City of Thieves (PDF)

Doo with the Russian militaryTogether Lev and Kolya are spared death one for breaking curfew the other for looking for love when he should have been on guard with his unit if they can bring back a certain colonel one dozen ggs Why The colonel s daughter is getting married at the nd of the week and needs a huge wedding cake in a city that is about as ggless as a grunting rooster Ridiculous Sure Fun Indubitably But the sights our heroes come across during their journey are anything but laughable and at times downright gruesomeWar is hell yes but it also offers ironies in spades Ante up then because Benioff is dealing You might consider Kolya a tad over the top and you might agree with me that the showdown with the Germans toward the nd stretches things a bit but what the hell if you re charmed you re in a good mood and if you re in a good mood you tend to let certain things go Thus the suspension of disbelief Thus the four stars Thus the hearty recommendation reservations notwithstanding This one s a page turner This one I think you ll like A terrific book that proves you don t have to write 700 or 800 pages to have real depth I m fascinated by how Benioff managed to describe the characters nduring terrible hardship and the worst of one of the most brutal battles in history but the book doesn t read as grim or overly depressing That s not to say that there isn t real drama horror and sadness but the natural humor of characters keep it from being just another book about the horrors of war Growing up in Poland you couldn t scape but be xposed to Polish war movies and dramas The war defined this country and its people with the country being completely destroyed and around 56 million people dead because the Western powers trusted Stalin the country borders also changed with parts of astern Poland being ceded to contemporary Ukraine and Lithuania But the rotten top of the cake came when the country fell under the influence of the USSR and disappeared behind the Iron Curtain for over half a century However Polish people are stubborn the 1980 Solidarity led to the creation of the Soviet s block first trade union and the subseuent protests formed a wave of reactions throughout Europe which ventually led to countries breaking away from the Soviet sphere of influence and gaining independenceSo what did the Polish people do during all these grim years And they were grim all right imagine walking into a store and seeing nothing literally nothing on its shelves and then going into another one and seeing mpty shelves again and in another one and another Food stamps were not welfare number of goods one could purchase was limited with most not being available at all The black market flourished for those who could afford it but mostly people stood in long ueues to buy whatever was available at the moment Everything was scarceimage rror This is what happens during war people will do anything to survive from murder to stealing to going on xhaustive food hunts Absurdly as it sounds this becomes the cultural normIt s the Soviet Union 1942 Tension is thick with famine and war The Germans are beginning their invasion Two soviet thieves Lev and Kolya are captured and thrown into the same cell However instead of death they are given a 4 day reprieve with a mission to find a dozen ggs for a to find a dozen ggs for a cake for a colonel s daughter This is their mission and the wild gg hunt they go on Trudging through a landscape of death vading nazis and cannibals fighting their own fatigue and xhaustion an unusual friendship begins Well drawn out human characters Lev Jewish shy and withdrawn paralleling that of Kolya a mild mannered fellow providing humour on this bleak trekFrom calculated neglect to constipation this a story rich in all lements of character development Writing so palatable and simplistic yet rich in texture it was a pleasure to read 5 Thank you to my GR friends who pointed this one out as a must read in the aftermath of my tryst with this beautiful intelligent novel I was hobbled by lancinating pain stemming from a burning itching uestion repeatedly soun How could you fear anything than deathEverything lse offered moments of scape a paralyzed man could still read Dickens a man in the grips of dementia might have flashes of the most absurd beauty Lev Beniov wants to live He may not be clear about anything lse but he knows that to be true Life becomes precious when being anywhere not just in the wrong place but just xisting in space can turn into a death trap at any moment When his mother and sister fled the city he decided to stay Now he is caught up in one of the worst sieges in the history of the world he is in Leningrad or as I always think of it St Petersburg Lev is seventeen years old Because it is mostly a city of islands Leningrad was isolated from the rest of the Soviet Union by the Nazis control or destruction of its bridgesWhen I went to Google the siege of Leningrad to brush up on the vents that provided the background for this novel I was slightly taken aback when all I