Published June 04, 2015 by

The Wolf of Wall street

Jordan Belfort has it all. He has a successful company, giant house, hot wife, big boat, and everything seems great on paper except that he obtained most of it illegally through stock manipulation. Jordan is also addicted to drugs, and his drug of choice is Quaaludes which he takes several times throughout the day. Although things are initially great for Jordan, his illegal tacts result in him having to leave his company and his drug use slowly become out of control until Jordan hits an all time low when he becomes addicted to cocaine.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a semi autobiographical book by Jordan Belfort of his time as a successful Wall Street broker and the life events which followed after leaving Wall Street. According to the first few pages some of the names and events have been changed, but it is mostly based off real life events and was turned into a movie starring Leonardo de Caprio in 2013.

Even though I had already seen the movie I still found the book interesting because it was written from a first person point of view, and it gave more insight into what Jordan was thinking during certain life events, and his own personal feelings towards his company, friends, children and wife.

One big difference between the book and the film is that the film was more of a chronological story which began from when Jordan was a stock broker and continued until the present day, whereas the book begins from where he has already established his company and ends when he is sent to jail. I much preferred the more chronological version of the story, but Jordan reflects on many past events during the book so it’s no too difficult to understand what happened in the past.

I also found his wife easier to sympathize with during the book. Although she obviously sticks to him because of his money, the book does highlight some of her more positive sides, and the author does express a lot of regret in regards to his treatment towards her over the years. The author also mentions in the last few pages that although divorced, they managed to maintain a good relationship which is also thought was quite positive.

There are also many other characters which do not feature in the film, and I feel like the movie also changed the order of certain events to make the movie easier to understand and more entertaining. For example, there was one scene in the movie where Jordan attempts to bribe and FBI agents on his boat, but in the book Jordan listens to the advice of his friends and never meets the agent until he shows up at Jordan’s house to arrest him. I feel like the movie producers may have changed their relationship to try and create an antagonist and add drama and suspense to the film.

The book also focuses more on some of Jordan’s less dramatic life events as well, such as the birth of his son and some of the interactions with his daughter. Half-way through the book he starts talking a lot more about his children, which didn’t feature as much during the film.

Jordan’s substance abuse is also one of the major themes throughout the book.  Although subtle and controllable at first, Jordan slowly begins taking so many drugs that it’s clear that it’s ruining his life. I feel as though he would have been able to remain more successful in business and possible keep his second wife is he hadn’t been addicted to so many different drugs. Jordan’s drug use also seems to control his life, and there is a scene where he almost dies on a boat, but seems more interested in retrieving his stash of drugs from below the deck. Many of Jordan’s friends are also drug addicts and also end up ruining their own lives as well.

Although Jordan is rich and successful, he still seems to have a lot to complain about which gives me the overall impression that no matter how successful and well off, he could be he would still have something to moan about and then go snort cocaine in his office. The way that he casually spends obscene amounts of money is a little stocking, and it seems a waste that he spent more of it on drugs.

I have to warn that the book does contain a lot of drug use, sex scenes, and is clearly targeted towards adults. There are also many scenes where he cheats on his wife, makes taking drugs look like fun, and the characters also drop the F word a lot, so I avoid reading the book or recommending it to anyone who would feel offended.

This book may also be more enjoyable for people who are interested in stocks and finance. There is a lot of stock and financial talk throughout the book, and I had to skip certain pages and chapters because I had no idea what they are talking about and it was beginning to bore me. I still found most of the story entertaining and I did feel compelled to read the book until the end, even though I already knew what was going to happen.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in stocks or finance, and it is a great tale of what money, power, and drugs can do to a person.

You can find the book and DVD on Amazon here.