On January 21, 1998, the night before his 38th 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.
©2007 Stanley N. Alpert; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"One of the most exhilarating, improbable New York stories ever told." (The New York Times)
"Harrowing....An effective, one-two punch of a memoir." (Booklist)
An unusual story, well told, in an authentic stream of consciousness grounded by riveting facts. Part novel, part legal thriller, part philosophy, part theological musing, part love story, part comedy, and part tragedy that explores a brilliant soul who has been forced to play teeter-totter on the edge of the abyss with some terribly misguided New York street youths. You are left feeling a joy in the simple pleasures of your own life as you see them through the eyes of a man who very nearly lost his.
A hardcore anti-theist: god doesn't exist, all religions are demonstrably false and poisonous. Heroes: Christopher Hitchens, Penn Jillette
Yes, it was an interesting and entertaining read
-- SPOILER ALERT --
The author/victim made very good decisions while in the hands of his captors but the moment he is released he turns into a complete dunce.
For example, the first thing he does when released is try to call his father, then his friends... then more friends... then his father again! How about this, dumb-ass, call the f-ing cops!
Later, he gets a threatening voice mail from one of the criminals and, yet again, we can rely on our hero to ignore it and make no mention of passing this onto the cops! This is even worse because if a snitch hadn't alerted the cops, the criminal would have, at the very leased, attempted to kill his own lawyer.
He has no excuse for acting in such a cavalier manner. He's a lawyer for f-cks sake! He should know better!
It moved me in the wrong way and made me incredibly frustrated with the author.
I would definitely suggest reading this book with the caveat that the end has a good chance to frustrate the reader.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Audible reviews on this audiobook yet, I get to be the first to give one. First, forget the narrator--okay, you don't always get Charlton Heston, but hey, someone is reading you a book, all right?... Now... I first encountered Stanley Alpert's story on 48 Hours Live To Tell. I instantly went looking for the book. This thing is great! It's terrifying, hilarious, engaging and so wacky and off the wall that when Stanley first told the tale to police, they thought he had to be making it up. Movie-style thugs with guns, drugs, sex, compassionate prostitutes who offer hostages freebies, fancy cars, wild rides--all after a simple ATM robbery goes awry. Unless you are obsessed with voice intonations, you can't help but love this audiobook. If you ARE obsessed with voice intonations, get it in print. Great story!
The content isn't bad, but the reader is horrible. He sounds like he's reading a children's book. I had to bail out after about ten minutes. I tried to give it another shot and lasted another five.
I may try the hard copy, because I would like to hear the story, but there's no way I can listen to this guy for another ten minutes, much less ten hours.
I love my audiobooks, and there are some great readers out there. Then there are some okay ones, and some that are below par. And some just grate on you. This reader, I am sad to say, falls into the latter category.
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