had to do was put in SIEGE and BAM there was Leningrad The Germans made the decision instead of going street by street and house by house to just starve the citizens and remaining soldiers out of the city They put a ring of soldiers around the perimeter of the city so that no soldiers around the perimeter of the city so that no can come in and no one can come out The staggering results are the deaths of two million Russian soldiers and civilians I was built for deprivation We ve all maybe been a bit hungry but many of us cocooned in a civilized world where food is plentiful and relatively cheap may not remember the last time we had a hunger pain Lev and the remaining people of Leningrad have went beyond hungry to near starvation People are dying daily bec. O abbandono della divisa la pena prevista in tempo di guerra è una sola la fucilazione Stamattina i soldati sono andati a prenderli alle Croci il cupo carcere di mattoni rossi sulla Neva li hanno condotti in una maestosa villa col portico di legno dove si aggiravano centinaia di berretti rossi A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, e blu della NKDV la polizia segreta Dopo ualche istante di attesa i due ragazzi si sono ritrovati al cospetto di un colonnello con un collo taurino tre stelle ben in vista sulle mostrine della divisa Il colonnello li ha dapprima suadrati poi li ha invitati a seguirlo fino ai margini del fiume Sulla Neva ghiacciata una ragazza pattinava I capelli corvini legati in uno chignon morbido le guance sferzate dal vento faceva piroette. It s all about the uestWhen I read books I like to do a little research about the author time period the book itself The Shadow Reader etc I was interested to learn that the creator of the video game The Last of Us drew inspiration in part from this bookThe Last of Us is a game my son keeps begging me to play It takes place in the near future has nothing to do with World War IIra Leningrad and from what I ve watched bears no resemblance to the bookIt s all about the uestIn the book the uest is to obtain a dozen Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies eggs for a NKVD Colonel so his daughter can have a wedding cake Leningrad is under siege by the Nazis and people areating the paste from library books so finding ggs will take some doing In the games you generally have an nd point too but you can get sidetracked by doing multiple side uests Examples Mister can you rescue my puppy He s in a den of necromancers I lost my sword in a cave about 50 years ago It would bring a tear to this old soldier if you could recover it for me Oh and it s guarded by 100 zombies They re fast And they wield weapons And they use magic Did I mention there is really powerful zombie when you get to the final room I d do it myself but I m old Thanks again Zeus bless you There s a den of mutant drug fiends about a mile outside of town If you kill them all I ll give you a bottle of water five bottle caps and the whole town will like you You do have options You could say no punch the asker in the face or simply walk away with their pathetic pleas ringing in your The Power Of A Choice earsThere s no straight line from point A to point B in the bookither It s never that simple Fortunately Lev our intrepid hero doesn t have to find the ggs by himself Kolya one of the interesting characters I ve come across in a while is in on this rrand with him Kolya is the guy that s handsome funny charming and good with his fists and can talk his way into and out of any situation More or less the perfect companionIn most of the better games you have companions that you can choose from usually one at a time Companions range from drunks mages guys who can transform into werewolves 7 foot 300 pound mutants who are off their meds smoking hot vampire warriors automated trolls and talking dogs The latter is not as cool as it sounds he won t stop talkingbarking if you re trying to sneak up on nemies The book doesn t lack for humor pathos adventure and xcellent characterization It s a timeless tale of summoning one s inner resources and facing down doubt and fear in the most trying of situations But in the The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right end it s all about the uest What a wonderful book and why have I not read it before It reminded me of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas both for its remarkable story and the uality of the writing The book is written as a retelling by the author of his Grandfather sarly life specifically one week in 1942 the first week of the year the week he met my grandmother made his best friend and killed two Germans During that week the Grandfather Lev was just 17 years old and living in Leningrad which was Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling enduring the Nazi siege of 1942 Variousvents cause him to meet up with Kolya a Russian deserter who is only a few years older in years but much in xperience Together they set out on a ridiculous uest and witness many of the awful atrocities that occurred during that warThe characters