City of Thieves

City of Thieves

Audiobook CD - 2008
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Audio, p2008
ISBN: 9780143143475
0143143476
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (ca. 8 1/2 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Perlman, Ron

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AL_ANNAL Jun 23, 2017

From the co-creator of the HBO show "Game of Thrones," this well-written addition to the collection of WW II historical fiction portrays two young Russians in a series of adventures during the German siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg). The horrors of war and nazism (starvation, cannibalism, genocide) are leavened by optimism, compassion, friendship, and love.

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SuzeParker
Sep 07, 2015

So many insightful reviews have been written about City of Thieves. I would simply say, "Read them, and then read this book." It is superb.

JCLChrisK Dec 26, 2013

A rousing buddy adventure wrapped in a desperate, tragic setting. Amusing, entertaining, philosophical, eminently quotable, humane, and poignant; also, brutal, sad, grotesque, and dismaying. It's not the story of the siege of Leningrad in WWII, just a story of it, one in which the setting is essential for the way it defines the characters and their interactions--and, through them, readers come to understand the setting--yet really it's the story of a young man doing what he can to survive outrageous circumstances. It's a character story, describing a pivotal, defining week in 1942, the first week of the year, the week he met [his wife], made his best friend, and killed two Germans. He's a captivating character with a highly engaging story. ----- I just finished the book and already I want to read it again. I rarely, if ever, read books again. Something tells me I will this one. ----- "I could not handle the morning's peaks and valleys. One moment I thought I had a few minutes left to live; the next a sniper from Archangel was flirting with me. Was she flirting with me? The days had become a confusion of catastrophes; what seemed impossible in the afternoon was blunt fact by the evening. German corpses fell from the sky; cannibals sold sausage links made from ground human in the Haymarket; apartment blocs collapsed to the ground; dogs became bombs; frozen soldiers became signposts; a partisan with half a face stood swaying in the snow, staring sad-eyed at his killers. I had no food in my belly, no fat on my bones, and no energy to reflect on this parade of atrocities. I just kept moving, hoping to find another half slice of bread for myself and a dozen egg's for the colonel's daughter. / . . . / "Somewhere along the way I told her the true story of why Kolya and I had snuck out of Piter, crossed enemy lines, and eventually stumbled onto the farmhouse beneath the larches. . . . I told her about the colonel's daughter, skating on the Neva; the cannibals and their grisly wares hanging from the ceiling chains; the dying boy Vadim and his rooster, Darling; the antitank dog bleeding in the snow; and the dead Russian soldier rooted in the ice." ----- This just scratches the surface.

j
JCLRachelSH
Nov 12, 2013

Just last week I raved about The Age of Miracles on audio being the best thing that ever happened to me, and now: THIS. If you like Russian humor, eggs, war stories, Hellboy and Game of Thrones, and have never listened to an audiobook before, you should probably change that ASAP by listening to The City of Thieves by David Benioff, read by Ron Flipping Perlman. It's a perfect book narrated by the perfect reader. Benioff, who is the co-creator of Game of Thrones on HBO, perfects the ratio of pathos, drama, comedy, dialogue and gore. The City of Thieves is a buddy comedy, love story, World War II epic and Russian literary history all rolled up into one. It's meta. It's action-packed. It's poetry. It works on every level. Best yet, it's meant to be performed and Ron Perlman, the man behind Hellboy, is the perfect guy for the job. You can tell when I really super loved a book, because that's when I get all tongue tied and speechless. So I'm going to shut up about this now. 5,000 stars. The end.

JCLKimG Oct 04, 2013

This historical fiction novel is difficult to put down. It has everything you'd want in a great read: friendship, sex, violence, insights about love and war, dark humor, and more. I recommend it for fans of wartime fiction, tomboys, and male teenagers.

JCLMelodyMK May 20, 2013

I enjoyed this WWII story that takes place in Russia. I never really heard that much about what happened in Russia and usually don't read war stories. But City of Thieves is injected with very entertaining parts and The reading by Ron Pearlman is wonderful.

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elag24
Mar 06, 2012

Not my usual type of story, but it is such a compelling story that I couldn't put it down. One of the more interesting WWII stories written. Just the right blend of grim plus humor.

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