Tuesday, September 8, 2009

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves

This could very well be a new classic. When I finished it, I immediately started it again, to see how Benioff did it--how he created characters so rich one wanted to meet them. War tends to concentrate the mind wonderfully, and here it is no different. In this story, experience is so distilled it hits with the force of a burning shot of frozen vodka. A young boy of seventeen is taken under the wing of a world-wise twenty-year-old as they navigate Leningrad and environs in the final brutal winter months of WWII. The elder of the two young men is a raconteur par excellence who teaches us equanimity in the face of failure. I think I would make this one of the new high school required reading texts. It feels fresh, immediate, important. It has all of life in its pages.

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