of Lev and Kolya are what makes this book Kolya is by turns funny and infuriating but is always lovable Their dialogue is freuently hilarious which prevents the story from becoming overwhelmingly sad and horrifying The history was amazing how those poor people survived starvation during the siege I had not come across library candy before The will to live brings not come across library candy before The will to live brings some incredible inventionA sad sad nding with a sweet pilogue I have another favourite book You can t burn a brick You can t starve a brickDavid Benioff s City of Thieves is a well written and ngaging story set during the times of World War II in Russia s Leningrad Set in the year 1942 City of Thieves is all about the adventurous journey of two youths Lev Abramovich Beniov and Kolya Vlasov to find a dozen ggs for a Soviet officer but his confidence was so pure and complete it no longer seemed like arrogance just the mark of a man who had accepted his own heroic destinyLev and seemed like arrogance just the mark of a man who had accepted his own heroic destinyLev and are aware that both will be xecuted if they are unable to find the ggs After reading for a while and looking at all the difficult times these two were going through it strongly felt like buying a few dozen ggs from the nearest supermarket and time transporting them to 1942 s Leningrad An interesting charming and Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. enthralling adventure You know how annoying it is when a book snding is so unrealistic that you say to yourself in disgust This would never play out like this in real life It s happened than once right But a funny thing sometimes happens on the way to the forum Sometimes your peevishness gets assassinated Sometimes you re so damned ntertained by a book that you act like a sailor on leave and say Ah what the hell Sometimes you re so amused by the characters that you see that suspension bridge of disbelief and you cross it cheerfully yetThis is the case with David Benioff s oddly mesmerizing historical foray CITY OF THIEVES The uixotic uest book offers a little something for veryone Russophiles and history buffs will love it because it s set in Leningrad during the siege and the author has done his homework making the setting and background vents accurate Coming of age fans will like it because the protagonist a tough but runty Russian Jew who is only 17 will worm his way into the apple core of your heart Humor nthusiasts will take to it because it is rich with witty badinage much of it thanks to Kolya the Red Army sidekick whose libido leads him AWOL and into deep doo. È l’inverno del 1941 a Leningrado La città è sotto l’assedio delle truppe tedesche i sotto l’assedio delle truppe tedesche i abitanti non hanno mai patito tanta fame Il morto di Maigret e tanto freddo Per Lev diciassette anni naso grosso capelli neri figlio di un poeta breo scomparso un pomeriggio d’estate del 1937 dopo una visita della polizia sovietica alla sede della sua rivista letteraria per Kolja giovane cosacco con la faccia impertinente il mento forte il naso dritto un ciuffo ribelle in testa la fame il freddo sono però ben poca cosa rispetto a uello che la legge marziale prevede per loro Lev ha rubato il coltello a un paracadutista tedesco morto assiderato Kolja ha avuto la brillante idea di disertare E per simili reati furto ai danni dello stat. .

summary City of Thieves

Ause now there is no cushion of calories between them and dying One day without some type of food intake will bethe final day It is almost like a gift from God if Lev believed in such a person to see the German paratrooper frozen to death drift down from the sky Lev and his friends pounce on the body ransacking pockets finding food a nice Damascus blade and a flask of cognac or maybe schnapps how could they know the difference But it spreads a warmth through their bodies like a hot meal or a roaring fire They take too long a crucial loss of focus Maybe it is the bonanza of food and booze that makes them forget for a moment that they are vulnerable out in the open The soldiers are on them uickly and there is a mad scramble for safety Lev is caught He is shocked they didn t xecute him for looting immediately He has seen it happen before He is thrown into a cell and there he meets Kolya who is also in dire trouble He is charged with desertion and they didn t Billionaires Contract Engagement (Kings of the Boardroom execute himither This isn t a time for trials or due process Shooting someone is just one less mouth to feed The rules are maddeningly unpredictable It is always best to assume the worst Now Kolya didn t desert because he was afraid or because he was homesick He deserted because he was horny He is a tall good looking guy who is used to having a steady diet of sexual Sexual Secrets encounters With most of the city too calorie deprived toven think about anything as strenuous as sex it is still his number one concern His number two concern is in fact number two He hasn t taken a crap in leven days The loneliest