Book Reviews,  Europe,  FICTION,  FOUR STARS ****,  History,  Jewish History,  Nazis,  World War II

City of Thieves by David Benioff **** (of 4)

Lev Benioff, a 15-year-old Russian, Jewish kid and Kolya, a deserter from the Russian Army with an overactive libido and terrible constipation, find themselves trapped behind enemy lines during the Nazi siege of Leningrad.  The two must find a dozen eggs for the commander of the Russian secret service within a week or face execution.  The two will die if they don’t find the eggs for the NKVD or they will die if the Nazi SS captures them.  Kolya is worried about getting laid, taking a crap, and writing the next great Russian novel as they trudge through the snow searching for chickens.  Lev would be happy to just be kissed by a girl.  The SS is all around them.  The story starts slowly.  It all feels too self-consciously assembled like a novel.  By the time I was three-fourths through the book, however, I was flipping pages as fast as I could.