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Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family

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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  338 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
In December 2008, the world watched as master financier Bernard L. Madoff was taken away from his posh Manhattan apartment in handcuffs, accused of swindling thousands of innocent victims-including friends and family-out of billions of dollars in the world's largest Ponzi scheme. Madoff went to jail; he will spend the rest of his life there. But what happened to his ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 31st 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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CD
Dec 25, 2011 CD rated it it was ok
An only moderately well written self serving personal/first person account of the greatest Ponzi scheme in history.

Remarkably unapologetic for the most part and not overly complementary of any of the players. One or two even come off as 'bad guys' and they didn't have anything to do with the main action.

There are a few tidbits and maybe hints of insight into the life and behavior of patriarch Bernie that might tell us something. It is doubtful. Bernard appears to always have been living pretty m
...more
Dianne
Mar 25, 2016 Dianne rated it really liked it
Biographies of famous men and women often give us insight into possible consequences of illegal or immoral actions by a family member. The family is a system and when a system goes haywire everyone gets hurt. In this case one goes to prison and one hangs himself. There are many aspects of the Wall Street lifestyle which are illuminated here: first is the Ponzi scheme, the planned destruction of the lives of ones closest friends, another is adulterous affairs which is also the cause of the ...more
Ann Marie
Jan 12, 2012 Ann Marie rated it liked it
In December 2008, Bernie Madoff, once considered a premiere fancier, was arrested for the largest ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Although the country had in recent history witnessed several massive corporate fraud cases as the economy spiraled downward and, in some respects, wasn’t surprised by another, somehow the Madoff scandal was different. The reason was Madoff’s family. The two men who walked in that day and reported Maddoff to the authorities weren’t disgruntled investors. They were ...more
Caillean
May 24, 2015 Caillean rated it liked it
Shelves: current-events
A non-lurid, non-sensationalized account of the intricacies and quirks of the Madoff family dynamics both between Ruth and Bernie but also between Andrew and Mark and their respective wives/ex-wives/partners. If the book weren't so unabashed in its biased presentation of Catherine Hooper (Andrew Madoff's fiancee)'s side of the story, it might have been much more compelling. But as such, it felt like a paean to the resourceful, witty, strong, gorgeous Catherine Hooper, mostly because the author ...more
Judy Nadler
Jan 21, 2013 Judy Nadler rated it did not like it
This is a book about Catherine Hooper (the girlfriend of Bernard Madoff's son Andrew), her incredible brilliance, resourcefulness, and all around "fabulousness". The narrator reads the story with the breathiness appropriate for a romance novel when talking anything Catherine. Her tone changes to one of utter disgust whenever discussing Mark (Bernard Madoff's other son who committed suicide) or Mark's widow Stephanie. I guess the narrator was directed to do so because Catherine's doesn't like ...more
Jeannine
Mar 16, 2014 Jeannine rated it did not like it
If the intention of this book was to generate sympathy for the family, all it succeeded in doing was make this bunch look pathetic. Then again, maybe they just needed some cash. And the writing was quite amateurish.
K
Feb 28, 2012 K rated it liked it
There probably were very few people who didn’t vilify Bernard L. Madoff in December 2008 when it was learned that he and his Bernard L. Madoff Securities Investment LLC had swindled thousands of people, including family, friends, small businesses and non-profits, out of over $55 million in a great Ponzi scheme. And that included his two sons and his wife, at least originally.

Through the eyes of one surviving son, Andrew, his fiancé Catherine Hooper, plus Bernie’s wife Ruth we follow their lives
...more
TC
Jul 14, 2012 TC rated it liked it
This book reconstructs conversations and at time reads like a novel. It is primarily the story of Life with Bernie and Life After the Fall of Berne told from the perspective of his surviving son Andrew, Andrew's fiancé Catherine, and Bernie's wife of fifty years, Ruth. Unsurprisingly, they and the other people who participated in the author's interviews come across as very much victims of Bernie, their reputations unfairly ruined by an obsessive yet sloppy press and a vengeful public; and those ...more
K2 -----
Nov 08, 2011 K2 ----- rated it liked it
Although people have been hypercritical of this book I found it to be an interesting look at the interior workings of a wealthy family whose patriarch destroyed the financial lives of too many to count. Bernie Madoff was a man who charmed and swindled, who obviously have many of his own demons that came out in the way he interacted with his family throughout their time together and struck most outsiders as extremely odd.

