Wednesday, February 15, 2012

City of Thieves - David Benioff

This is another of my random audio selections. I hadn't heard of the author or the book. I was just scrolling through my library's online audio selection trying to find something to entertain me while driving. I stumbled across this and downloaded it because I was running out of search time. I needed something to listen to right away and hoped this would keep me interested and awake.
And it did!
Between the author and the narrator, this book had me hooked from the beginning! I love it when completly random books turn out to be wonderful!

City of Thieves is set in Leningrad, Russia during WWII. Lev is a half Jewish boy of 17, too young to join the army, but still yearning to do something of importance. One night, while working with his team of volunteer fire fighters, they find a dead Nazi paratrooper. The city is starving, being bombed nightly, disintegrating around them, and so of course, even though it is forbidden, Lev and his friends search the body for anything they can use. But the authorities saw the paratrooper descending too, and when they arrive, the firefighters are able to escape. All of them that is, except for Lev.
He is taken to prison where he is sure he will be executed. But instead the next day he is taken to the commander's office, where he is introduced to Koyla, a deserter of the Russian army. Lev and Koyla are given a mission. The commander's daughter is getting married and wants a grand wedding with all the trimmings, especially a wedding cake. If Lev and Kolya can find a dozen eggs and get them to the commander, they will be allowed to live. Fail, and they will be hunted down and killed.
And so Lev and Koyla start out on their impossible mission, to find a dozen eggs in a city of starving people, where citizens are starting to eat sawdust and the frozen dead for lack of other options. Through their struggles to survive and adventures trying to obtain the impossible, grows the strong bond of friendship and so much more.

I really did like this book a lot! It's not the type of book I normally would have chosen, but I definitely recommend it for your reading list. The narrator did a superb job, accents and all, and I enjoyed the story enough to keep my eye open for more work from this author.

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