As much as I enjoy fiction novels, there is something about reading a story that is true. Because you know that it has to be a really crazy story for it to be turned into a novel and sometimes a movie. And The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort is exactly that as you will see in our book review.
The Wolf of Wall Street: Summary
To give you a short summary, Jordan Belfort turned trading penny stocks into a lucrative business by breaking the law and making millions as a result. Belfort tells us his account of how he climbed to the top of Wall Street and how he ultimately ended up falling down and ending up in jail.
Many people may have seen the movie and yes, Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing. But he is acting a part. Unlike him, Belfort actually lived it. And his account is even crazier than the movie. Belford was living like he was in a movie with all the drugs, money, crime, and absurd and improbable rise to fame.
But like all Hollywood movies, the movie must end and end big. We hear Belfort’s account of how it all came crashing down and it is unbelievable. Belfort almost got away with it and would have to if it wasn’t for his drug addiction and a crazy childhood friend.
A lot of stereotypes that people have from Wall Street are proven right in this book. But in the end, we have to remember Belfort had humble beginnings and wanted to make a living. He stumbled onto a for-sure get quick scheme and could not say no.
The great thing about this novel is that we all get to decide if Belfort is fully to blame or the system in place. Belfort is not the first person to abuse the rules of Wall Street but his braggadocios nature and recklessness made the FBI take action. Hearing his account sheds light on what goes on Wall Street and makes for a great read at the same time.
Like many people, I saw the Martin Scorsese directed movie first and wanted to read more about Jordan Belfort. And I was glad I did because the movie isn’t fully accurate. The novel dives deeper into Belfort’s life and how he actually ended up losing it all.
It may not feel like one but this novel is an autobiography and a thrilling one at that. If you enjoy reading about real life stories, then this is a book you have to read. And if you are trying to read more about Belfort like I d id, then you will be pleased to pick up this novel.
16 thoughts on “The Wolf of Wall Street: Book Review”
I liked your review. I’d seen this but not watched it. I think I’ll buy it for my husband. He loves day trading and will understand what happened. I’ll see if the movie is on Netflix. Good job!
Thanks! For day trading insight and advice, Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book.
Unfortunately when it comes to books and Hollywood for a lot of books, Hollywood doesn’t stay true to the book. They use the book more as a guideline. To me that is completely insulting the author. If the author hadn’t written the book, Hollywood would have no movie to make a profit from .
Ashley – yes… and no!
As an author who has also adapted other authors for screenplays, the truth is that novels and movies are as different as (say) novels and musicals. What works for one won’t necessarily work in the other. In fact it often doesn’t. It’s actually impossible to stay true to the book. For example, if the book is written in the first person, a movie can’t be (yes, you can have voice over, but the camera is still impartial). A line in a novel that drops a subtle hint can become a loud clanger in spoken dialogue. Things simply work differently.
Screenwriter William Goldman writes about his adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Misery. He fought director Robert Reiner tooth and nail over changing a scene where the protagonists feet were cut off to merely breaking his ankles. When he saw the final cut, he agreed Reiner was right – what worked on the page was simply too graphic for the screen.
The moral lies in the old advice to adapt bad books not good ones,. Nobody cares if you mutilate what was a stinker in the first place!
Thanks for the review, Ahaqir. Haven’t seen the movie or read the book. May have to do both now.
Definitely recommend it!
Very interesting review. I’d seen the film and now I feel I need to read the book. Thank you for posting.
The book has much more stuff and isn’t changed to fit the script so definitely recommend!
I really enjoyed the Wolf of Wall Street film. Your review served as a bright reminder of Belfort’s story, and how unknowingly interested I still am in reading his book.
I should just read his book.
Okay, I’m gonna do it…
Glad I could help. It’s a fun crazy story that is a bit different from the movie
Hello there. Thank you so much for taking a look at my book review–Einstein. Great book. I am now a “frequent flyer” to your web site also. I love reading and if that could be a full-time job it would be great with me. Take care. Bob J.