Sandell, the book's author, is the daughter of a man who was not as he appe
...more
Laurie
Mar 06, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it
I think I would rather give this book a 3.5, but I'm not rounding up to a 4. First off, you should know that this is not the story of Bernie Madoff. It's the story of the people closest to him who got hurt in the aftermath of his arrest: his family. This is the story of his wife Ruth, his sons Andrew and Mark, and his daughters-in-law and grandkids. Their lives were uprooted and changed in the face of one man's betrayal. As author Laurie Sandell portrays them, these people were victims of Bernie ...more
Deborah
Oct 04, 2014 Deborah rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is what happens when people are well-connected, but not quite well connected enough to get the real story. Although Laurie Sandell did get access to Ruth and Andrew Madoff (a coup to be sure) - this book is a surface-level only visit inside the Madoff machine.

Lacking in virtually any numbers or factoids, the real gems of the book are the photographs. We see a family just like any East Coast family - in hazy shots going back to Ruth and Bernie's youth. I'll give my kudos to the author for ge
...more
Lynelle
Jan 21, 2012 Lynelle rated it it was amazing
This book was surprisingly great. Almost on a topic that I've never had much interest in, but really the author did a great job. I love journalists who write great novels and when their writing makes you think about them as they're doing their job. And what it might be like to be awesome like that one day right!! Yes! I am eager to read Laurie Sandell's first novel about her own life, and just as eager for her to write about the life of someone else. I was impressed. And as for the Madoff's. . . ...more
Jessica
Apr 26, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my shelf for a while now. Part of me was hesitant to read it. I felt like I was giving money to the Madoff family and therefore helping them out, and condoning the crime. Its hard to tell if this book is entirely true or partially tweaked but Andrew, Catherine and Ruth seem to be frank and honest in "Truth and Consequences" The book creates a mix of emotions you feel bad for them and the life they are living as a result of Bernie's crime. However I have met so many Madoff ...more
Alan Wang
Jan 11, 2016 Alan Wang rated it it was ok
I feel that the author has too close of a relationship with her interview subjects to write an impartial account of events. Even up until the day that Andrew Madoff died, authorities were still investigating him and his brother for ties to their father's ponzi scheme. Nevertheless this is still an interesting read. Provides perspective to how family members of a heinous criminal must react and cope with such an unfortunate situation.

Another reason I hate this book - I accidentally returned it t
...more
Todd Janko
Oct 03, 2012 Todd Janko rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auto-biography
I have always been interested in con-artists, especially good old Bernie Madoff (he's at a lower level than Ben Bernanke, but still it's a good read). This is an extremely well written book by Laurie Sandell, and you may even feel sorry for sorry for some of the family members. One thing I want to point out here, this really is not about Bernie Madoff, this is about his family and the after math of the whole 50 BILLION (yes billion) scam he had going on since the mid 80's. It's a sad story, one ...more
Stacy
Apr 17, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
Sad. Everything in this book is just...sad. Like Shakespearean-tragedy sad. Bernie Madoff - who shows little to NO remorse. When asked what would happen to their family and friends, who lost everything thanks to his Ponzi scheme? "They'll be fine."
No Bernie, they are not fine. They are broke, going back to work in the 70's, and completely devastated.
The family is torn apart - one son kills himself. Andrew and Ruth seem to be picking up the pieces but Ruth still hasn't left Bernie. Mark's wife a
...more
Kimberly
May 08, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
After an 8 hour shift at work, I sat down and read this book cover to cover, in one sitting, in a little over 5 hours.

I found the truth and honestly displayed in the book more than I thought would be present. Sandell goes through the family history, the tense and backhanded family interactions, the illogical thinking of Madoff senior and the ramifications of everyone involved in such an engaging manor that I felt I WANTED to finish the book in curiosity.

