Papa was a saint. So very different from the ""fraudulent faith healers and seers, the leaders of bizarre mystical cults, purveyors of grotesque philosophies, and other quacks"" who made St. Petersburg the seething cauldron of vice when Papa arrived. That was in 1905, and soon Maria Rasputin, his ten-year-old daughter, joined Grigori Efimovich. Grigori was ""always a family man first"" and had already spent years traipsing about Russia healing the sick and purging his sexual appetites in holy orgies--the better to calm the soul for prayer and meditation. Like Edda Mussolini Ciano (My Truth, 1976), Maria is a faithful daughter-she even elaborates on Papa's theological precepts by drawing on Hindu teachings. And Papa had a lot to reckon with as would any man endowed with ""an extraordinary member. . . measuring a full thirteen inches."" Of plottings at the Romanov court he was innocent--he tried so hard to dissuade the Tsar from the folly of war. But he had enemies: an evil monk named Iliodor caused his temporary banishment from the capital and instigated an assassination attempt. It failed, but the sadist homosexual Feliks Yussopov led the band of murderers that succeeded. . . Maria identified the mutilated body. Quite unintentionally, the gossamer unreality of life in St. Petersburg on the eve of the Revolution is conveyed. But who knows, in these X-rated times of Dionysian erotica and strange holy men, even Rasputin may be due for rehabilitation. . . .