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Gary Wolcott’s “The Wolf Of…” Starts With a Wimper

In response to Gary Wolcott’s 328‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Tri-City Herald

By ,

Given the way “The Wolf of Wall Street: A financial flick that won’t steal your hard-earned ticket money” begins, one can’t help but wonder if author Gary Wolcott is biting off more than he can chew.  

Wolcott’s opening statements assume far too much regarding the premise, and fails to back up those theories with valid evidence. This shows not only poor form, but it is misleading and counterproductive to the reader’s interests. After all, how can the reader make an informed decision when the merits are flawed?

Those who are undeterred by the above will, thankfully, find the remainder of the piece a thoroughly engaging romp through the mind’s eye of the author. He sizes up his subject with great care and meticulously picks it apart like a relentless prosecuting attorney. Determined to deliver his assessment to the masses, he engages the audience with clever word-play, pivotal plot embellishments and poignant supporting arguments that, in stark opposition to the opening rhetoric, actually hold water. What it all amounts to is an engaging, entertaining piece that scores faster than a stock broker with Martha Stewart’s financial adviser.

Fortunately, the piece doesn’t fall prey to the same trappings, nor to the fleeting success of his subject’s protagonist. He manages to avoid resorting to over-explanation and bias rhetoric, while still retaining the same passionate intrigue throughout. He keeps the lyrical leer jet of his synopsis level as he glides smoothly through the turubulant exhaust of his peer’s offerings. And he brings it all home with an entirely satisfying conclusion that is as beautifully wrapped as a Tiffany’s engagement ring. All of these attributes deliver a thrilling and enjoyable rush without the nasty withdrawal symptoms.  

Alas, if only Wolcott’s aim was as true at the outset as it becomes throughout the rest of “The Wolf of…”, this could be a delicious gourmet meal of a tome instead of merely an exquisite main course preceded by a so-so appetizer. Hopefully, the audience will be hungry enough to stay through the entire meal.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation