City of Thieves

City of  Thieves

by David Benioff

Debbie Weiss: I, too, enjoyed this book very much. There was a book club get-together on a Monday evening and I started reading the book on Friday evening, and I finished it in time with no problem at all. I really enjoyed both Lev and Kolya and it was fun to watch their relationship with each other develop over the course of just a few days while they hunted down the eggs. As opposite as they could be, these two men quickly grew to care for each other like brothers. I highly recommend this book.
Rating: ****

Dale Israel: I read this book on the recommendation of Gail and Larry Reid. Gail, I love you, but we rarely agree on good books! This time, however, you were right on the money. This was a very good book. It tells the story of a man (the author's grandfather) during the siege of Leningrad. When the grandfather was a young man, he was arrested and was required to find a dozen eggs for the Colonel's daughter's wedding. Food was scarce and finding the eggs was a challenge. This book kept my attention because it was an interesting tale. The main character acts as the narrator and it felt as though the two of us were sitting down for a chat and he was speaking to me directly. Very enjoyable! I highly recommend it.
Rating: ****

Gail Reid: It is hard to believe that I would call a novel about the Siege of Leningrad during World War II delightful. City of Thieves, the new book by screenwriter David Benioff is an engaging tale of the relationship of the narrator Lev, a 17 year old Jew in Leningrad, Kolya, a 20-year old flamboyant ladies man, and Vika, a Russian girl disguised as a male sniper.

The book is told in retrospect when Lev, now an aging grandfather, recounts one week more than 60 years ago, when he was captured for looting a dead German. Lev meets Kolya in jail shortly before they learn that their lives could be spared if they can secure a dozen eggs for the upcoming wedding of an officer�s daughter. All of Leningrad is starving and famine is rampant. The journey to find the eggs could easily be futile.

In spite of the cruelties of war and the horrors of the Nazi invasion, Benioff succeeds in conveying humor, tragedy, love, and courage among his characters. If you liked The Book Thief, you will find this book equally uplifting and memorable.
Rating: *****

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