Fetch a dozen eggs, enough to bake a wedding cake. Hardly seems like a particularly challenging task, right? Certainly not a task that would earn one a stay of execution. And yet, for one young man during the siege of St. Petersburg, Russia during the second World War, that is exactly what he was faced with: fetch a dozen eggs in 5 days time or be executed. With the city already months into the siege this was no trivial task, but he lived to eventually narrate the story to his grandson who was a skilled enough writer to spin it into a great tale, recounted in David Benioff’s semi-biographical novel City of Thieves.
The story tells of a week in the life of a young man faced with a seemingly impossible task, but one that he nonetheless manages to complete. He becomes fast friends with another misfit in town with whom he shares the task, falls in love (at least once) and lives what could easily be one of the more exciting and adventurous weeks any person could have.
The book is a fast read – I read it on EWR-IAH-PDX without much trouble – and I was disappointed when it ended, only because I wanted it to last longer. Highly recommended as a way to pass the time in your travels.
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