Saturday, October 20, 2012

City of Thieves

So the first quarter of the new school year is over at my new job. I am loving my new district and my kids. This job is much more demanding than my last job, so I am sleeping less and working more. My part time job is keeping me busy, too. I get home at 7pm 4 days a week and am literally falling asleep on the couch by 9:30. So lame, I know. So I am getting through books I am actually reading pretty slowly, but I'm still listening to audiobooks quickly because I am in the car so much. This next book actually helped me to get in the car earlier each day before work because I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen next.

Based during the siege of Leningrad, David Benioff, the author, takes us on a week long adventure with two unforgettable characters. Lev, the story's 17 year old insecure and virginal narrator, comes across a dead German body in his hometown of Leningrad. The army catches him looting the dead German's belongings and arrests him. While in jail he meets Kolya, a 20 year old deserter of the Russian army. Kolya is a romantic, mysterious, and confident womanizer. The unlikely pair form a bond as they are forced to find a dozen eggs for a Russian general in time for his daughter's wedding in exchange for their lives. 

Throughout the mission, Lev and Kolya discover the devastation that the war has brought to Leningrad. They find rooms draped with human body parts, homes inhabited by Russian girls living as German sex slaves, and they endure brutal cold and intense hunger. I literally wanted to close my eyes during the brutal and gruesome descriptions of what the Russian girls lived through. I gasped out loud as I learned what these German soldiers were capable of.

On the surface this story appeared to be a serious novel, however, it was one of the funniest books I have read in a while. Kolya's accounts of his past sexual encounters left me laughing out loud. Lev's reactions to Kolya's endless stories were hilarious. Because he was a horny virgin, Lev was furious with Kolya. He was jealous of Kolya's vast experience. The relationship between Lev and Kolya was what made the book the most memorable for me. Now that the book is over, I find myself missing Kolya.

For those of you you enjoy historical fiction, sexual humor, and adventure this is a book for you. Men and women alike will be sucked into this fast paced story.

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