Movies  •  Critics  •  About
Existimatum  >  Movies  >  The Wolf of Wall Street  >  Reviews  >  Charlotte Observer

Lawrence Toppman’s Rickety “‘Scorsese’s ‘Wolf’…’” Escapes a Nose Dive

In response to Lawrence Toppman’s 559‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Charlotte Observer 

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/24/4565279/scorseses-wolf-howls-at-excess.html#.UryIH_ZPmMF

By ,

As out of control as a power-hungry megalomaniac, Lawrence Toppman’s latest work, “Scorsese’s ‘Wolf’ howls at excess, embarrassingly, without a point”, starts weak, then earns respect, then hits the wall, then redeems itself gloriously in the end.

The impatient reader who judges a book by its cover may close this tome before even giving it a chance. The intro is, quite frankly, long-winded, pessimistic, and maybe even a little unfair. It is very apparent that the author is as reluctant to pursue his task as a conscientious investor advised to purposely ruin his client’s financial future. He leaves little room to budge on his stance, to the point that the remainder of the diatribe seems unnecessary. And while that remains true regarding the author’s consensus, for the reader who appreciates the journey as much as the destination, the night is still young.  

Indeed, this piece soon begins to pick up steam. And once it does, it charges onward like The Little Engine That Could. Cunning analogies, well-placed descriptives, vivid imagery and irresistibly infectious plot embellishments come one after another, and all but make one forget the sour taste of the intro. It engages the more adventurous reader and shows them a good time they won’t forget soon.

But all good things come to an end, and that is indeed the case here. Just as the author is making the most headway, his assessment falls flat. His narrative suddenly becomes monotonous and the supporting arguments no longer hold much water and dry up. It’s almost as if Toppman has used up every tool in his literary arsenal and has nothing left. And he seems to realize it too. He even resorts to redundancy, reiterating some of the more poignant points in hopes of rekindling the reader’s interest. Alas, all it does is reveal the author’s lack of ideas and suggest he should quit while behind.  

And then out of the blue, the author gets his second wind. The finale of this piece is one that explodes with fresh life before delivering a wholly conclusive and satisfying final assessment: one that is memorable long after the waning passages are perused.

Is it enough to salvage this piece from literary burnout? Only time will tell. But if history proves anything, it is that the public loves a comeback story. Lets hope that holds true for Toppman.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation