Monica's Reviews > Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

Stalling for Time by Gary Noesner
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's review
Oct 16, 2010

liked it

I bought and read this book for two reasons: 1) it's about hostage negotiation, which is super cool and 2) it got a great review in the NYT Book Review. I mean a GREAT review.

I have to say I was disappointed. While it was interesting to read about all the cases and, yes, super cool to read some of what went on behind the scenes, I found the narrator to be whiny and very full of himself. I'm sure he's awesome, but just in case I wasn't sure, he spent a good 80% of the book telling me - he was brilliant in this situation, right in that situation, he wrote this white paper that's the most widely published, blah blah blah, and this set of procedures that's used internationally blah blah blah.

The remaining 20% described why the scenarios he was involved in that failed (such as Waco) were not his fault - that, in fact, they failed precisely because his advice wasn't followed. Probably true, but still. I think he would be highly annoying at a cocktail party.

Worth reading? Yes. Worth buying? Not new.

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Teresa I just finished the book and understand what you mean -- he does go a little heavy on the self-congratulations. It's funny, though; I met him and heard him speak at a book signing and he came across as very down-to-earth and not annoying at all.

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