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The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by…

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Robert Alexander

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1,272619,453 (3.76)90
Title:The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar
Authors:Robert Alexander
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2004), Paperback, 229 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander (2002)

Recently added byJackmann, philraitt, CollectionZarya, dale01, private library, Brad4600, kcpoet, Janelle0605, slhvizdos
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    Rasputin's Daughter by Robert Alexander (wrz2)
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    The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about historical events in Russia.
  3. 01
    The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie (bnbookgirl)
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    The Siege by Helen Dunmore (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about historical events in Russia.

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English (59)  Dutch (2)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
An interesting imagining of the final days of the Tsar and his family told through the eyes of one of the servants allowed into captivity with the family in their final days. The author uses a creative twist to unravel the story. Unfortunately captivity, due to it's very nature, can be rather dull so portions of the novel drag a bit and I found myself skimming a great deal through the middle section of the book. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
An intricately detailed story of the last days of Russia's last Tsar and his doomed family. A straight forward example of great historical fiction that wasn't straight forward at all! This mystery completely eluded and thrilled me. Highly recommend - a tale that is quick to read, but will stay with you long after the final page. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Facts mix with fiction in this story of the last days and weeks of the Romanov family, the last Tsar of Russia. He and his wife and 5 children were held captive in a house. Told from the point of view of Leonka, the kitchen boy, we learn about each member of the family and also about the loyal help that stayed with them and the hardships. Prominent members of the Red army and a couple of nuns are also woven into the fabric of what I think for me will be an unforgettable story. This slim volume is deceiving -- there is much packed into it, with an astonishing set of twists near the end.

The book is also a statement on the times. That the kindly Tsar didn't stay current may have contributed to his downfall, a lesson that resonates across ages. His wife, the Tsaritsa, was largely unknown to the people, so rumors flew, as often happens. Their only son was a hemophiliac, a death sentence at that place in history. He and the kitchen boy, early teens, spent time together. A young kitchen boy under these circumstances could come and go invisibly, bringing hope and information to the royal family. And what really happened to that vast fortune of jewels anyway?

( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
This was an interesting, fictionalized take on the imprisonment and assassination of the Romanov family. It was believable, up until the very last pages when a character discovers she is the granddaughter of one one of the Romanov children. Preposterous. This would have been a fine story if it focused on the life of the kitchen boy as a servant to the Romanovs during their imprisonment, and as a witness to their execution. But, it took a crazy turn and became pure fantasy. Reading this book after knowing that the bodies of the Romanov family and their servants had been discovered, identified through DNA testing, and properly buried, makes the ending unnecessary. It was entertaining enough for the reader to listen to Misha's confession about his true identity as the kitchen boy. Why then make him one of the Red guards and how ridiculous to think Maria not only survived the wounds she sustained during the murder attempt, and with whatever the nuns could find to treat her infections and fever, but she also fully recovered and ran off with Misha to America. How could she forgive someone who had a hand in murdering her entire family? So what if he repented and so what if he saved her? He was partly responsible for the destruction of the Russian monarchy and the stupid Communist aftermath that plagued Russia for decades. He's no dreamboat... ( )
1 vote RojaHorchata | Jul 11, 2016 |
The Kitchen Boy – Robert Alexander
4 stars
Mikhail Semyonov has a confession to make. It’s a long story that he records on a cassette tape for his granddaughter to hear after his death. He claims to be the last living witness to the murder of the Romanovs. His confession details the Siberian confinement of the Tsar and his family from early June in 1918 until their murder in mid-July. It’s an intimate, painstaking report of a close, devout family in a desperate situation. Mikhail was a witness and a survivor. And he has a dangerous secret.

There is suspense as Mikhail tells his story, but also some tedium. Knowing the tragic end that awaits the family, the detailed depiction of their day to day existence dragged. I’m sure this was deliberate. Time must certainly have dragged for the prisoners. Although clearly a fictional account, historically known documents such as letters and diaries are referenced frequently. The story deviates from actual history in a surprise ending that is nonetheless believable.

The story is told as the first person account of a presumed witness, and I felt that Mikhail assumed that his reader had some knowledge of Russian history. As this book seems written for a young adult audience, the lack of background might cause an uninformed reader some problems.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
The Kitchen Boy
By: Devin Miller

In English we were assigned to read a book called the The Kitchen Boy. It is written by Robert Alexander and is a historical fiction. Meaning it is based on real events but it is imaginatively reconstructed. This book is about a royal russian family that is brutally murdered. I really like most of this book. Some of it was just blah and I didn’t want to read it, but the plot twist in the end made it all worth.
This book is about the last royal russian family and how they were murdered. They were taken by the nasty bolsheviks to “The House of Special Purpose”. This is the last place they will have lived for it is where they are brutally killed. The book is told through the eyes of the kitchen boy Leonka. He is tasked with the most important mission of his life and the families. Through him we learn what happens to the family in this special house. The plot twist at the end is ridiculous.
The theme of this book is recurring. It is that faith can keep you going. The tsaritsa was always praying with her kids whenever possible and they even had a church service in the house.
added by imawesomesauce | editme, me

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Alexanderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benach, ErinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middleworth, BethCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Peering through the peephole of her apartment door, the old woman didn't know what to do.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142003816, Paperback)

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra as seen through the eyes of the Romanovs’ young kitchen boy, Leonka. Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs’ brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family. Does he hold the key to the many questions surrounding the family’s murder? Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, the author recreates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra as seen through the fictional eyes of the Romanovs' young kitchen boy, Leonka. Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs' brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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