City of Thieves
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 sav ...more
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1. Many historical fiction novels are written from the perspective of the thinking of the time. Although it is interesting to observe how people think people thought in the past, it can be a little too un-modern and sometimes boring, like reading "Moby Dick" or some other great, b ...more
Everything else offered moments of escape: a paralyzed man could still read Dickens; a man in the grips of dementia might have flashes of the most absurd beauty.”
Lev Beniov wants to live. He may not be clear about anything else, but he knows that to be true. Life becomes more precious when being anywhere, not just in the wrong place, but just existing in space, can turn into a death trap at any moment. When his mother and sister fled the city he decid ...more
I love historical fiction, especially tales set in WW the Sequel, and Benioff’s crisp, effortless prose is smart and pleasurable without ever become overly clever or self-indulgent. The plot device of surreal "forced" shopping expedition to track down a dozen eggs against the back ...more
It's the Soviet Union 1942. Tension is thick with famine and war. The Germans are beginning their invasion. Two soviet thieves, Lev and Kolya are captured and thrown into the same cell. However, instead of death, they are given a 4 day reprieve with a mission to find a dozen eggs for a wedding cake for a colonel's d ...more
When I read books, I like to do a little research about the author, time period, the book itself, etc. I was interested to learn that the creator of the video game, The Last of Us, drew inspiration, in part, from this book.
The Last of Us is a game my son keeps begging me to play. It takes place in the near future, has nothing to do with World War II era Leningrad, and from what I’ve watched bears no resemblance to the book.
It’s all about the quest.
In the book, the quest ...more
The book is written as a retelling by the author of his Grandfather's early life, more specifically "one week in 1942, the first week of the year, the week he met my grandmother, made his best friend and killed two Germans." During that week the Grandfather, Lev, was just 17 years old and living in Leningrad which was enduring the ...more
I highly enjoyed this novel set during the Siege of Leningrad, even though I had just been complaining to my book club friends that I was sick of reading books set during WWII. I thought I had hit my limit of Nazi-related stories, but I was happy to be proven wrong.
Many of my GR friends have already read this book, but for those who haven't, I will keep this review free from spoilers. The short summary is we meet a young man named Lev, who is starving in Leni ...more
"There is a place beyond hunger, beyond fatigue, where time no longer seems to move and the body’s misery no longer seems fully your own."
City of Thieves was an amazing book! If I wasn't juggling so many other books, I would have easily finished it in a day or two. The World Wars are definite areas of interest for me, but I am always fascinated by the differing perspectives and experiences of individuals depending what country they lived in. This book explores the 900-day Siege of Leningrad ...more
Stories often have their strengths and their weaknesses when all is said and done. They can rely more on character than plot, or vice versa. A story might be strong, but pacing is a problem. Dialogue might come off unrealistic, although narrative hits the mark. In short, most books are a balancing act. There are things done right, and things t ...more
"I was half asleep but I smiled. In spite of all his irritating qualities, I couldn't help liking a man who despised a fictional character with such passion."I loved this book. So much. In fact, I'm in real danger of descending into embarrassing fangirl babble and I really don't want to put you through that. This book deserves so much more than my barely coherent praise I want to heap on top of its ...more
"There isn't any good news. Just because there's bad news doesn't mean there's good news, too."
"Firelight shone through the mullioned windows, warm and buttery, spilling onto the snow in front of the house. Black smoke plumed from the chimney, barely visible as a curling smudge against the dark blue sky. It looked like the most inviting house ever built, the country residence of the emperor's favorite general, h ...more
I came away from this feeling, very cold, very hungry and with an inexplicable need to make sure my pantry was full. CITY OF THIEVES is a fantastic story; set in 1942 during the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad. It’s a coming of age story filled with adventure, suspense, friendship, romance and tragedy all washed down with (from what I understand) a historically accurate picture of Leningrad during the bl ...more
“Truth might be stranger than fiction, but it needs a better editor. ”
Inspired by David Benioff's grandfather, this story takes place during the Leningrad Blockade, which occurred from 1941 to 1944 and resulted in up to 4,500,000 deaths. In the midst of this, Lev is a Jewish 17-year-old who is arrested for looting a German corpse. The Soviet police pair him with Koyla, a deserter with artistic ambitions and gives them a mission: Find 12 eggs in the desolate, war-torn city.
As the war ensues and their trip unfolds, fighting both hunger and fatigue, the two unlikely partners in crime end up behind enemy lines encountering some despicable horrors and near death experiences while sharing s...more
So begins the story of Lev and Kolya in what I will say is the best book I have read this year. I’ve read a number of books that are in some way related to WWII over the past 12 months. This happened without planning. It’s just that some of the very best books are in this category, so I wanted to read them: Vonnegut, Philip K Dick, Wiesel & Kristin Hannah. Vonnegut wrote a satire based on reality. Dick wrote a science-fiction p ...more
The story was quite interesting. To hear more of the war time in Russia, the horrible things the people needed to get through, Lev and Kolya's journey for the eggs, and the banter of the two ...more
I quite enjoyed this book. It was engaging from front to end, with nicely dra ...more
Unlike anything else I’ve read―within the prologue of this book I just knew that it was going to be a masterpiece. Never mind the fact that this guy is one of the co-writers for the HBO series Game of Thrones (yes, you ...more
David Benioff, the author of "City of Thieves", is one of those fortunate few who has everything going for him in life. His father headed Goldman Sachs at one time (so presumably he grew up wealthy). He is very handsome and is married to beautiful actress Amanda Peet (and in the photos they look like a happy couple). He is an executive producer and writer for the successful TV show "Game of Thrones".
But none of these things are the reason I read t ...more
This book hit me on so many different levels that I still can’t believe it’s all the same book. Tension, excitement, heartache and hilarity are all seamlessly wrapped up to create this wonderfully engaging story that I read in just over a day. I might not have put it down at all if not for those pesky life responsibilities getting in the way!
I must first say that these are two o ...more
City of Thieves is set in Russia during WWII. It tells the story of Lev, a boy on his own in the starving city of Leningrad, and Kolya, a young soldier from the Red Army. Both Lev and Kolya are arrested for different reasons and end up in the same prison cell. While they both expect to be executed in the morning, they are instead taken to the home of a top military man and given a task: find one dozen eggs for a wedding cake. If the b ...more
I cannot offer my own paltry review when faced with heavyweights like this one; easily one of the best reviews for this novel: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
My own advice is I Highly Recommend this superb fiction. 5★
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Set in the ice cold winter of January 1942 during the brutal Nazi Siege of Leningrad, also known as The Leningrad Blockade and The 900 Day Siege.
Citizens of Leningrad dig for water from a broken main during the winter of 1942
Background on The Siege: Instead of attacking and occupying Leningrad, the Nazis surrounded the city and cut it off from the rest of Russia, leaving the most minimal food and energy supplies for the population trapped inside to live on. The p ...more
|Play Book Tag: City of Thieves 4.5 Stars, by David Benioff||8||22||Feb 21, 2017 06:47PM|
|Challenge Corner: City of Thieves by David Benioff->Starting January 25, 2016||16||16||Feb 01, 2017 01:03PM|
|Around the Year i...: City of Thieves, by David Benioff||3||21||Jan 24, 2017 05:54AM|
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|Play Book Tag: City of Thieves - David Benioff - ★★★★||18||31||Oct 31, 2016 07:11AM|
He later wrote the screenplay for Spike Lee’s adaptation of 25th Hour starring Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 2005, Viking Press published Benioff’s collection of short stories, When the Nines Ro ...more