sound in the world is other people making love As Lev soon finds outThe reason they are still alive is there is a Colonel who needs a dozen ggs He is throwing a wedding feast for his daughter and they need ggs to bake her wedding cake Kolya and Lev seem like improbable candidates to pull off such an impossible mission They are dead men walking though and the Colonel has offered a pardon if they can bring him back the ggs he needs Need such an interesting concept when for most of the city twelve ggs represent twelve days with a meal The boys get to see the Colonel s daughter ice skating on the river It took me a few seconds to realize why she looked so strange and then it was obvious ven at a distance you could tell that the girl was well fed There was nothing pinched and desperate about her face She had an athlete s casual grace her pirouettes were tight and fast she never got winded Her thighs must have been magnificent long pale and strong and I could feel my prick hardening for the first time in days Rain down on me ladies Peter Paul van Rubens detail from The Disembarkation at Marseille Lev hasn t seen a woman in a long time that he didn t have to mentally add weight to her figure and her face to determine if she used to be pretty I finally fell asleep and dreamed of a sky raining fat girls Their task takes them behind nemy lines where they meet pretty Russian girls kept for the amusement of the Germans cannibals who have learned that the buttocks make the best steaks and a female sniper named Vika who Lev falls head over heels in lust with I was raised to be clean and it bothered me when others were not But Vika s wet dog smell did not offend me All of us were slathered in grime by that point OF COURSE I MUST HAVE STUNK course I must have stunk week old fish myself but this wasn t about being inured to foul odors The tang off her body made me want to lick her clean It is such a burden to be virginal sigh I ve lost track of how many days it has been since Kolya took a crap It is somewhere around twenty days He has decided that his bowels are waiting for the nd of the siege the siege The West Transformed: A History of Western Civilization, Vol 1, to 1715 ended up lasting 872 days He is looking forward to feeling the relief of a VICTORY CRAPDespite the stark circumstances that provide the backdrop for this novel there are many moments of unexpected humor that lend brevity to the growing frustrations and dangers in trying to achieve their mission Watching thevolution of the friendship between two very different young men a Cossack and a Jew is not only heartwarming but memorable Lev s father a relatively famous poet who was disappeared by the NKVD looms over the story as ghostly as Hamlet s father Lev has the soul of a poet but lacks the gift to xpress it Kolya is working steadily ach vening when he hasn t found some woman willing to help him with his continually heated loins on his novel title The Courtyard Hound I have feeling his writing is spicy It all comes down to a game of chess but then isn t all of life a game of chess We make sacrifices pawns rooks and bishops and hope the results prove worthy of what we have given up The longer these two young men are together we can see their minds xpanding xponentially just because one is with the other If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at I have read some good fiction lately but this one is special like Catcher in the Rye or The Curious Incident or maybe The Kite Runner Instead of telling the story I will make observations as to why I loved it 1 Many historical fiction novels are written from the perspective of the thinking of the time Although it is interesting to observe how people think people thought in the past it can be a little too un modern and sometimes boring like reading Moby Dick or some other great but somewhat over the top book Here we are set back in time by the grandson who is just like us telling the story his grandfather tells him but with language and interpretations that are how we think about things today Instead of finding this tool to be unrealistic and too Hollywood modern I found just the opposite I felt like I really was back in time and I related to the characters like the. Strette E Veloci Il Colonnello Ha Detto e veloci Il colonnello ha detto ra sua figlia che stava per sposarsi con un importante uomo del partito Un matrimonio vero alla russa con musica danze The Anathema Cell e un solo problema la torta nuziale C’erano lo zucchero il miele la farina tutti gli altri ingredienti ma mancavano le uova una maledetta dozzina di uova introvabili in tutta Leningrado per gli roici soldati dell’Armata Rossa ma non forse per una volgare coppia di ladri Eccoli dunue Lev Kolja alla disperata ricerca di dodici uova durante gli roici giorni della resistenza di Leningrado Le loro vite di criminali sono state salvate dal magnanimo Stato sovietico in cambio di una piccola commissione Una commissione stramba ma non dannatamente impossibi. ,

City of Thieves
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