In this "rough-and-tumble tale that clenches humor, savagery, and pathos squarely together on the same page" (Washington Post) by the author of The 25th Hour, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a deserter named Kolya during the Nazis' siege of Leningrad. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a chance to save their lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a lawless city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.
"No recent novel I've read travels so quickly and surely between registers, from humor to devastation…. Benioff reminds us what a beautifully ambiguous world we live in."—NYTBR