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The End of Normal

Narrated by: Stephanie Madoff Mack
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through - and survived - both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.

When the news of Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme broke, Americans were shocked and outraged, perhaps none more so than the unsuspecting members of his own family. After learning that their father's legendarily successful wealth management company was "all just one big lie", Mark and Andrew Madoff turned their father in and cut off all communication with both parents.

Mark and his wife, Stephanie, strove to make a fresh start for the sake of their two young children, but Mark could not overcome his sense of betrayal and shame - he and other family members were sued for $200 million in October of 2009. He hung himself on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. Left to raise her children as a single mother, Stephanie wrote this memoir to give them a sense of who their father really was, defend his innocence, and put her personal statement on record once and for all.

In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark on Nantucket, what it was really like to be a part of the Madoff family, the build-up to Bernard's confession, and the media frenzy that followed. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew, adjusting to life with a man she hardly recognized anymore, and the tragic and final loss of her husband.

©2011 Stephanie Madoff Mack (P)2011 Penguin

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Profile Image for Curatina
  • Curatina
  • 23-11-11

Somewhat interesting, but dreadful narration

Unfortunately, the author chose to narrate the book. Her voice is nasal and annoying.

I will give the author credit for not making herself a heroine. She comes across as a very difficult person who behaves selfishly many times.

The book presents a skewed view on the exposure of Bernie Madoff. This author flatly says that the two sons exposed their father, but other accounts I have read of the affair have described the investigation differently.

One does develop a sympathy for Mark Madoff and the sad end to his life, but other than gaining insight into the what propelled him to take his own life, the book does not add much information to what is already known. Most everyone in it, including the author, appear to be rather shallow, mean, and materialistic.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ado
  • 25-10-11

Madoff's family values

I was disgusted most of the time listening to this story, yet it was so engaging and such a good testimony to the Madoff's family values. Son reporting his father's crime to the authorities and cutting off all the ties with his mother when she is in distress... Is not family all about unconditional love and support, no matter how bad the crime is or how devastating the impact? The attempt to convince the readers/listeners that the sons had no idea is laughable. Of course they knew, or suspected but chose not to admit to themselves. Being a part of the family and the business for 20+ years and not suspecting that numbers don't add up - impossible. The complains about the hardship of the life afterwards are ridiculous - how many Americans can pay several thousands to be able to run the marathon? Or hire a team of lawyers? Nothing in this story made me sympathetic, but it was very interesting to hear another side of the story, from a family member.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Gloria Flint
  • 24-10-11

Incredibly revealing!

I couldn't stop listening. When I hear news story's I always wonder what the reports don't show. This audio show's part of what the media didn't show us. Good Luck to you Stephanie Madoff Mack.

8 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Beje
  • Beje
  • 13-04-14

Haunting, At Best

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I have recommended the book to a friend but with a huge caveat.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was already well known, so there were not any surprises. It was sad, of course. In most cases, loss of life is not a victory.

What didn’t you like about Stephanie Madoff Mack’s performance?

I believe that narrating her book was therapeutic for Stephanie. As for me, I didn't need the co-therapy and would have enjoyed a professional narrator.

Do you think The End of Normal needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I personally would not purchase a follow up book. I'm through. Too much therapy for my liking.

Any additional comments?

Stephanie's attempt to portray herself as a penniless Cinderella is not believable and collides with her admission that an attorney was hired to protect her assets. If she didn't have any assets in the beginning of the marriage and her husband/father-in-law did not funnel dirty money to her during the marriage, what assets were in need of protection? She was quite angry toward Ruth as she did not immediately sever ties to her husband of 50+ years. According to Stephanie's perspective, Ruth was blinded by denial surrounding Bernie, the crook. However, Stephanie exhibits the same characteristics in her relationship with her husband, whom she claims was a mere innocent bystander, as well as victim, of the tragedy caused by his father. It was hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the poor rich kids who had become adults. There are too many unacknowledged questions which Stephanie chose to leave alone. I will add that I appreciate the review by another reader who said the story was troubling on many levels. It is and that is very accurate. I continue to be bothered by what I learned -- and did not learn -- through this book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Naturalbohemian
  • 25-10-11

Everything is disturbing about this book...

