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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 (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,3573161,994 (4.19)340
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a chance at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful 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 to find the impossible.

.… (more)
Member:Jus628
Title:City of Thieves: A Novel
Authors:David Benioff (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2009), 258 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

City of Thieves by David Benioff (2008)

  1. 31
    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.
  2. 31
    Gorky Park by Marin Cruz Smith (Ciruelo)
  3. 10
    The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad by Harrison E. Salisbury (MartinRohrbach)
    MartinRohrbach: Vom Autor selbst als Referenz in dem Buch erwähnt.
  4. 10
    The Siege by Helen Dunmore (GCPLreader)
  5. 10
    Wolves Eat Dogs by Marin Cruz Smith (jennyl.keen)
  6. 00
    Wolf Among Wolves by Hans Fallada (infiniteletters)
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» See also 340 mentions

English (295)  German (9)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (315)
Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
Gorgeous, evocative, precise writing. And a hell of a great story. ( )
  gonzocc | Mar 31, 2024 |
Great read, a story that just transports you to a totally different place and time. It gave me a new perspective on the siege of Leningrad, something I had only read about in dry history textbooks.. ( )
  robg760 | Dec 28, 2023 |
A fine novel that reminded me why I love to read.
  Mark_Feltskog | Dec 23, 2023 |
Great book. Funny, sad and horrifying at times. Historical background is the Russian perspective of the German invasion during WWII, specifically the siege of Leningrad/St. Petersburg. My favorite character is Kolya a young Soviet soldier who has some of the greatest quotes in the story and happens to be the source of most of the humor. It's a quick and easy read so I would suggest it to anyone. ( )
  CMDoherty | Oct 3, 2023 |
I found this entertaining and brief. I don't really have anything bad to say about it, but since the most interesting parts of book reviews are the negative comments (except for great works), I will mention the following. The construction of this book seems unusually transparent. I attribute this to the author being a screen writer. His technique of inserting a digression after the introduction to a tense scene (e.g. the sixth paragraph of chapter 19) is tried and true, but seems cinematic to me and somewhat cheap. Some descriptions seem like the brief visual descriptions that you see in a screenplay (e.g. the first paragraph of chapter 22). The overall structure of the story seems very cinematic to me, with all the right characters in the right places, and the dialogue and humor seem more modern than expected in a historical piece, but as would be expected in many modern movies like this. After reading the author's brief endnote, I think I will read "The 900 days".
Also, as an aside, very few people know that my wife, Karen, was also NKVD, and she was the one who taught me to slash, never stab. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benioff, Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlman, RonNarratorsecondary 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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Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a chance at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful 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 to find the impossible.

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