Cover image for Rasputin : satyr, saint, or Satan
Rasputin : satyr, saint, or Satan
Myles, Douglas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., [1990]

Physical Description:
320 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library DK254.R3 M95 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Satyr? Saint? Or was he a satanist? Myles draws heavily on checkout-counter tabloids, gab-show teasers, docudrama, and on adjectives (often synonyms) and lists in technicolor rhetoric. His propulsive hyperbole sometimes outdistances meaning--as when he tells us the nobility would favor any serious plot, "however treacherous or ignoble," to assassinate Rasputin (in contrast to forthright and noble assassination plots?). Myles offers long digressions on such matters as the duality of human personality and narrates Rasputin's thoughts; and yet, the larger-than-life personalities of the world provide excuses for even the tough-minded among us to dwell on myths. An invigorating thing to do, and Myles' conventionalized excess is oddly congenial to the myths that have gravitated to his subject. Glossary, bibliography; to be indexed. --Roland Wulbert

Publisher's Weekly Review

Perhaps even more than Stalin or Gorbachev, the Russian name that still captures the Western imagination is that of the illiterate Siberian peasant and alleged holy man Rasputin (1872-1916). His apparent ability to restore health to Czar Nicholas II's hemophiliac son and the immense political influence he thereby won, leading to his assassination by jealous nobles, helped precipitate the Russian Revolution. Myles ( Prince Dracula ) combines elements of titillating romance, imagined stream-of-consciousness narrative and dialogue with his facts--much of the last based on the diaries of Rasputin's daughter Maria. Some of this amalgam is unabashedly melodramatic. Without seeking to rehabilitate his subject, the author cites the Byzantine tradition of itinerant seers, whose sexual excesses, like Rasputin's, were as notable as their miraculous healing powers. Photos not seen by PW. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Rasputin, the controversial religious man who influenced Russia's Alexandra and Nicholas II--and national politics--through his ability to aid their hemophiliac son, receives sympathetic treatment in this new biography. While acknowledging Rasputin's weaknesses as an adventurer and seducer of women, Myles credits Rasputin with extraordinary powers of healing and clairvoyance. He relies upon a variety of secondary sources from Russian history as well as parapsychology and the occult. Myles's effort to make Rasputin more comprehensible by adopting his perspective is sometimes confusing. Better books on the subject are Joseph Fuhrmann's Rasputin: A Life ( LJ 11/15/89) or Alex DeJonge's The Life and Times of Grigorii Rasputin ( LJ 4/15/82). Not recommended.-- Rena Fowler, Northern Michigan Univ . Lib., Marquette (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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