Brandi Rae's Reviews > City of Thieves

City of Thieves by David Benioff
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adult-fiction, historical-fiction, war, world-war-2

One night while on volunteer fire patrol seventeen year old Lev, along with his friends, witnesses a dead German paratrooper falling out of the sky. As they are looting the body for anything to eat or use to keep warm, they have the unfortunate luck of being found by patroling Russian troops. While the others all escape, Lev is caught and thrown in jail for stealing "state property". It is there that he meets Kolya, a charismatic, Aryan-looking Russian soldier who has been accused of desertion.

Lev and Kolya assume that execution will be soon, however instead they are offered a chance to save their lives. A colonel's daughter is getting married and wants a lavish wedding, complete with a wedding cake. The colonel needs a dozen eggs...something that hasn't been seen in Leningrad (or any other nearby Russian city) in months. If Lev and Kolya can find the eggs in six days, they will be pardoned and receive officer's ration cards. If they fail though...

So begins a journey that is both sombering and funny. Admist the depressing landscape and dire conditions of the daily life of ordinary people, ladies man Kolya begins to teach Lev about the ways of the world as they follow one lead after another in search of the illusive eggs. Benioff manages to keep his writing funny, light, and (at times) crass, all while never letting the reader forget that this book takes place during desperate times.

While it isn't a time period/genre that I usually pick up, this is the second book I've read recently set during World War II that I've really liked.

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