Top critical review
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Saw the film first then read the book.
on 5 February 2014
I saw the film without having read the book. It was a fairly good film - typically Scorsese with the music selection and the cinematography although I thought it was a little too long. Di Caprio was very good, as were the supporting actors, many of whom I hadn't really seen before.
I instantly bought the Kindle of the edition and ploughed straight through it. To cut to the chase, it is the autobiography of a guy who makes his millions through a stock broking / investment banking set-up which was immoral at best and downright illegal at worst. I was hoping that it would be a rags-to-riches and back to rags sort of book and fill-in some of the blanks that you expect from a film. It was however somewhat missing - you get the drug abuse, parties, debauched behaviour by his peers and employees and the illegal trading, but you don't get the story of how it all happened - in fact it gavies less of a picture than the film, usually it is the other way around.
Many of the anecdotes from the film are included in the book but they tend to become a little tiring repeated time and time again. When he describes his Rolex or cars, parties, houses, conquests in the bedroom (or wherever it takes his fancy!) it is without any sort of irony or sense that it will wear thin to the reader. It doesn't feel that there is any remorse from the author for the lives that his company ruined by selling worthless stock, the pension funds that might have been hit etc.
I wouldn't suggest reading if easily offended due to the bad language it contains - it doesn't bother me but each to their own. Overall it was OK, perhaps as a tale of greed and debauchery it was interesting - not greatly written but if you enjoyed the film the chances are you might enjoy the book. I don't think passing a moral judgement of an individual is a valid category on which to judge a book - the 3 stars represent that is is an interesting read and I've not read any accounts of broker millionaires before, if I was to award a points based on the antagonist/protagonist Jordan Belfort it would be a 1 star!