I got this book on a sale. I probably wouldn't have gotten it otherwise, based on the description. I sure would have missed out, because this is a fantastic book! Well written, fast paced and just a great story. I can't imagine anyone NOT liking this book. I highly recommend it. Narration was excellent, as well.
Listen to this book and you will never forget it. If you've read other historical fiction based on WWII, I can guarantee that this novel will set a new benchmark. Benioff takes you on a wondrous, heartfelt, painful, funny, thrilling journey with two characters that get under your skin and stay there. Bravo!
Wow, what a great story paired with the perfect narrator. Ron Perlman's monotone delivery allows the story to unfold in the listeners mind while letting the books humor sneak up on you with laugh out loud moments. There are plenty of books on the terrible siege of Lenningrad filled with facts and stats, but none that offer such lovable, relatable characters and insight into the everyday struggles of everyday people. With the right amount of examples of the absurdity of war, it brings you in quick then takes you on a journey in the familiar QUEST format, wrapping up the story with an ending that is both happy and sad. If this is your genre than its a must listen.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is fascinating on many levels: as historical fiction depicting the siege of Leningrad, a unique friendship between two people, a type of quest and a journey. The characters are well developed and the reader does a great job of bringing them to life.
Potential readers should be aware of the graphic nature of this story. I get it, that its Leningrad, it was a brutal horrific period. People starving, murdered, cannabalized. However, I am of the opinion that great literature does not need such incessant graphic sexual descriptions or dialogue. Brutality and sexual practices need not overshadow the main purpose of the narrative.....and if, perhaps, it becomes the main purpose it is all the more disappointing.
Very compelling performance
Lots of glowing reviews - but to me, a very difficult unrewarding read. I'd expected, based on the synopsis that I'd read, that this would be about a boy forced to use his wits to round up a dozen eggs - and save his life. This is the back story, but what he and his companion had to endure to accomplish this is utterly depressing and difficult to wade through. The period of time involved is only several days, but the main characters must endure hunger, forced by the German Siege of Leningrad, the brutal cold of the Russian winter and dodging, or sometimes failing to, the Nazi guns. I'd expected something a bit more uplifting, along the lines of the movie, Life is Beautiful. Granted, this was a horrendous time in history and many people suffered greatly, but ultimately, I felt that this telling lacked humanity.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
I really liked this book! I think David Benioff did an amazing job of weaving a very dark war story in with humorous episodes and even sexy ones. Mainly he tells a good story, and he made me care even more about the characters with his opening chapter where he seems to tell us that it really IS his grandfather who is the main character. I can't figure out from the reviews I read whether this is true or not, BUT it worked to make me evaluate the plot in a different way. Toward the end, I couldn't stop listening. I would have given it 5 stars except I guess I am a little tired of WWII stories involving Nazi atrocities. Of course, this one was focused on the Russian perspective of WWII, but I'm just not completely fond of war stories. In the last book I listened to, Out Stealing Horses, there was even a WWI/Nazi component, but it was removed from the action in a way that made in not as central to the story as in this book. Anyway, I did really enjoy listening to this book.
Since I depend on readers comments, I leave my comments for all the book I read.
This was a great portrayal of WWII story in Russia, Well written and well paced. It's a good novel about human hardship in it's worst times.
This book rivals "The Company" for my all time favorite audiobook. I loved the main characters and the narrator was terrific!
I tremendously enjoyed everything about this book. It is funny and exciting, yet emotionally involving. A coming of age story set in wartime. The narration by Ron Perlman was excellent. I wish the book was longer.