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The Best of the Book Nook: 'The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar' by Robert Alexander

"The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar" by Robert Alexander

This book contains a fictional account of the final days of the Russian monarchy.

(Original recording made in 2003)

Robert Alexander was intrigued by the history of imperial Russia. In his book "The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar," Alexander revisits the final moments of the last Tsar, Nicholas, and his family. This fictional story is based upon actual history. The author employs a clever device as this tale is being told by an elderly man in his nineties, a man who was there with the Tsar while the Bolsheviks kept them as prisoners in Siberia and eventually executed the family. This fellow had been one of their servants, a lowly kitchen boy, who managed to evade death and go on to live a long life. This story was being told as he looked back at those times.

The author knew Russia well. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union he went there to run some businesses which included a number of coffee carts. During this interview he talked about what it was like to try to operate companies in Russia twenty years ago. As I go back to dust off these archival programs I always check to ascertain that first of all, the author is still living, and then what they have been doing since then. I was surprised when I searched for that information and discovered that Robert Alexander was actually his pen name. This writer's actual name is Robert D. Zimmerman. I never realized this fact at the time.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public LibraryClark County Public LibraryDayton Metro LibraryWright Memorial Public Library, and Tipp City Public.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.