#1 - a book published posthumously
Honestly, I chose this book by the cover. The sureal cat/person Looked really cool. I’m also a big fan of Russian literature just like its cover this book is so real and a bit thought provoking literary wise however it kind of fell apart at the end
It strikes me that this would have been ideal as a "graphic novel" (a.k.a comic book) since it contains neither a real hero nor a real villain, all the players being caricatures -- with the exception of Pontius Pilate (who probably deserved a better fate and a better book). There are problems right from the get-go: neither of the title characters M&M appear until very late in the novel (pages 130 and 215 respectively). The "master" never even merits a name! Hero? Hardly.
By far the most interesting character is the devil, who turns out to be a pretty decent chap, bails M&M out of a jam -- although it's never made clear why he does so. In fact, the entire book suffers from a lack of motivation on the part of each character. The entire walpurgisnacht was entirely lost on me -- more comic book stuff. So what can we learn in the course of reading this allegory?
1. The devil (if he exists) is a trickster (reminiscent of Nanabush) but not especially evil
2. The existence of both God and the devil remains unproven
3. Pontius Pilate hated his job
4. Russia in the 1920s was a shitty place
5. Many writers, like much of humanity are back-stabbing egotists
6. When reading a Russian novel, it's prudent to make a list of all the characters, including their patronymics and their familiar nicknames to keep track of them (but it doesn't help much)
7. Russian satire (if that's what this is) will be lost on most non-Russian readers
Come to think about it, we already knew most of that before reading the book.
Any attempt to equate this book with Goethe's masterpiece Faust? I think not. Far too cluttered with self-indulgent nonsense, the book would have benefited from a good deal of judicious editing to shorten it by about 100 pages.
A wonderful novel. One of my favorites.
I loved this book. It was a captivating read. Additionally, it gives great footnotes for those unfamiliar with Soviet history.
For many, the great Russian novel "The Master and Margarita" is a rock and roll footnote: Supposedly, it was the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." Well, it's much more than that. It's also Daniel Radcliffe's favorite novel! (According to the blurb in my Penguin edition). Bulgakov worked on it for over a decade, but died before it was published in the mid-60s. If you've read (or toiled through) classic Russian novelists like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, you'll recognize a similar darkness of tone and philosophical strain, but Bulgakov takes these elements in a comical, phantasmagoric, and outright bizarre direction. There's a talking cat for example. And chapters set during the time of Christ. I don't know how to describe it, but it's a novel bursting with life, ideas, and invention. It recalls other un-classifiable novels like "Tristram Shandy," "Don Quixote," and "Gargantua and Pantagruel." That Radcliffe really knows his Russian lit! The most recent translation is by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who have done acclaimed versions of Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Tolstoy.
This novel is cleverly conceived and skilfully written. I am infinitely grateful there is universal truth is the aphorism : 'Manuscripts don't burn', thankfully, he was able to finish it. I would recommend this book to anyone, but if you do appreciate Russian literature this is an absolute must.
When I first read Bulgakov’s satirical masterpiece, it made me question how much we can know of good and evil. The novel begins when the devil arrives with his entourage in Moscow. The devil and his minions begin making all kinds of fantastic mischief. Meanwhile, from his psychiatric hospital bed, the Master is writing a retelling of the last days of Jesus. The Master’s lover, Margarita, decides to sell her soul to save him.
The book is fun, funny, engaging and deep. There are scenes unlike any I’ve encountered elsewhere, like a ball thrown by Satan that has accordion playing polar bears providing the music for the fascinating, evil guests.
Well may this book be a classic in Russian literature. Written during the days of Stalin, it was banned in the Soviet Union until the 1960s (due to its satire of Communist propaganda) and still managed to twist noses upon its serialization in 1967. Unfortunately, the plot lines were difficult to follow, especially the segues to the confrontation between Pontius Pilate and Jesus of Nazareth and the execution of the latter. Perhaps something was lost in translation, but this book just didn't jump at me.
This book is't about religion. For full understanding you need to know history of Russia. I love that book. I was born and grew up in Moscow. The book has real streets and locations. The first time I read in the school and after I read again and again. I always open a new things. So, enjoy)
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