Signed Edition Sweepstakes
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$8.95
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
3 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z
18 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

City of Thieves

by

City of Thieves Cover

 

Staff Pick

Set during the Germans' brutal siege of Leningrad in World War II, City of Thieves is a harrowing, surreal, and surprisingly funny odyssey through a land ravaged by war, where two young soldiers on an impossible mission encounter the best and worst of humanity.
Recommended by Chris Bolton, Powells.com

Set in Leningrad during WWII, this is the story of two prisoners who get a chance to save themselves, but only if they can provide a dozen eggs for the wedding cake of the colonel's daughter. The entire city is starving and there is no food anywhere; people are eating the glue out of books and much, much worse...  Benioff has written a perfect book, somehow both horrific and hilarious!
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As wise and funny as it is thrilling and original — the story of two young men on an impossible adventure.

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds.

Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building. 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 shot 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. A search that takes them through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and the devastated surrounding countryside creates an unlikely bond between this earnest, lust-filled teenager and an endearing lothario with the gifts of a conman. Set within the monumental events of history, City of Thieves is an intimate coming-of-age tale with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Review:

"Author and screenwriter Benioff follows up The 25th Hour with this hard-to-put-down novel based on his grandfather's stories about surviving WWII in Russia. Having elected to stay in Leningrad during the siege, 17-year-old Lev Beniov is caught looting a German paratrooper's corpse. The penalty for this infraction (and many others) is execution. But when Colonel Grechko confronts Lev and Kolya, a Russian army deserter also facing execution, he spares them on the condition that they acquire a dozen eggs for the colonel's daughter's wedding cake. Their mission exposes them to the most ghoulish acts of the starved populace and takes them behind enemy lines to the Russian countryside. There, Lev and Kolya take on an even more daring objective: to kill the commander of the local occupying German forces. A wry and sympathetic observer of the devastation around him, Lev is an engaging and self-deprecating narrator who finds unexpected reserves of courage at the crucial moment and forms an unlikely friendship with Kolya, a flamboyant ladies' man who is coolly reckless in the face of danger. Benioff blends tense adventure, a bittersweet coming-of-age and an oddly touching buddy narrative to craft a smart crowd-pleaser." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

The 900-day German siege of Leningrad (1941-43) was arguably the most punishing sustained assault on a city in history. The Russians lost roughly one civilian per minute for 2 1/2 years straight. Yet despite their dwindling supplies, their strategic stubbornness and their policy of purging some of their most loyal comrades, the Red Army held firm. "The arithmetic was brutal, but brutal arithmetic always... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[G]lorious...a wild action-packed quest, and much else besides....This gut-churning thriller will sweep you along and, with any luck, propel Benioff into bestseller land." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"A high-spirited adventure, Benioff's second novel...takes more than a little poetic license. When Benioff tells his grandfather that a few things don't make sense in the narrative, his reply: You're a writer. Make it up." Booklist'

Review:

"With deftly sly humor, respect for the agony of warfare, and dialog that elevates the boys-to-men story beyond its typical male ribaldry, this second novel by screenwriter Benioff deserves a bright spotlight..." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

"[S]plendid....By listening carefully — and making the rest up — Benioff has produced a funny, sad, and thrilling novel. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"David Benioff's second novel...features a snappy plot, a buoyant friendship, a quirky courtship, an assortment of menacing bad guys, an atmosphere that flickers between grainy realism and fairy-tale grotesquerie and a grim but irrepressible sense of humor." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds.

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet 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 through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet 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 through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

About the Author

David Benioff is an author and screenwriter. His first novel, The 25th Hour, was adapted into a popular feature film. His short story collection When the Nines Roll Over received critical acclaim.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 21 comments:

JuneC, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by JuneC)
It has been on my list of books to read for sometime and I am so very happy I finally read it. I laughed, I cried and it made me think - just what I want a book to do. Superbly written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Ultimate_Bookworm, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Ultimate_Bookworm)
"City of Thieves" intrigued me just from its cover. It's not usual for me to love (or even slightly enjoy) a book that's historical fiction. But the plot was so imaginative and wholly vivid that I couldn't stop reading after that first page. Absolutely my favorite book of 2012-- and possibly my favorite book ever!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Kathleen Callaghan, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Kathleen Callaghan)
Brilliant characters and a clever premise for a WWII story. I am currently living overseas and traveling regularly, and I would love to have Koyla as a travel partner!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 21 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780452295292
Author:
Benioff, David
Publisher:
Plume Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Wilderness survival
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
April 2009
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.42 x 0.6 in 0.49 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Beautiful Children: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $3.50
  2. Lush Life: A Novel Used Trade Paper $4.50
  3. The 25th Hour
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  4. When the Nines Roll Over: And Other... Used Trade Paper $7.50
  5. The Abstinence Teacher Used Trade Paper $1.50
  6. People of the Book: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $2.95

Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

City of Thieves Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Plume Books - English 9780452295292 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Set during the Germans' brutal siege of Leningrad in World War II, City of Thieves is a harrowing, surreal, and surprisingly funny odyssey through a land ravaged by war, where two young soldiers on an impossible mission encounter the best and worst of humanity.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Set in Leningrad during WWII, this is the story of two prisoners who get a chance to save themselves, but only if they can provide a dozen eggs for the wedding cake of the colonel's daughter. The entire city is starving and there is no food anywhere; people are eating the glue out of books and much, much worse...  Benioff has written a perfect book, somehow both horrific and hilarious!

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Author and screenwriter Benioff follows up The 25th Hour with this hard-to-put-down novel based on his grandfather's stories about surviving WWII in Russia. Having elected to stay in Leningrad during the siege, 17-year-old Lev Beniov is caught looting a German paratrooper's corpse. The penalty for this infraction (and many others) is execution. But when Colonel Grechko confronts Lev and Kolya, a Russian army deserter also facing execution, he spares them on the condition that they acquire a dozen eggs for the colonel's daughter's wedding cake. Their mission exposes them to the most ghoulish acts of the starved populace and takes them behind enemy lines to the Russian countryside. There, Lev and Kolya take on an even more daring objective: to kill the commander of the local occupying German forces. A wry and sympathetic observer of the devastation around him, Lev is an engaging and self-deprecating narrator who finds unexpected reserves of courage at the crucial moment and forms an unlikely friendship with Kolya, a flamboyant ladies' man who is coolly reckless in the face of danger. Benioff blends tense adventure, a bittersweet coming-of-age and an oddly touching buddy narrative to craft a smart crowd-pleaser." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[G]lorious...a wild action-packed quest, and much else besides....This gut-churning thriller will sweep you along and, with any luck, propel Benioff into bestseller land."
"Review" by , "A high-spirited adventure, Benioff's second novel...takes more than a little poetic license. When Benioff tells his grandfather that a few things don't make sense in the narrative, his reply: You're a writer. Make it up." Booklist'
"Review" by , "With deftly sly humor, respect for the agony of warfare, and dialog that elevates the boys-to-men story beyond its typical male ribaldry, this second novel by screenwriter Benioff deserves a bright spotlight..."
"Review" by , "[S]plendid....By listening carefully — and making the rest up — Benioff has produced a funny, sad, and thrilling novel. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "David Benioff's second novel...features a snappy plot, a buoyant friendship, a quirky courtship, an assortment of menacing bad guys, an atmosphere that flickers between grainy realism and fairy-tale grotesquerie and a grim but irrepressible sense of humor."
"Synopsis" by , A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds.
"Synopsis" by , From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet 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 through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

"Synopsis" by ,
From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet 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 through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.