The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival

By Stanley N. Alpert
Read by Paul Michael Garcia

10.93 Hours 12/01/2009 unabridged
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On January 21, 1998, the night before his thirty-eighth birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert was kidnapped by a car full of gun-toting thugs. Hoping to make a large withdrawal with his ATM card, they took him, blindfolded, to a Brooklyn apartment, and improvised. All night, his captors alternately held guns to his head, threatened his family, engaged him in discussions of “gangsta” philosophy, sought his legal advice, and even offered him sexual favors from their prostitute girlfriends as a “birthday present.” As Alpert talked with them, played on their attitudes and fears, and memorized every detail he could, his law-enforcement colleagues launched a major police and FBI investigation that would take many strange twists and turns. Filled with immediacy, drama, and extraordinary characters, The Birthday Party reads like a thriller—but every word is true.

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Summary

Summary

A 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

On January 21, 1998, the night before his thirty-eighth birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert was kidnapped by a car full of gun-toting thugs. Hoping to make a large withdrawal with his ATM card, they took him, blindfolded, to a Brooklyn apartment, and improvised. All night, his captors alternately held guns to his head, threatened his family, engaged him in discussions of “gangsta” philosophy, sought his legal advice, and even offered him sexual favors from their prostitute girlfriends as a “birthday present.” As Alpert talked with them, played on their attitudes and fears, and memorized every detail he could, his law-enforcement colleagues launched a major police and FBI investigation that would take many strange twists and turns. Filled with immediacy, drama, and extraordinary characters, The Birthday Party reads like a thriller—but every word is true.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Alpert’s memoir is] well served by his litigator’s sense for dramatic pacing and telling detail. And throughout, Alpert wins over the reader the same way he did the kidnappers, with the force of his canny, self-assured, big-hearted personality.” New York Times Book Review
“[A] harrowing, often hilarious reconstruction of what should have been a garden-variety New York street crime…Precisely how this nebbishy Brooklyn boy, partial to peach-flavored Snapple iced tea and chocolate chip cookies, induced reverse Stockholm syndrome and maneuvered his way to freedom makes The Birthday Party one of the most exhilarating, improbable New York stories ever told.” New York Times
“Reading The Birthday Party is like watching a slow-motion train wreck—difficult to look at, but impossible to turn away from…The Birthday Party is a good read, but it is also an object lesson. We all need to pay attention to it.” Newsday
“Harrowing…Alpert delivers an unflinching look at the humiliating, terrifying role of the victim, lacing his plight with commentary on contemporary crime and the creaking judicial system. The second part reads as compellingly as the first and with every bit as much suspense. An effective, one-two punch of a memoir.” Booklist
“Tartly written…An honest, vivid chronicle of the suspenseful event.” Publishers Weekly
“Practically a textbook outlining how to behave in a similar situation. Stark and honest.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Stanley N. Alpert

Stanley N. Alpert served for thirteen years with the US Department of Justice as an assistant US attorney for the eastern district of New York, where he was chief of environmental litigation. There, he investigated, prosecuted, or supervised many complex civil and criminal cases, some resulting in multimillion-dollar awards.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 10.93
Audience: Adult
Language: English