The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival

The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival

4.3 18
by Stanley N. Alpert
     
 

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On January 21, 1998, the night before his thirty-eighth birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley N. Alpert was kidnapped off the streets of Manhattan by a car full of gun-toting thugs looking to use his ATM card. He ended up blindfolded in a Brooklyn apartment as his captors changed their plans, alternately threatening him and his family, seeking legal advice,

Overview

On January 21, 1998, the night before his thirty-eighth birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley N. Alpert was kidnapped off the streets of Manhattan by a car full of gun-toting thugs looking to use his ATM card. He ended up blindfolded in a Brooklyn apartment as his captors changed their plans, alternately threatening him and his family, seeking legal advice, expounding on the "gangsta" life, and offering him the services of their prostitute girlfriends as a birthday present. All the while, Alpert, still blindfolded, talked with them, played on their attitudes and fears, and memorized every detail he could in the event that he ever managed to get out of there alive.

Filled with immediacy, drama, and extraordinary characters, The Birthday Party reads like a thriller-but every word is true.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Riveting." -Entertainment Weekly  "Too wild to be fiction. The movie should be directed by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen working in tandem."  -Joseph Wambaugh  "Alternately funny, appalling, fascinating and scary." -Los Angeles Times  "Hypnotizing, bizarre, scary, even weirdly funny at times."  -Jeffrey Toobin  "I read it in one big gulp." -John Sandford

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425219119
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/02/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.55(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Stanley N. Alpert served for thirteen years with the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he was chief of environmental litigation. There, Alpert investigated, prosecuted, or supervised many complex civil and criminal cases, some resulting in multimillion-dollar awards.

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The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writer was kidnapped by men with automatic weapons, forcing him into the backseat of a shiny new black Lexus. Money was stolen from the kidnap victim's bank account, and he was held at gunpoint, blindfolded for 26 hours. The writer survived a hellish living nightmare due to his own resourceful answers to kidnappers's questions. Reading his weighing of these answers is one of the MANY great parts of this book. Others are the vividness with which he portrays all the harrowing and terrifying and yes, comical moments of this crime. This is an unbelievable story (law enforcement did not even believe the story for a day or 2!) told unbelievably well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An incredible story, brilliantly told. Alpert is funny, self-effacing, and honest. The book is a riveting glimpse of NYC's underworld, written by a true New Yorker.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On January 21, 1998 near his Manhattan apartment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley Alpert is abducted by three kidnappers, Ren, Sen, and in charge Lucky. He was selected not because of his work, which mostly involved environmental law, but because he had the look of money. This is Mr. Alpert¿s story of how he survived his ordeal when most kidnappings end tragically. The book is divided into two sections, 'Mouse' in which he is a victim trying to survive and 'Cat' in which he is free and with friends and law enforcement go after the trio based on what he learned during his captivity. Readers will fully appreciate this stunning account especially the Mouse segment in which Mr. Alpert provides a survival manual on how he came out of this alive to celebrate his thirty ninth birthday (his thirty-eighth was the day after he was snatched off the street), as he admits the most important ingredient besides trying to remain calm is luck. The Cat portion is also well written, but reads more like a standard law enforcement manual so it does not contain the uniqueness of the abduction segue. This is an excellent true crime thriller as related by victim and supporting legal documents.----- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent, I was on the edge of my seat. The only distraction was trying to cast the movie in my mind while reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written book. You genuinely care about Stanley Alpert and how he dealt with his ordeal. I honestly hope that he is this sweet a person. The story is a good example of the every day courage that every person has. You just wished that every true crime story would have a happy ending. I would recommend this book to every reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read and the food guys won and the bad guys lost.
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huckfinn37 More than 1 year ago
I loved The Birthday Party. I would like to thank Todor for recommending reading this book for book club. I was a wonderful read. The author's writing style was wonderful and he was very witty. I enjoyed the part about Big Macs and Snapple. I also liked the part about duct tape being great for a kidnapping. Stanley was genius when he gave Ren and Sen legal advice. I was wondering if he would have sex with Honey or Mercedes in order to survive. I would recommend reading The Birthday Party.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a one of a kind book that makes you appreciate each and every day because you don't know what is going to happen next. Stanley Alpert's ability to remain calm thought this ordeal is amazing, and his recall of what happened is attributed to his education and determination to see justice prevail. Like Stanley, the reader needs to think about the entire episode and events after his release to fully realize the impact of this wonderfully written memoir.
Mel_B_43 More than 1 year ago
This is a really good memoir, and it kept me interested from start to finish. Although boring at times (like most books can be) it was overall very interesting.
Elizabeth-Ann More than 1 year ago
This book spread like wildfire through our family - wish I'd bought more than one; when it was my turn, I felt pressured to hurry up already. All ages enjoyed it - from 20 to 75 - and the conversation that resulted was thought provoking and very interesting. We all highly recommend it.
Lasermann More than 1 year ago
Stanley Alpert, a US Federal prosecutor, was snatched off the streets of Manhattan, forced into a car at gunpoint and held captive. His quick-thinking survival instincts and careful attention to detail kept him alive and helped eventually prosecute the kidnappers. A fascinating account of an ordeal that except for Alpert's exceptional presence of mind, could have had a much different ending.
jacsid More than 1 year ago
The first half is pretty good. the second to last half of this book drags on. The author is very full of himself. Good read for a rainy day.