If you're curious about the inside of the
...more
Erin Varnado
Jan 20, 2013 Erin Varnado rated it really liked it
This book really opened my eyes to how much the Madoff family was vilified. It's really sad that they were held accountable for actions of their father/husband. Everyone has someone in their life that does things we don't agree with, but that doesn't mean we should be held responsible. The first half was a little difficult to get through as it sets up the history of the family. You really need to have an open mind to read this book though.
Wendy Gorringe
Mar 08, 2013 Wendy Gorringe rated it liked it
I found it to be an interesting look at the inner workings of a wealthy family whose father destroyed the financial lives of too many to count.It was written by a woman whose father was also not what he seemed and she wrote a book about her father called "The Imposters Daughter." I also read "The End of Normal" by another Madoff family member which gave a slightly different version of what happened.
Katy
Nov 07, 2011 Katy rated it it was ok
The writing feels hasty and unimaginative, and the subjects are almost universally unlikeable. Interesting mostly because of the shocking egocentrism and total lack of perspective it portrays--not of Madoff himself, who was not involved with the book, but of his family members, who are nearly all unable to perceive "consequences" for anyone but themselves. The younger son, Andrew, is the only one who comes out looking human. Not horrible, but not recommended for any but the morbidly curious.
Southerngal888
I found this book very interesting and well-written. It is supposed to be life inside the Madoff family from an outsider author but it did leave out big chunks such as the people who were affected by the actions of B. Madoff. The book tries to come across showing that the 2 sons who worked for B. Madoff were not knowledgable about the goings on of ripping off people friends family with the Ponzi scheme. Have you read it? I do like to read bios and historical type as well as fiction.
Rachel
Jan 07, 2016 Rachel rated it it was ok
The author does her best to convice you that the Madoff family (aside from Bernie) were just as much his victims as the people who lost everything because of his ponzi scheme. It's nearly impossible to feel sorry for them, and the author is a little too fawning over the son Andrew and his fiancee Catherine to be able to convince the reader otherwise.
Sarah
Jan 14, 2012 Sarah added it
I thought this book was excellent. I knew nothing about the Madoff family or the scandal surrounding them so it was very engrossing for me. The author handled the subject well and did a good job of focusing on how they all felt and saw the world. It made me feel sad for them because they were victims just like everyone else.
Caron
Aug 07, 2013 Caron rated it liked it
a good quick read. The author tries to gain sympathy for family members by providing evidence that the did not know what Bernie was up to. it is still hard to believe they did not have some inkling. Hard for those of us in the "real" world to understand squandering all that money and then ask for sympathy.
Jen
Dec 30, 2011 Jen rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. I didn't know much about the whole Madoff scandal until I read this book and I thought it was interesting. I liked the pictures that were in the book and helped me identify with the characters. I know that is was biased because it was mostly from Andrew and Catherine but I like it and read easily.
Tu
Jul 30, 2012 Tu rated it liked it
The story got me thinking a lot. Somehow it made me think of my dad who is not as horrible as Bernie but it wouldn't be too much to describe him as "incapable of being sincere" either. And I think if there was one thing I could learn from Andrew, that would be his strive/willingness to start over again and to never give up no matter what.
Lindz
Oct 13, 2015 Lindz rated it it was ok
It's hard to feel sorry for these people. It was interesting to get a look in on the narcissism. But the book was basically about how wonderful Catherine Hooper is and what a with Stephanie Madoff is. How can really blame Stephanie if she was thinking about getting a divorce. She tried to get mark to move on and he wouldn't.
Marilyn K
Jan 05, 2016 Marilyn K rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written book that shows how the actions we take in our lives can ruin the lives of others. I felt so badly for the family members and victims of this financial crime. They have suffered greatly and are continuing to suffer.
Pattybf
Feb 18, 2016 Pattybf rated it liked it
Written well. Reads like a novel. But was somewhat disappointing in that the story was primarily from Andrew's POV. A little lopsided, and pieces missing. Otherwise, an interesting take on some of the others who were affected.
Linda
Mar 03, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
If you watched the television drama about the fall of Bernie Madoff, this will be a fascinating follow-up, told to the author by Madoff's wife, surviving son, sister-in-law and the son's fiance'. It's a gripping account of what went down, what they knew or didn't, and how they're doing today.
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Laurie Sandell has written for Esquire, GQ, Glamour, Marie Claire and InStyle, among others, and has contributed cartoons to New York, Glamour, and the Wall Street Journal. Her first book, the graphic memoir The Impostor’s Daughter, was nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award. Her new book, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, was published by Little, Brown on October 31, 2011. She ...more
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