The Last Book I Loved: City of Thieves


25446155The last book I loved is CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff.  I loved it for a simple, yet powerful reason: it transported me.  I was on a 15.5 hour flight to Hong Kong and I read the novel in one partially reclined sitting.  I needed a novel to eat away the time and this did it.  It’s an improbable story about a seventeen-year-old boy fighting for survival in the siege of Leningrad.  (He’s also in desperate pursuit of a dozen eggs.)  Benioff knows how to plot a novel, while also using irony and clear, memorable language to depict the horrors (and black comedies) of war.  The ending is a little too tidy for my taste, but it’s not a reason to dismiss the novel.   If you’re ever in the mood for a book that will overwhelm you with sheer storytelling, this is it.  If you have a long flight, get yourself a copy.

David Ebershoff is the author of three novels, The 19th Wife, Pasadena, and The Danish Girl, and a short-story collection, The Rose City. He has won a number of awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Lambda Literary Award. He is an editor-at-large at Random House and lives in New York City. More from this author →