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)
Russian language is my mother tongue, so I read this wonderful book in Russian. Recently, I recommended "The Master and Margarita" for our book club. However, after having read about half of the translated book, I find the translation not only far from "masterful" but often unreadable. Sometimes I feel that it was Google-translated. Some of the idiomatic phrases and expressions are translated literally, resulting in an opposite meaning or complete loss of meaning. It seems that the translating couple is masterful not in translation but in self-promotion.
One of my favorite novels. Besides renewing my lapsed interest in spirituality, dazzling my senses, and making me laugh like mad, this wonderful book proved to me that good love stories are still out there, somewhere.
Anyone who thinks that "it's all been done" or "there are no new ideas left" owes it to him/herself to check out this book. (Warning to prospective readers: this book may contain the Devil)
OK, it's official. I really don't get the appeal of Russian literature. (Except for Solzhenitsyn. He's a genius.)
A joyful romp of black magic. There were parts of this book that were so biting and funny. It is a strong work that had me glued. This book is considered a masterpiece throughout the civilized world, although better know in Europe than the U.S. It is profound original and beautiful.
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