator down to the lobby and spending half my net worth on two frankfurters and a Coke, I now found myself ascending to the penthouse with Mark Hanna standing beside me. Our destination was a five-star restaurant called Top of the Sixes, which was on the forty-first floor of the office building. It was where the elite met to eat, a place where Masters of the Universe could get blitzed on martinis and exchange war stories.

The moment we stepped into the restaurant, Luis, the maître d’, bum-rushed Mark, shaking his hand violently and telling him how wonderful it was to see him on such a glorious Monday afternoon. Mark slipped him a fifty, which caused me to nearly swallow my own tongue, and Luis ushered us to a corner table with a fabulous view of Manhattan’s Upper West Side and the George Washington Bridge.

Mark smiled at Luis and said, “Give us two Absolut martinis, Luis, straight up. And then bring us two more in”–he looked at his thick gold Rolex watch–“exactly seven and a half minutes, and then keep bringing them every five minutes until one of us passes out.”

Luis nodded. “Of course, Mr. Hanna. That’ s an excellent strategy.” I smiled at Mark, and said, in a very apologetic tone, “I’m sorry, but I, uh, don’t drink.” Then I turned to Luis. “You could just bring me a Coke. That’ll be fine.”

Luis and Mark exchanged a look, as if I’d just committed a crime. But all Mark said was, “It’s his first day on Wall Street; give him time.”

Luis looked at me, compressed his lips, and nodded gravely. “That’s perfectly understandable. Have no fear; soon enough you’ll be an alcoholic.”

Mark nodded in agreement. “Well said, Luis, but bring him a martini anyway, just in case he changes his mind. Worse comes to worst, I’ll drink it myself.”

“Excellent, Mr. Hanna. Will you and your friend be eating today or just imbibing?”

What the fuck was Luis talking about? I wondered. It was a rather ridiculous question, considering it was lunchtime! But to my surprise, Mark told Luis that he would not be eating today, that only I would, at which point Luis handed me a menu and went to fetch our drinks. A moment later I found out exactly why Mark wouldn’t be eating, when he reached into his suit-jacket pocket, pulled out a coke vial, unscrewed the top, and dipped in a tiny spoon. He scooped out a sparkling pile of nature’s most powerful appetite suppressant–namely, cocaine–and he took a giant snort up his right nostril. Then he repeated the process and Hoovered one up his left.

I was astonished. Couldn’t believe it! Right here in the restaurant! Among the Masters of the Universe! Out of the corner of my eye I glanced around the restaurant to see if anyone had noticed. Apparently no one had, and, in retrospect, I’m sure that they wouldn’t have given a shit anyway. After all, they were too busy getting whacked on vodka and scotch and gin and bourbon and whatever dangerous pharmaceuticals they had procured with their wildly inflated paychecks.

“Here you go,” said Mark, passing me the coke vial. “The true ticket on Wall Street; this and hookers.”

Hookers?
That struck me as odd. I mean, I’d never even been to one! Besides, I was in love with a girl I was about to make my wife. Her name was Denise, and she was gorgeous–as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. The chances of me cheating on her were less than zero. And as far as the coke was concerned, well, I’d done my share of partying in college, but it had been a few years since I’d touched anything other than pot. “No thanks,” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed. “The stuff doesn’t really agree with me. It makes me . . . uh . . . nuts. Like I can’t sleep or eat, and I . . . uh . . . well, I start worrying about everything. It’s really bad for me. Really evil.”

“No problem,” he said, taking another blast from the vial. “But I promise you that cocaine can definitely help you get through the day around here!” He shook his head and shrugged. “It’s a fuckedup racket, being a stockbroker. I mean, don’t get me wrong: The money’s great and everything, but you’re not creating anything, you’re not building anything. So after a while it gets kinda monotonous.” He paused, as if searching for the right words. “The truth is we’re nothing more than sleazoid salesmen. None of us has any idea what stocks are going up! We’re all just throwing darts at a board and, you know, churning and burning. Anyway, you’ll figure all this out soon enough.”

We spent the next few minutes sharing our backgrounds. Mark had grown up in Brooklyn, in the town of Bay Ridge, which was a pretty tough neighborhood from what I knew of it. “Whatever you do,” he quipped, “don’t go out with a girl from Bay Ridge. They’re all fucking crazy!” Then he took another blast from his coke vial and added, “The last one I went out with stabbed me with a fuckingpencil while I was sleeping! Can you imagine?”

Just then a tuxedoed waiter came over and placed our drinks on the table. Mark lifted his twenty-dollar martini and I lifted my eight-dollar Coke. Mark said, “Here’s to the Dow Jones going straight to five thousand!” We clinked glasses. “And here’s to your career on Wall Street!” he added. “May you make a bloody fortune in this racket and maintain just a small portion of your soul in the process!” We both smiled and then clinked glasses again.

In that very instant if someone told me that in just a few short years I would end up owning the very restaurant I was now sitting in and that Mark Hanna, along with half the other brokers at LF Rothschild would end up working for me, I would have said they were crazy. And if someone told me that I would be snorting lines of cocaine off the bar in this very restaurant, while a dozen highclass hookers looked on in admiration, I would say that they had lost their fucking mind.

