I wish this book were longer than 8 hours. I finished it in two days. It was incredible. The only audiobook I've listened to that actually made me cry. Which is extremely uncommon for me. You will not be disappointed with story or narration.
I read/listen. Constantly. While the hands are busy, it is an esstenial that the mind be as well.
Benioff, you're amazing. I was sucked in by the 3rd paragraph. Perlman, you made all the pieces work.
The writing and reading was what made this character development novel 'work'. The narrator involves you with the story. The author drags you into situations you don't want to be in, but you love it. I've listen to this twice and every time I find something new. Can't wait for more Benioff.
My biggest problem with the performance of City of Thieves is that the entire story follows two characters, and at multiple dialogues it was almost impossible to understand who was talking since the narration of the voices was so similar.
I love historical fiction and this was a wonderful simple story with World War I and Russia as its backround. The narrator took some getting used to but by the middle I was all in with the accents. It was every bit as good as enthralling as Pillars of the Earth.
Lyrical and unexpected, a slice of life that puts you on the ground during a dark period of Leningrad's history and let's you experience both the pathos and absurdity of survival during war. The charactyers are beautifully drawn and you will feel a wonderful affection for them before the story's end.
I only read this book because of my book club. I am sure glad they chose it. What a wonderful read. I didn't want it to end. It richly describes the horrors of war time for both civilians and military. Everyone should read this book.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
This was an odd book in that I almost erased it 4 times. I'm glad I stuck it out
as once the story began to focus on the relationship between Lev and Kolya, it began to have heart. In the end, I'm glad I read it as it gave me a window into Russian culture and what the Russians lived through during the second World War. Having been in St. Petersburg and having seen the destruction that the German soldiers inflicted on that city alone, it was fascinating to get an eye on the people and how they were affected. I found the reader's voice somwhat irritating and monotone but perhaps the book was read that way on purpose.
David Benioff wanted to write a biography of his grandfather’s experience in the siege of Leningrad. However, his grandfather, tired of interviews and questions, and poking and prodding told him simply, “David, you’re a writer. Make it up!” What resulted was something halfway between a history and a fever dream. There are moments that, personally, I would have preferred to leave out. (If you’re an animal lover, I highly recommend skipping from the top of page 110 to the start of the next chapter.) And the story that reminds you just how awful Nazis really were reads like something out of the most recent round of torture porn, because that’s exactly what he is describing. But it’s the rest of the moments that really make the book work. The horror is the leading that holds this stained glass depiction of an experience up where we can see it.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend the whole book trying to sort out what was real and what was made up. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to know what a grandson imagined about the almost hero his grandfather had been. I didn’t want to know because even if it hadn’t happened to him, to Lev Beniov, it happened to someone in Piter that winter. And maybe, in making it up, David Benioff managed to write the story of a city under siege even more than the biography of his grandfather who lives in Florida, as far away from the Piter snow as he can get.
This is a great story. I did not do several things I should have because I wanted to know what happened next. The writing is very good though not stellar, but the characters are undeniably memorable.
Our reader, though his accents are shaky at first, ends up being and integral and dark lovely force by a couple chapters in.
This is a well produced book with chapters marked and punctuated by music. If I had a criticism it would be the music interrupting the ends of chapters and distracting (albeit sometimes relieving) the intensity of the narrative.
All in all – I wish it was longer because I want more!