Friday, August 15, 2008

Cold nights in Leningrad

City of Thieves is the new novel by David Benioff, who did a terrific job as the screenwriter for the movie The Kite Runner. City of Thieves shows that Benioff is a talent in his own right. The story takes place during the siege of Leningrad by the Germans in World War II. The two main characters, Lev and Kolya, are strangers thrown together in prison for minor crimes that could have major consequences (such as execution). Instead, they are spared and sent on an assignment: find a dozen eggs so that the colonel's daughter can have a cake at her wedding. Leningrad is suffering, and people are surviving in cunning and brutal ways--eggs and chickens have long disappeared. The book is the recounting of Lev and Kolya's adventures and attempts to find the precious eggs before the appointed deadline. As they fight for survival, their friendship builds and becomes a thing of beauty in the midst of horror and depravation. It's a great book.

No comments: