After serving time in federal minimum-security prison for stock fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes, Belfort offers another coarse, lively text as a companion to The Wolf of Wall Street (2007).
That unsavory bestseller chronicled the rise of a cocky thief who actually operated a bucket shop in Long Island, not lower Manhattan. This is about his fall. It’s also about money and sex, featuring erotic histrionics and rancid uxorious relations. The language is still nasty, the braggadocio intact. No lovable scamp, Belfort remains cunning and vainglorious, frequently mentioning the cost of his clothing and his furniture, sneering at the cheap shoes and Bic lighters of his federal captors. After all, he once had the mansions, the yacht, the money. But he confessed and became a cooperating informant. He ratted on friends and thieving comrades. He wore a wire. His new memoir is graphic, at once lowdown and over-the-top. Included is the collapse of his second marriage to “the Duchess of Bay Ridge,” a classic trophy wife he had bugged for his own reasons. He got engaged to Miss Soviet Union. He dallied with a “self-proclaimed Jewish blow-job queen” and dabbled in what he calls “model-mongering.” He jumped bail and broke his cooperation agreement by taking an ill-fated trip to Atlantic City with an underage “model.” Withal, his love for his two children remained. In reward for his cooperation he served less than two years. In the Big House he bunked with Tommy Chong, who guided him in the craft of authorship. Chong, whose sincere, flaky memoir (The I Chong, 2006) is half as long as his student’s, apparently forgot to impart the rule of Less is More.
Still a hustler, still a salesman—and also a hell of a writer.