City of Thieves Chapters 4-6 Summary & Analysis

David Benioff

City of Thieves

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City of Thieves Chapters 4-6 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 4 Summary

Lev and Kolya are released from the colonel’s headquarters and begin their quest by walking back to the city. Leningrad is a shadow of its former self, and the only people they see are pale and fragile. Kolya considers escape, but realizes they cannot survive without their ration cards. Lev, sensible and rational, suggests they simply focus on finding the eggs. Kolya agrees, and they head to the Haymarket in the hope of meeting black market traders.

Lev does not like the arrogant Kolya, who considers himself sexually and intellectually superior, despite the fact that he is only three years older than Lev. Kolya suggests that they accept their fate and become friends, claiming that he can teach Lev what he needs to know: “About girls, yes. About literature. About chess” (Chapter 4, p.64). Lev remains skeptical about his new friend.

Chapter 5 Summary

Since the siege began, the Haymarket has seen its affluent shops close down, and the area has now become a haven for buyers and sellers, trading whatever they possess in exchange for the meager food that is on offer. Kolya approaches the vendors with his usual over-confident and provocative manner, but to no avail: no one has had eggs since last September, though someone claims an old man near the Narva Gate has chickens.

Exhausted and frustrated with Kolya, Lev is about to go back home to the Kirov for the night when he is approached by a man who offers to sell them eggs but insists that they must go into a derelict building with him. Lev is aware that they are putting their lives in danger but recognizes that they have little to lose: “We were risking our lives walking into the building, but if we didn’t find the eggs soon, we were dead anyway” (Chapter 5, p.86).

They immediately realize they have entered the home of a cannibal and his wife, with various gruesome – and unmistakably human – body parts hanging from the ceiling. Lev attempts to use the German knife to defend himself, while Kolya hits the cannibal’s wife and tells Lev to…

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