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The Russian Galatea-bookcover

By: Ira David Wood III

The Russian Galatea

Pages: 264 Ratings: 4.9
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On July 16, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, the last Tsar of Russia, and his entire family were supposedly murdered by Russian Bolsheviks in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Siberia. One year later, Alexander Kolchak, the Supreme Commander of the White Army, appointed a legal investigator to prove, beyond any doubt, that all members of the Romanov family had indeed been executed. The investigator’s name was Nicholas Sokolov.

The Russian Galatea is a story based on Sokolov’s investigation. It takes place in Siberia, 1919 – with the Russian Revolution as its background. The major thesis is fiction but woven around true historical facts. It is a detective story about one courageous investigator’s obsession with finding out what really happened to Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. It is also a story about Sokolov’s deep relationship with the girl in a faded photograph. Is she alive or dead?

Ira David Wood III is an award-winning actor, director, and playwright. He is the founder and current Executive Director of Theatre in the Park, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the proud father of three children: Ira David Wood IV, Evan Rachel Wood, and Thomas Miller Wood. He and his wife, Ashley, remain proud to call North Carolina “home”.

Customer Reviews
7 reviews
7 reviews
  • DouginNC

    Brick by brick the story builds. Like other constructs, it was not clear what would rise when the foundation was being laid in the first chapter or two. As author Ira David Wood III shaped The Russian Galatea, it became recognized as something familiar told from an intriguing point of view. This is an epic Russian story previously presented on movie screens, in staged shows, and on the written page. Yet, with its own depth and character focus, this tale offers something new. It was a pleasure to read as the mystery grew deeper, the pieces held together, and the structure was completed.

    Before gymnasts were icons known by single names such as Nadia and Olga, ANASTASIA was a famous female teenage Russian who needed no surname. That solo intonation connoted nobility, beauty, sacrifice, legend, mystery, drama, and hope that has powered a century of recitation. She was a Romanov, of course, the family of Tsars whose rule of Mother Russia came to an abrupt end.

    Perhaps 'A' came to the same end; perhaps not. The question put to investigator Nicholas Sokolov in 1919 is this: "What was the fate of each and every one of the Romanovs?" The fiction in my hands and head feels quite real.

    A point repeated during the investigation is that things are not always as they seem. But the novel does not deceive. The reader is granted a historical perspective, given the evidence, carried through the story, shown a new light, and partakes in one of history's fine mysteries.

    In Wood's Galatea, protagonist Sokolov holds the image of Anastasia in quiet adoration. In Galatea, the author builds on work he developed and presented dramatically on a North Carolina theater stage in the prior decade. In Galatea, the title references Greek mythology. In Galatea, the writer invokes the words of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (whose book of "Meditations" I happen to be reading). In Galatea, the reader's mind is engaged, stretched, and satisfied.

    This book covers "who, what, when, where, why, ... and how." The historical research is high. The connection with the characters is certain. The insight from being "in the [head] where it happens" (Hamilton Musical allusion) is maintained throughout. The description of "place" or "setting" could be better. The use of clichés is not admirable but confined mainly to one chapter.

    Returning to my opening analogy, the assembled bricks were quite suddenly roofed over. Some may dismay that the book seemed rushed to completion. Perhaps the Thomas Edison idiom applies to comrade Sokolov, that his genius is "one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." He reviewed facts, studied hard, checked boxes, followed leads, and found the culminating evidence that inspired a quick conclusion. Readers observe how that result compares with the "official report."

    As Robert Frost might say, the various Romanov stories are "roads diverged" ... and in Wood's focus on the investigator, the opportunity is to experience "one less traveled by." Enjoy the journey!

  • Stuart Marland

    Mr. Wood has written a historical mystery about one of the most unsettling events in modern times - The 1918 Murder of the Last Tsar of Russia and his entire family. The author vividly paints accurate portraits of the events, circumstances surrounding this mystery and the Siberian house where the murders took place. I highly recommend this novel to history buffs, as well as those interested in mystery, romance and suspense.

  • Janis coville

    I loved this book I was privileged to be a participant in the play as the nurse and the detail in this book just brought it all back to me and made it real. Truth or Fiction? No one knows for sure and probably never will. It is a MUST READ!

  • SRS

    Thoroughly readable book. This historical fiction at its best. Enjoyable read.

  • John Aschenbrenner

    Great book full of intimate details about the Romanovs. So well written. Must read!

  • jetlagged 65

    I have been intrigued by the assassination of the Romanovs for years. The Russian Galatea adds a delicious layer of what-if to what I already knew. This is an excellent read. Even though the alleged assassination took place in mid-summer, there is something quite appropriate about reading this tale during mid-winter. At the book’s conclusion, my thoughts turned from what-if to why-not?

  • GLG

    An excellent story that keeps you rivited throughout. Mr. Wood has done this material real justice! A great addition to anyone's collection and reading list.

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