lunedì 24 marzo 2014

City of Thieves or a buddy comedy in wartime

                            City of Thieves by David Benioff
                                              A buddy comedy in wartime

WWII. During the nazi's siege of Leningrad, the young Lev Beniov is arrested for looting a corpse of a frozen german soldier and put in a cell with Kolya, A handsome deserter and oddly obsessed with literature. It's certain death for both of them in front of the rifle of the red army but suddenly they have an opportunity to save their lives: they'll be to set free if can find a dozen eggs for thewedding cake of a powerful Soviet Colonel’s daughter. For Lev it's the beginning of the more dangerous and interesting days of his life: travelling under the guidance of Kolya, Lev will discover much about life and about himself.
David Benioff is well known for his book "The 25th Hour" on which Spike Lee based the movie with the same name; Benioff is also known for his work on the HBO show, "Games of Thrones".
In City of Thieves Benioff takes the memory told to him by his grandfather and makes a weird version of the World War II: usually in stories based on the WWII the tone is serious, pompous and rhetoric and self celebrative (the last one is mainly an attribute of the american Blockbuster) but Benioff introduces something different, irony.
George R.R. Martin and David Benioff 
His characters are brilliant and the dialogues have a really good rhythm and are punctuated with humourous jokes. The tone isn't always light and the change in relation with the situation: Benioff is not a stupid and knows about what he can makes joke about and what he cannot.
The tone of the book is a weird mix of the strange character Pynchon's Style and of the adorable losers of Graham Greene: there's no place for A hero here, just for stupid, presuntuos, greedy, needy, beautiful human beings.

In conclusion "City of Thieves" is a really good book if you are sick of all the blockbusters about WWII, and you're looking for something different, something with less heroism and more humanity in it!