City of Thieves: I Laughed, I Cried, I Really Wanted an Omelette

Book Cover - City of Thieves by David BenioffThere’s a book that I have had on my shelf for years called City of Thieves by David Benioff. David Benioff is a writer for a little TV show you may have heard of called Game of Thrones.

The premise of the book didn’t sound like much but throughout the 250-page book it had me captivated and at the end had me really wanting to make myself an omelette.

Set in Leningrad during World War II The book follows two prisoners who are offered the chance to earn their freedom by procuring a dozen eggs for a high-ranking Colonel’s daughter’s wedding.

Lev is in prison for looting and Kolya for desertion but as they are sent on this adventure through a brutal Russian winter, Benioff gives us a clear sampling of their voices.

This book is so snappy and so witty that I am afraid to go into detail about the plot points because it may spoil this spectacular work. That being said. It is also not a book for children. There is a lot of vulgar talk and language in this book. Normally, I am not even the type to read a book like this but I loved this one so much that I just felt compelled to keep reading. Without giving away too much of the story, here are some of the things that readers should be aware of:

  • A lot of cursing
  • A lot of vulgar talk about sex
  • References to rape by Nazis
  • Cannibalism

Regardless of these references I ended up asking myself: “In an age where so many books are being turned into movies.Why hasn’t anyone picked this up, yet?”

City of Thieves is a book where I cried on page and then laughed hysterically at the next page. There are images that are really intense and viscerally written, but there are also lighthearted toilet-humor jokes that balance the book out well.

This is probably my favorite book that I have read so far this year. The mix of comedy and dark humor blend together well. It’s hard not to imagine it a buddy war movie that will make audiences laugh and cry.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars and perfect for a cold winter’s night.


Published by Lauren Busser

Lauren Busser is a fiction writer and essayist. She is an associate editor at Tell-Tale TV, where she writes about all things tv. She has had fiction appear in five : 2 : one magazine’s #thesideshow and her nonfiction has appeared in Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. You can find her talking about tv, film, and knitting on Twitter @LaurenBusser.

27 thoughts on “City of Thieves: I Laughed, I Cried, I Really Wanted an Omelette

  1. Now I’ve seen you praise this book in three different posts so I guess it’s really good and I’m adding it to my TBR 😉


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