City of Thieves

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From the writer of the award-winning Game of Thrones series for HBO based on the books of George R. R. Martin. 'David Benioff is an exceptional storyteller . . . CITY OF THIEVES is tender, illuminating, and, be warned, often shocking.' Khaled Hosseini Four months into the siege of Leningrad, the city is starving. Seventeen-year-old Lev fears for his life when he is arrested for looting the body of a dead German paratrooper, while his charismatic cellmate, Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested for desertion, seems ...

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Elisabeth

Nov 30, 2014

WWII Leningrad siege

I found this book quite fascinating for the information it gave on the horrors of the Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II. I grew up in a time when American history only focused on U.S. and European allies' campaigns. I would guess that because of the "Cold War' that ensued with the Soviet Union there was little emphasis on or interest in the plight of Russians during the war.
I wasn't aware that Benioff is also a screenwriter until after I read the book. I kept thinking that the "scenes" read as if the author was hoping to get it picked up as a film project--maybe I'm right.
The characters, the trio at least, are believable and interesting. I wondered whether Benioff's grandfather or some other relative really had at least the experience of losing a finger to the Nazi's. Some of the events seemed predictable or as if Benioff threw in every horror he could find about the Nazi occupation of Russia. I was sad when Kolya, the most colorful of the characters, died--and such an unnecessary, ignominious death after all he had been through--but one could see it coming.
I really like the narrator and was glad he "got the girl" at the end, although the reunion was a bit pat.
Overall this is a good read--and maybe we'll all see the film version some day soon!!

Susan W

Oct 7, 2010

Good not Great

Engaging story about Russians surviving World War II by their wits.

northanger

Sep 30, 2010

a really excellent read

This is a very lively novel which doesn't mask the sometimes gruesome details of life during the Siege of Leningrad, but at the same time is, amazingly, very funny.
The two main protagonists present vastly different types of young person, but both are entirely credible and endearing. Their relationship reveals a great deal about the ways in which an immensely stressful adventure can change an individual - or not.

Beanie

Jan 22, 2010

Coming of age during the Siege of Leningrad

An off the wall tale of a search and adventurers of a Jewish teenage boy and a young awol Soviet army soldier on an impossible quest for a dozen eggs for the wedding cake of a corrupt Nazi officer ( and father of the bride) during the siege of Leningrad. Horror, depravity, ruthless killing, honor in the search for survival. Creative in plot giving details of the fight for existence of all protaganists..Nazis, Soviets, Russian people and the few remaining Jews who are hated by all.

pamela1717

Jul 14, 2009

Very quick and easy to read although parts may be too graphic for some to handle. A different type (at least for me)of coming of age story for a seventeen year old during the seige of Leningrad. Once again, I feel how fortunate I've been to have never faced such hardship (starvation, death, constant fear of death--basically, sheer brutality). Benioff's story illustrates how war changes not only the soldiers but non-combatants as well. Through Lev's and Koyla's journey to find the eggs we encounter different characters who have responded to war in various ways. Not for the faint of heart but a worthy tale nonetheless.

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