The classic that is the City of Thieves.

The classic that is the City of Thieves.


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The City of Thieves is a tragic but humorous novel written by David Benioff. The story takes place in World War II during the blockade of Leningrad when the people were starving and on high alert every waking moment.

The story starts when Lev, a self-conscious Jewish teenager, finds a dead German paratrooper and takes things from his person, leading to him being arrested and thrown in jail. Kolya, arrested for dissertation, a prideful patriotic Russian, is jailed across from Lev brings him as much comfort as can be expected. Both presume they’ll be executed.  Luckily for them a high ranking officer from the secret police has an assignment for them. Find a dozen eggs so the officer can make a cake for his daughter’s wedding. In return, they manage to live and will be given back their ration cards but during the blockade it’s like finding a needle in a hay stack. The next part of the story contains many trials and tribulations of them attempting to find a dozen eggs in a city where people are willing to eat anything.

The story is told through Lev’s point of view as he and kolya go through many adventures. Throughout the story there are many moments of tragedy in which the writer always perfectly matches with comic-relief. The book has loads of dialogue with just the right amount of tangents, giving us context, which I liked a lot because that helps us visualize and understand what’s happening. I loved the vivid description in this book it helps you visualize everything that’s happening in great detail.

Currently the writer David Benioff has become very successful while writing for the HBO network series Game of Thrones, it’s ‘always sunny in Philadelphia and many more. He may have garnered much of the story and from his Russian grandfather. Some even speculate that Lev is his grandfather.