Ben Mathis-Lilley, last week in New York Magazine:

Just before midnight on January 21, 1998, then-federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert was forced into a Lexus on 10th Street and Fifth Avenue by three teenagers. They held him overnight in Brownsville, and when they discovered January 22 is his birthday, they offered him pot and prostitutes. The next day, they released him. Alpert wrote a book about it, called The Birthday Party, which comes out this week.

Ben McGrath, this week in the New Yorker:

Nine years ago, Stanley Alpert was kidnapped at gunpoint after dropping a woman off at her apartment building in the Village. He had met her on the subway, less than an hour before, and on a whim invited her to join him in a cookie-buying mission; he got Entenmann's, she got Chips Ahoy. Then he walked her back to her apartment and asked if she'd like to go out for a cup of tea. She declined—it was late. He asked for her business card, left, and shortly thereafter, as he recalled last week, "I felt a tug at my elbow and there was an automatic machine gun at my gut."

To be fair, doing a short front of book feature that pulls the most interesting details out of a newly pubbed memoir is not exactly an original idea. But the "Ben" thing? Plagiarist!!

You Say It's Your Birthday [NYMag]

Book 'Em Party [New Yorker]