But that would be only the beginning. You see, at that very moment there were things happening away from me–things that had nothing to do with me–starting with a little something called portfolio insurance, which was a computer-driven stock-hedging strategy that would ultimately put an end to this raging bull market and send the Dow Jones crashing down 508 points in a single day. And, from there, the chain of events that would ensue would be almost unimaginable. Wall Street would close down business for a time, and the investment-banking firm of LF Rothschild would be forced to shut its doors. And then the insanity would take hold. What I offer you now is a reconstruction of that insanity–a satirical reconstruction–of what would turn out to be one of the wildest rides in Wall Street history. And I offer it to you in a voice that was playing inside my head at that very time. It’s an ironic voice, a glib voice, a self-serving voice, and, at many times, a despicable voice. It’s a voice that allowed me to rationalize anything that stood in my way of living a life of unbridled hedonism. It’s a voice that helped me corrupt other people–and manipulate them–and bring chaos and insanity to an entire generation of
young Americans.

I grew up in a middle-class family in Bayside, Queens, where words like nigger and spick and wop and chink were considered the dirtiest of words–words that were never to be uttered under any circumstances. In my parents’ household, prejudices of any sort were heavily discouraged; they were considered the mental processes of inferior beings, of unenlightened beings. I have always felt this way: as a child, as an adolescent, and even at the height of the insanity. Yet dirty words like that would come to slip off my tongue with remarkable ease, especially as the insanity took hold. Of course, I would rationalize that out too–telling myself that this was Wall Street and, on Wall Street, there’s no time for symbolic pleasantries or societal niceties.

Why do I say these things to you? I say them because I want you to know who I really am and, more importantly, who I’m not. And I say these things because I have two children of my own, and I have a lot to explain to them one day. I’ll have to explain how their lovable dad, the very dad who now drives them to soccer games and shows up at their parent—teacher conferences and stays home on Friday nights and makes them Caesar salad from scratch, could have been such a despicable person once.

But what I sincerely hope is that my life serves as a cautionary tale to the rich and poor alike; to anyone who’s living with a spoon up their nose and a bunch of pills dissolving in their stomach sac; or to any person who’s considering taking a God-given gift and misusing it; to anyone who decides to go to the dark side of the force and live a life of unbridled hedonism. And to anyone who thinks there’s anything glamorous about being known as a Wolf of Wall Street.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“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


From the Hardcover edition.

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I'll have to say that the book, while a testament to egocentricity and excess, was much more human than the movie. The movie also did invent/adapt a few things for cinematic purposes.

While initially you feel the main character, Jordan, to be apologetic, the story seems to be told with a lot of pride and embellishment. As autobiographical, this make me feel the author and thus the story are at least in part inauthentic.

Curiosity led me to purchase and read, I didn't regret the read. I think knowing what to expect, I was not disappointed.
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Par Taieb le 2 septembre 2011
Format: Broché
Pour tout dire, je me suis arrêté au trois quart... et pourtant je suis ami avec Jordan sur Facebook. Il faut vraiment préférer "Finance Connection", qui lui est passionnant et financièrement plus juste et précis (financièrement entendre monde financier).
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Par Lady Lama TOP 500 COMMENTATEURSMEMBRE DU CLUB DES TESTEURS le 16 juillet 2009
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
J'avais acheté ce livre suite à une bonne critique dans un magazine et j'ai été très déçue.
Le livre m'est tombé des mains. L'histoire se passe dans le milieu de la finance, comme dans American Psycho. Je pense que j'ai tellement aimé le bouquin de Bret Easton Ellis que je ne pouvais que voir les défauts de ce livre : écriture passe partout, histoire plus faiblarde (OK, celle-ci est une sorte d'autobiographie...) et surtout "héros" pathétique. Quant aux personnages secondaires, ils apparaissent complètement caricaturaux.
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Par Smugglers le 25 janvier 2014
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Les premieres pages sont passionnantes et puis c'est tout . Des longueurs de description de la maison, des pseudo sentiments des personnages : lassant . . .
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HASH(0x9b16b360) étoiles sur 5 Well, At Least He Loves Himself 25 novembre 2007
Par Rick Spell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
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.
96 internautes sur 117 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9b17cf84) étoiles sur 5 Rich and dysfunctional 22 septembre 2008
Par Ilya Grigorik - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The even split between 1-start and 5-star reviews is very telling - you'll either love it or hate it, there seems to be very few in between. In short, the book is an over the top, fast paced, recount of non-stop drug abuse, sex, money laundering schemes, and stock manipulation. About halfway through the book I had to go online to confirm that this is, in fact, a non-fiction work - it reads more like a thriller.

If you're looking for stock market know-how, this is not the book that will teach you that, albeit the "chop stock" machinations on top of which Belfort built his empire are definitely an interesting historical artifact. Instead, this is a great tale of the lifestyle of the "rich and dysfunctional".

If you suspend your sense of reality, it is actually a quiet engaging book. Albeit personally, I am still shell-shocked from the thought that Belfort has lived and survived through all this.
130 internautes sur 160 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9b185474) étoiles sur 5 A fictional non-fiction story 12 janvier 2008
Par Enroh T Tam - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9b185174) étoiles sur 5 Someday this will book will have value... 7 décembre 2007
Par Bukowski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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. 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.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9b18584c) étoiles sur 5 A study in criminal psychology and drug addiction 6 janvier 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
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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