Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wall Street (novel) by Kenneth Lipper

Wall Street is a novelisation of the movie Wall Street (1987) which is an iconic 80s movies. I bought this book from a charity shop for a dollar. My washing machine had broken down at the time and while my laundry was whirling away at the Laundromat, I browsed the charity shop looking for second hand books.

I have not watched the movie but I know the movie summed up 80s work culture, a time of power dressing, status seeking and the pursuit of wealth. The story is about a young stockbroker named Bud Fox who yearns to be a big shot especially when he sees Gordon Gecko, dubbed Gecko the Great by the media arrive at a club, in a flashy car with babe in tow.

Gordon Gecko is a ruthless corporate raider who buys companies and liquidates them. The only thing he cares about is making money, he doesn’t care that hundreds of people lose their jobs because of him. Gecko decides to take in Buddy because he reminds him of when he was young and ambitious. Buddy learns about insider trading which is gathering private information about companies in order to make deals that benefit you. Buddy learns to spy on people and manipulate them to become rich and successful. It is only when Buddy realises that one of his plans will hurt his loved ones that he learns that he has become a villain.

I thought this movie tie-in book was a good one. Most of the time, novelizations that tie-in with movies are hastily written and not very good. A good movie novel gives more insight into the story expressing in words what is hard to show visually. In the Wall Street book, you get to read what the characters are thinking and their backgrounds which help you to understand their motives.

I found this book interesting even though I don’t have an interest in business. I liked it more for the cultural references to the 80s. I liked reading about what the characters wore, the technology they used and what they did for fun. The 80s is my favourite decade.  I like the vibrant make up, big hair, shoulder pad fashions and brick sized cell phones and arcade machines. I think people were enthusiastic and hopeful during that time.

I’m going to watch the movie and the sequel Wall Street: Money never sleeps (2010). I’m sure I will like it. I hope you give the movie or book a go.


  1. The 1980s were an interesting time to grow up. Here in the U.S. they were probably defined to me largely by Ronald Regan's "Reagonomics", Glastnost, The Challenger Disaster and Pop music. Not to reduce it to those events, that's just what comes foremost to my mind. I saw Wall Street when I was a little kid, so I'm not sure how much I could appreciate it at that age. It's interesting that the book was written as an adaptation after the movie. I've never read a book like that to my recollection.

    1. What is Glastnost? There are plenty of tie-in movie books available, they are mostly for children's movies. For example, the Disney movies but there are some adult ones as well. The adult ones are mostly from the sci fi genre, they have a lot of novelisations and companion books.

    2. haha... well let's see if I can remember this without looking it up. >.< Detente was the "easing of tensions" between the United States and the Soviet Union and Glastnost(I can't recall the exact definition or translation) was a kind of "peace movement" which acted as the extention of an "olive branch" by Mikhail Gorbachev to President Regan, in an effort to end the nuclear arms race with America and to begin the disarmerment of nuclear weapons? Maybe someone can help me out here. Ultimately though it marked a decided change in the Cold War politics that gripped the U.S.A. and Soviet Union for the better part of four decades.

    3. Okies. >.< I looked it up. Glastnost MORE specifically was a policy institued by Gorbachev (affectionately known as Gorby in the U.S.A.) that called for openess and transparency in the Soveit Union's governmental institutions. THANK YOU WIKIPEDIA Ultimately that fostered a greater level of trust between the United States and Soviet Union which began the period of detente. =)

  2. My father had this on DVD but I've only watched the sequel - didn't even know it was a novel!


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