The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander (R.D. Zimmerman) re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov, as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka.

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.

The Romanovs are arguably second only to Jack the Ripper as objects of literary speculation. The story of their last days, their possible escape and the final resting place of the $500 million in jewels hidden in their clothing provides periodic grist for fiction writers. Alexander’s firimg_0123st novel is based on decades research and access to previously sealed Russian archives, and he has produced an incredibly detailed version of the Romanovs’ captivity.

Narrated by 94-year-old Mikhail Semyanov, a Russian immigrant now living outside Chicago, the novel travels back to the bloody days of the Russian revolution, when the entire royal family is imprisoned in Siberia, in a building known as the House of Special Purpose. There, the seven Romanovs —Tsar Nikolai, his wife Aleksandra, their hemophiliac son, Aleksei, and their four daughters— are confined with a small staff of attendants, including Leonka, the kitchen boy of the title, who may or may not be narrator Mikhail.

Russophiles may want to access Alexander’s bibliography, plus copies of the documents that he studied and historical photos, on his Web site.

Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky

Kristin Scott Thomas has come on board to star the adaptation of in The Kitchen Boy. Will be directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the helmer behind the 2008 best foreign language Oscar winner The Counterfeiters.

Sir Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for adapting the 2002 Roman Polanski drama The Pianist and also penned The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, wrote the script for Kitchen Boy.

Thomas plays Alexandra Romanov, the German-born empress and mother of five children.

Glenn Williamson is producing via his Back Lot Pictures banner with R. D. Zimmerman. Williamson is the former head of Focus Features and a former DreamWorks exec whose producing credits include Hollywoodland, Sunshine Cleaning and Happythankyoumoreplease.

We coundn’t find the date of realese in cinemas, but will be waiting of its launch.

 

 

 

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