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City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff
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City of Thieves: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2008)

by David Benioff

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3,0722151,848 (4.19)241
Member:booksandwine
Title:City of Thieves: A Novel
Authors:David Benioff
Info:Viking Adult (2008), Edition: First Edition, First Printing, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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City of Thieves by David Benioff (2008)

Recently added byPlayerX, FarihaImami, skyflynn, Likuo, DrRalph, lukupiiri, mike281186, BayardUS, private library, CGMLibrary
  1. 10
    The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad by Harrison E. Salisbury (MartinRohrbach)
    MartinRohrbach: Vom Autor selbst als Referenz in dem Buch erwähnt.
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    avalon_today: Kolya reminds me of Rudy, a bit older but none wiser, with his self-assurance and confidence, ok maybe he has lost some of his sweetness, but I still see the humor and zest for life.
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» See also 241 mentions

English (201)  German (7)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
Boy did this one disappoint me. Just look at that description! It promises a great setting, layered characters, and a mission that is at the same time absurd and relatable, but which can highlight the brutality of the time and melds with the unique circumstances the setting provides. Instead the setting is discussed some, but it never explored with the depth that you hope for in a novel like this. The characters are nothing special, Kolya in particular is the "lovable rogue" cliche to a T. The mission is recognized as absurd, and the ending comments on this, but the book never uses it as a springboard for any more substantive discussion on the problems of power wielded selfishly or anything with more resonance. All of this is wrapped up in writing that reads like someone writing down descriptions of a movie instead of actually writing a book. Discovering that Benioff mainly works in screenplays came as little surprise. This book seems perfect for someone who wants to kill some time in an airport, but it is less than what it could have been or what it claims to be, and for that reason I give it 2 stars. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
A magnificent book set in the Siege of Leningrad. The story of two friends, coming of age in circumstances that are at once absurd and horrific. Told from the perspective of Lev Beniov, who is befriended in prison by Nikolai Alexandrovich Vlasov, called Kolya. In a situation where they could expect to be summarily executed, they are sent away to find a dozen eggs for the Colonel's daughter wedding cake. ( )
  charliesierra | Nov 10, 2014 |
Compelling story about two men who are thrown together to find eggs for a Red Army Colonel. What happens to them in their search is frighetning and difficult to read at times. This is another book that gives us an idea of what the Russian people lived through during the siege of Leningrad. ( )
  janismack | Nov 8, 2014 |


This isn't a lengthy book, nor will it tax a more enterprising reader. In fact, I read it in but a scant three sittings. It is well worth your time and attention. From the author of the somewhat more famous "the 25th hour", David Benioff, who would adapt that work into the screenplay directed by Spike Lee, comes this new book, published in 2008. It's a story set in Russia during the siege of Leningrad which contains enough of the classic hero's journey and a bit of Jason and the Argonauts to make Joseph Campbell proud. An alert reader will easily be able to tease out the crucial plot elements, details, and ending well before they arrive, but the quality of the writing is good enough, the characters compelling enough, that the reader probably won't mind. Despite the ease and speed with which I read this book, I did enjoy it very much. And as I said, the characters were compelling enough to force me to exit care about them. I could have stood with a little less predictability, and the author seems clearly set on writing works which are practically screenplays to begin with, as they were innumerable times where I could sense him setting a scene for a director who perhaps has yet to exist. Despite these minor annoyances, I heartily recommend this book. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |


This isn't a lengthy book, nor will it tax a more enterprising reader. In fact, I read it in but a scant three sittings. It is well worth your time and attention. From the author of the somewhat more famous "the 25th hour", David Benioff, who would adapt that work into the screenplay directed by Spike Lee, comes this new book, published in 2008. It's a story set in Russia during the siege of Leningrad which contains enough of the classic hero's journey and a bit of Jason and the Argonauts to make Joseph Campbell proud. An alert reader will easily be able to tease out the crucial plot elements, details, and ending well before they arrive, but the quality of the writing is good enough, the characters compelling enough, that the reader probably won't mind. Despite the ease and speed with which I read this book, I did enjoy it very much. And as I said, the characters were compelling enough to force me to exit care about them. I could have stood with a little less predictability, and the author seems clearly set on writing works which are practically screenplays to begin with, as they were innumerable times where I could sense him setting a scene for a director who perhaps has yet to exist. Despite these minor annoyances, I heartily recommend this book. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Benioffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ven, Sandra van deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
and if the City falls but a single man escapes
he will carry the City within himself on the roads of exile
he will be the City

Zbigniew Herbert
At last Schenk thought he understood and began laughing louder. Then suddenly he asked in a serious tone, "Do you think that the Russians are homosexuals?"
"You'll find out at the end of the war," I replied.

Curzio Malaparte
Dedication
For Amanda & Frankie
First words
My grandfather, the knife fighter, killed two Germans before he was eighteen.
Quotations
The Nazis had printed thousands of invitation cards to a grand victory party Hitler intended to throw at the Astoria Hotel after conquering, what he had called, in a speech to his torch-bearing strom troopers, "the birthplace of Bolshevism, that city of thieves and maggots." Our soldiers had found a few of the invitations on the bodies of fallen Wehrmacht officers. They had been reprinted in the newspapers, copied by the thousands, and nailed to walls all over the city. The Politburo hacks could not have devised better propaganda. We hated the Nazis for their stupidity as much as anything else--if the city fell, we wouldn't leave any hotels where the Germans could sip schnapps in the piano bar and bed down in the deluxe suites. If the city fell, we'd bring her down with us.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452295297, Paperback)

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

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.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Documenting his grandparents' experiences during the siege of Leningrad, a young writer learns his grandfather's story about how a military deserter and he tried to secure pardons by gathering hard-to-find ingredients for a powerful colonel's daughter's wedding cake.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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