Early Book Review: Petrograd by Philip Gelatt and Tyler Crook

Petrograd by Philip Gelatt and Tyler Crook is a historic thriller in a graphic novel format due to released on August 3 2011. Rasputin and the events of Russian Revolution of 1916 have consistently been a subject of great curiosity and interest. Petrograd takes a close look at the people and powers of the time, and speculates on exactly how Rasputin was really murdered. No one knows the whole, true story, but the version of events in this graphic novel seem quite realistic and connect well the the stories and bits of fact that scholars do know. The artwork is brilliant, done entirely in sepia tones, with sharp lines and angles used extremely well. The close ups of faces, alive with emotion, say as much as the dialogue used in the panels. The emotion and agony in faces really makes the reality of what the people must have been going through in such a turbulent time.

There must have been significant amount of research and thought that went into creating Petrograd, which makes it both realistic and a compelling story about the individuals and the times. The involvement of British intelligence in the revolution and Rasputin's murder has been an ongoing rumor. Petrograd takes the rumor and makes it a story that in intriguing and a fantastic read. While you might never have considered graphic novels as a tool for education, non fiction or historical fiction; I think that the story and artwork of Petrograd make a strong case for this format being used to get children, teens and adults interested in history or subject matter that they might otherwise avoid. As a reader that tends to stick with fiction, reading for escape and enjoyment far more often than for learning about history, I will admit that that I was drawn in and am going to continue reading about the history of Russia and the era of the revolution in general.
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