Wednesday, January 26, 2011

David Benioff, CITY OF THIEVES

I reread this last night. It stands up to a second reading. Don't be thrown by the fact that the protagonist of the story--a young Russian, age fifteen, in 1940s Leningrad--has the last name Beniov and that the story begins with a frame narrative (purportedly) about David Benioff interviewing his grandfather. It's pure fiction. But Benioff wrote the screenplay for KITE RUNNER years ago, and this book reads like a movie--fast-paced and intensely visual. It's the story of two men--the young Beniov and Kolya, a brash, lewd, sly Cossack--who are granted a reprieve for their respective crimes (looting a dead German paratrooper and desertion) and sent by a high-ranking Russian officer to find a dozen eggs for his daughter's wedding cake. In Leningrad people are eating rats and there are no eggs, so the men leave, crossing German enemy lines. No more or I'll spoil it. Nearly everyone I've given the book to liked it, including all the members of my book club, my husband, and my former English teacher. (That's rare.)

No comments:

Post a Comment