Book Review: City of Thieves by David Benioff


Title: City of Thieves
Author: David Benioff
Published: 2008
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historic Fiction

Synopsis: During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

My Rating: Red-StarRed-StarRed-StarRed-StarRed-Star

I came upon this book when my co-worker brought a trash bag filled with books for everyone to take. This was a strange one for me because I usually stay away from these types of books but I am incredibly happy I took this one because it got me out of a reading slump.

This story follows Lev and Koyla during their mission wish takes a week but honestly by day 2 it feels like Lev and Koyla have known each other all of their lives. I had never read anything set during the Siege of Leningrad but this has awoken a morbid desire to read more on it. Benioff crafts such eccentric characters that as a reader I found myself deeply disturbed one moment and then laughing out loud the next. The boys are so real, their conversations, everything they do is simply realistic and rather enchanting in their own perverted way. By the time you get to the truly disturbing part of the novel you’re emotionally invested in their well-being and find yourself rooting for them, hoping they not only exact revenge but make it out safely.

This book is not all fun and games, despite its length the subjects are mature and heavy and we witness some truly sadistic things, so be warned, this is still about a horrible time in history.

Favorite quote?

“Talent must be a fanatical mistress. She’s beautiful; when you’re with her, people watch you, they notice. But she bangs on your door at odd hours, and she disappears for long stretches, and she has no patience for the rest of your existence; your wife, your children, your friends. She is the most thrilling evening of your week, but some day she will leave you for good. One night, after she’s been gone for years, you will see her on the arm of a younger man, and she will pretend not to recognize you.”



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