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Extended Audio Sample City of Thieves: A Novel Audiobook, by David Benioff Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (31,014 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Benioff Narrator: Ron Perlman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781436220033
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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, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • City of Thieves is a coming-of-age story brilliantly amplified by its war-torn backdrop…[Lev and Kolya] and the minor characters satisfyingly inhabit the historical wreckage, and Kolya and Abendroth are especially memorable. But 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.”

    Washington Post

  • “A wry and sympathetic observer of the devastation around him, Lev is an engaging and self-deprecating narrator who finds unexpected reserves of courage at the crucial moment and forms an unlikely friendship with Kolya, a flamboyant ladies’ man who is coolly reckless in the face of danger. Benioff blends tense adventure, a bittersweet coming-of-age and an oddly touching buddy narrative to craft a smart crowd-pleaser.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The pace will keep your adrenaline pumping right up to the climactic chess game between Lev and a fiendish Nazi officer. This gut-churning thriller will sweep you along.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2009 YALSA Alex Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roger Parfitt | 2/13/2014

    " Siege of Leningrad told as an adventure/comedy. Authentic? Historica? Nah ...just funny scenes and memorable characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed Franchi | 1/19/2014

    " I have read many WWII-related books and this is one of the best, written as a novel. It gives of a view of the war we Americans generally don't hear about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Prybil | 1/12/2014

    " I couldn't have been any less interested in this subject and he kept me engrossed and made me care. Damn you, Benioff! One of the best young writers around, in any medium. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawna | 1/11/2014

    " Fun, touching, good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 1/10/2014

    " Concise, riveting, excellent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindi | 1/9/2014

    " This was a humorous, dark and somewhat crude book but it was a great story. Tina you would not like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/7/2014

    " This is adult fiction that could easily have won an Alex award (adult fiction with special interest for teens) as the two main characters are late teens themselves. However, there is profanity, sexual situations, and violence that does indicate a mature audience as the targeted readers. It is the story of the siege of Leningrad and how two young men were given the impossible task of finding a dozen eggs in order to escape imprisonment and execution. Interesting characters, the story grabbed me right from the beginning and didn't ever let go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirstin Armstrong | 1/6/2014

    " The only bad thing I can say about this book is that it ended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dylan Wilson | 11/6/2013

    " With such an odd premise in a very interesting setting, the story really hooked me. Good characters and some great adventures, an awesome book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terri | 10/16/2013

    " This is an excellent book and was both suspenseful and humorous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn Flouton | 9/10/2013

    " definitely worth the read. bit of historical fiction with a nice story tied to it. loved the writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Texter | 8/16/2013

    " Excellent read! Fast moving, historical , funny , poignant. I wish I had a shelf of books like this ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Rodeback | 8/16/2013

    " Sweet, funny, smart and, in places, poetic--definitely a worthwhile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 FittenTrim | 8/13/2013

    " A short 248 page road trip through a war torn Leningrad has never been so fun! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Patterson | 6/15/2013

    " Beautiful, terrible story of life in the wartime USSR, about what people will do to survive. The details really make this story. And Benioff knows how to keep a story moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelia | 4/30/2013

    " For me, the book was a little hard to get into at first. However, from about half way through the book, it picked up speed, and became much more interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jdbattaglia | 4/6/2013

    " Loved it! The rare combination of great storytelling mixed with beautiful writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alisa | 12/30/2012

    " read this for book club, not bad. Love Game of Thrones more for sure! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 11/26/2012

    " This was the best piece of fiction I've read in a long time. I don 't know what it was about this story that moved me so much but the characters and circumstances stayed with me long after I put the book down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck Sorvillo | 10/10/2012

    " Benioff has a great ability to write and draw you into his characters. I wish he wouldwrite more and do less screenplays(Troy, Game of Thrones) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 2/25/2012

    " String start and interesting premise, but when they got to the "meat market" I lost feeling like I really needed to know what was going to happen. Another review mentioned how this book takes the bizarre to the extreme~AGREED! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 1/17/2012

    " This book was both easy and hard to read. The devastation of the war was crushing and yet the book had moments of humor and joy. An amazing read I couldn't put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/26/2011

    " I didn't expect a book set during the Siege of Leningrad to have such great amounts of humor in it, but it did. Another book I likely would have never read were it not for a book club, and I'm glad I did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen Campbell | 8/4/2011

    " This is one of the top 5 books I have ever read. Presently I am going through it and highlighting the sentences and paragraphs that were so memorable to me. Unbelievably funny, sad, so beautifully written I will never forget it and have recommended it to all my friends. LOVED IT "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 8/3/2011

    " One of my favorites this year. Such a great written story and so witty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsty | 6/29/2011

    " Wow - I found it hard to put this book down and it's still lingering under my skin "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 6/27/2011

    " great find - really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 6/27/2011

    " Funny and sad; serious and lighthearted. An excellent read with more depth and lightness than expected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 6/26/2011

    " I enjoyed the book and really liked the story (I've wanted to read more about WWII in Russia), but there was a LOT of vulgarity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 6/25/2011

    " A really remarkable war story - often brutal, but with such an overall sweetness and humor about it that it works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mical | 6/23/2011

    " I loved this book and the authors writting. It is a serious book but with some humor. Takes place in Russia during the 2nd World War and about survival. The author has a very good way with words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breanna | 6/21/2011

    " I loved this book. It is set in Russia during Hitler's march on Stahlingrad. It's witty, poignant and well written. I highly recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 6/21/2011

    " Excellent Story! I could picture this story as I read it. Loved the characters! Quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 6/21/2011

    " Very surprised at how much I liked this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/19/2011

    " This was a good story, but has loads of swearing and what bothered me more was the gross sexual comments. Maybe I'm just really sheltered? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 6/18/2011

    " At first I didn't think much of this but gradually I got caught up and loved it. It should get four and a half! "

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About the Author
Author David BenioffDavid Benioff was born and raised in New York City. He adapted his first novel, The 25th Hour, into the feature film directed by Spike Lee. With many other screenplays to his credit, he is also the writer of the films, "Brothers" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". Stories from his critically acclaimed collection When the Nines Roll Over appeared in Best New American Voices and The Best Nonrequired American Reading. His latest novel is City of Thieves. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter where he is a co-creator and writer for the HBO hit series "Game of Thrones."  
 
About the Narrator

Ron Perlman is best known for his titular roles in the Hellboy movies and his long run on the TV series Sons of Anarchy, as well as scores of other iconic performances, including The Name of the Rose, City of Lost Children, and Pacific Rim. He won a Golden Globe Award for his role in Beauty and the Beast and is a star and executive producer of the Amazon series Hand of God. Perlman lives in Los Angeles.