Monday, September 2, 2013

Russian love is a splendid thing

Book Clubbers have just finished another book in which people fall in love.  Does the PBR Book Club have a soft heart when it comes to romance? Who would have guessed?

City of Thieves is about Lev's romance for war,  his home city,  and for a quick-witted sniper partisan named Vika. Although Lev is unexperienced in the area of love,  his cultured and slightly older companion Koyla, advises Lev about courtship.  Love serves as a distraction as Lev and Koyla endure the war and witness the brutal siege of Leningrad.                    

Unfortunately, the romance in City of Thieves is fiction.  An interview with Benioff by Penguin reveals that the story in City f Thieves is not based on the experiences of Benioff's grandfather (he actually grew up in Delaware) or his grandmother,.  However, the book is historically researched.  One of Benioff's favorite inspirations when writing the story was The Nine Hundred Days by Harrison Salisbury. Salisbury was the first Western journalist to have access to Leningrad once the siege was lifted. Salisbury spoke firsthand with hundreds of Russians who survived the siege, and collected diaries, journals, and letters. 

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