City of Thieves (Benioff)

I have looked at this novel many times, but never picked it up before. WW2 seems to be an endless source for stories, and that’s probably a good thing, but it can be tiresome. Particularly at the beginning, Benioff takes some care to craft his sentences (though he is definitely overly fond of parallel structure). But once his protagonist heads off on his comically  absurd journey, Benioff loses his way. There are the requisite and extreme obstacles. There is some humor and some incisive if unsurprising insights about Russia. But the language about women and Jews made me cringe a number of times. Perhaps it’s realistic or part of character development – it just didn’t seem necessary.

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