Monday, 12 January 2015

I Read...The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

Similar to Something Real, The Wolf of Wall Street was a book that sat on my night stand, partially read, for quite some time.  While I enjoyed the book, I think that my first mistake was that I only picked it up after watching the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

In case you are unfamiliar with the story, this memoir follows Jordan Belfort as he tells about the crazy life that he led as the CEO of investment firm Stratton Oakmont.  While the firm made instant millionaires of its employees, Jordan blew his money on drugs, sex, and an extravagant lifestyle.  The over-the-top stories are better than fiction, and if Belfort is being truthful when he says that, if anything, he toned down the truth for the book, it is hard to imagine a more hedonistic existence than his.

As an escapist read, this is an interesting book.  If you are interested in reading about an over-the-top life of someone who has never heard the word "no," this is worth picking up.  I think that this will be especially interesting to young males who can, temporarily, put themselves in Jordan's (very expensive) shoes.  That said, Jordan is anything but a likable character.  His cockiness and lack of care for others leaves you waiting for him to get his comeuppance.  I also found that the stories of debauchery began to wear on me.  Belfort's writing is rather limited, so the stories can blend into one another.  This might be the strength of the movie over the book- the visual aspect allows the viewer to clearly differentiate the stories from one another, and I found that this helped the flow of the story as a whole.

Food for Thought... what are your thoughts on film adaptations of novels?  Are there any standouts?  Have you ever come across a film adaptation that you liked better than the novel?

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