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How to Be Kidnapped By a Gang, Part II

In Freakonomics, we wrote about how Sudhir Venkatesh, at the time a graduate student in sociology, stumbled across a crack gang who promptly held him hostage until they determined he wasn’t a cop or a rival gangster.

Well, if you like that kind of story then you’ll probably love a new book called The Birthday Party, a memoir by a former assistant U.S. Attorney of being kidnapped off the street by a Brooklyn gang. I haven’t read it yet, but if this review in today’s N.Y. Times is remotely representative, it sounds fantastic. Consider this sample:

A bond develops. “Yo, Stanley, you should join our gang,” Sen tells him. “You could recommend friends that we could kidnap.” After a moment’s reflection, Sen amends his suggestion “Naw, I mean you could recommend your enemies for us to kidnap.” Mr. Alpert decides a cryptic smile is the best response.