From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, 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, the New York Times bestseller 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.“The novel tells a refreshingly traditional tale, driven by an often ingenious plot . . . [Benioff] shifts tone with perfect control—no recent novel I have read travels so quickly and surely between registers, from humor to devastation.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“This spellbinding story perfectly blends tragedy and comedy.”
“Splendid . . . Benioff has produced a funny, sad, and thrilling novel.”
“Benioff (a co-creator of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) peppers his swift-moving plot with pitch-dark humor and unexpected turns. It’s a rousing reading experience, to cackle aloud at one paragraph then gasp at the next. . . . I’m glad I waited until warm weather to start this winter’s tale. But really, any other time would have been just fine. There’s no bad season to read a book this good.”
—Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times Book Review
“Benioff blends humor and horror expertly.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“A deft storyteller, Benioff writes about starvation, cannibalism, and Nazi atrocities with poise and cinematic flair. If Thieves were a movie, it would start out like Schindler’s List and end up like Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
"City of Thieves is a coming-of-age story brilliantly amplified by its worn-torn backdrop . . . Benioff’s finest achievement in "City of Thieves" has been to banish all possible pretensions from his novel, which never wears its research on its sleeve, and to deliver a rough-and-tumble tale that clenches humor, savagery, and pathos squarely together on the same page."
—The Washington Post
“City of Thieves is flat-out great . . . Benioff’s screen writing chops are in full force here - the plot careens along with cinematic verve - but that’s expected. The surprise is Benioff’s understated wisdom and tenderness.”
“David Benioff, has written a gripping war novel. With lots of humour, suspense and tragedy he shows the desperate lives of the people who were caught between two opposing forces during the Second World War.”