Picks and Pans Review: City of Thieves

updated 05/26/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/26/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by David Benioff |

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In January 1942, Lev, a chess prodigy, and Kolya, a Red Army deserter, receive an improbable do-or-die mission: During the siege of Leningrad they must find eggs for the wedding cake of a colonel's daughter. A deft storyteller, Benioff writes about starvation, cannibalism and Nazi atrocities with poignance and cinematic flair. If Thieves were a movie, it would start out like Schindler's List and end up like Raiders of the Lost Ark. For better or worse.

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