...the story, the authors point of view and behavior,(the previous reviews :) -- and yet, I still listened to the entire book and found it interesting.

7 people found this helpful

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  • meg
  • 01-11-11

literally... don't judge a book by it's cover

Didn't expect this...
I loved the book and fell in love with Stephanie. I felt like she could be one of my friends and was sharing her story girlfriend to girlfriend. I actually looked forward to walking my dog, so I could hear more. Her story is brutally honest and raw. My heart aches for her and for the journey ahead.
I had my preconceived notions and judgments about the family, which I feel badly about now. The media twists things and distorts them, without proof, quite frequently. (Especially in our sensationalized 24/7 news ticker/ diarrhea blogosphere world.) Why did I buy into their opinion of the Madoff brothers? Regardless of your opinion about innocence and guilt... her story as a wife and mother deserves to be heard. Mark's story deserves to be heard.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Cookie
  • 26-10-11

What a tragedy

When your very name becomes a swear word.
When this crime came to light, it was very easy to relate to the victims, but I never even thought about the family as victims. This book serves it's author's purpose as a eulogy
to her husband, Mark Madoff. It is a little uneven and some sections are repetitive. But in grief things do tend to go around and around.
For the most part the story is well written, giving details of a very charmed life. Just a beautiful happy family, good jobs, precious children, lovely homes, the American dream, until the day it was just torn apart. Stephanie has written from the heart (and not always to her own credit) about how one begins to cope or not when the the worst has happened and then continues to happen, in public and there is nothing you can control at all. Stephanie does an incredible job reading her own story.

Well worth the listen.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Julia
  • Julia
  • 17-08-17

A Tale Of Total Dysfunction

Stephanie Madoff Mack's husband is recently departed. The Madoff business is destroyed and the family is a hot bed of hate. However there are still family parties, plenty of shopping plus trips to the theatre and spinning classes!

If I was a member of the Madoff clan I would be furious as no-one came out looking good with the exception of this book's author. This family was filled with jealousy and anger before and after Bernie Madoff's downfall.

This is not a memoir, more of a expose. I have absolutely no idea who was guiding this author but they did a poor job. WHO ON EARTH SUGGESTED THAT SHE SHOULD NARRATE THIS BOOK? Good grief, all I can so is "No, No, No".

With that being said I do feel compassion for Stephanie Madoff Mack as her description of her husband's suicide is heartbreaking.

In retrospect, and this is just a thought, perhaps this book would well be worth a second listen with a new narrator.



1 person found this helpful

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  • J. C.
  • 01-09-16

Riveting story of a family disaster

After Bernie Madoff became the most hated man in the world and by extension his sons were considered that too, the brothers created a rift between them when they should have stuck together. The narration was great as it was read by the author herself and she doesn't hesitate to reveal her feelings! Her husband is just as bad when it comes to dealing with a family crisis. He gave his mother an ultimatum either to divorce Madoff or he would never speak to her. The author handles her anger against her husband by smashing his iPhone. The author is very demanding in her life, but she wrote a good book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • james
  • 11-06-15

Boring

Would you try another book from Stephanie Madoff Mack and/or Stephanie Madoff Mack?

NO

What was most disappointing about Stephanie Madoff Mack’s story?

It was all about her.... And her life was boring!!!

How could the performance have been better?

Couldn't have because the material was all about her life, which is not interesting

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The End of Normal?

none

Any additional comments?

Needed to be a lot more about Bernie and Ruth and what they were actually like and how they behaved with family and friends. Instead it was about Stephanie trying desperately to make the reader believe her husband had nothing to do with the embezzlement scheme of Bernie's.

1 person found this helpful