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City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff
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City of Thieves: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2009)

by David Benioff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,1512171,782 (4.19)251
Member:Milda-TX
Title:City of Thieves: A Novel
Authors:David Benioff
Info:Plume (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 258 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

City of Thieves by David Benioff (2008)

  1. 20
    The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad by Harrison E. Salisbury (MartinRohrbach)
    MartinRohrbach: Vom Autor selbst als Referenz in dem Buch erwähnt.
  2. 10
    The Siege by Helen Dunmore (GCPLreader)
  3. 21
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (avalon_today)
    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.
  4. 00
    Wolf Among Wolves by Hans Fallada (infiniteletters)
  5. 00
    Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith (jennyl.keen)
  6. 01
    Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith (Ciruelo)
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» See also 251 mentions

English (203)  German (7)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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  LopiCake | Mar 25, 2015 |
Americans trying to write about Slavs, works about as well as me trying to be friendly. It can end well, but usually it's embarrassing and just plain offensive. This novel was wonderful, describes the siege realistically, and while the characters weren't exactly Slavic, at least they weren't dumb stereotypes. If an American can do well writing about Slavs, then you know this book is good, so read it. ( )
  Vlady | Mar 10, 2015 |
"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 from the eyes of Lev, a seventeen-year-old Jewish boy living on his own soon after his family flees the city.

Like all great journeys, Lev is sent on a strange, if not comical, mission that throws him into the company of Kolya, a young private in the Red Army. As they head past the German line on their quest, they encounter many of the horrors associated with war: death, suffering, hunger, depravity. Chock full of suspense, adventure, comedy, sadness, and irony, I loved Benioff's style of writing. He contrasted the seriousness of Lev's personality, and the cocky humorous one of Kolya's, to capture the "Russian experience"–a history of tragedy and sadness told with sardonic wit. Easily one of my favorite reads this year; I highly recommend it! Books like these really bring history to life. ( )
  dreamydress48 | Dec 27, 2014 |
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 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:13 -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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