Originally written in the Soviet Union between 1927 and 1940. First published in English translation by Michael Glenny by Harper And Row in 1967.
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How I got this book:
Borrowed from my partner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by various demons, including a naked girl and a huge black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil's onslaught.
I think this might be the most fantastical novel I ever read. Dave spotted it and downloaded it for our Kindle and I am so glad he did! A deserved classic, I am told this is the book that inspired Mick Jagger to write Sympathy For The Devil (wooo wooo). The Master and Margarita tells two stories, in one Satan visits Moscow to create mayhem and lands several theatrical notables in a mental asylum including the eponymous Master who has failed to publish a novel about Pontius Pilate at the time of the crucifixion. The second storyline is that of the Master's novel. The cast of bizarre characters are truly fantastic and I loved the descriptive sweeps of writing, especially the Ball and Margarita's transformation. The undercurrent of Stalin's dark Russia is always just out of sight but undoubtedly present and the Russian people themselves do not come out of this story well. Bulgakov didn't seem to think they needed much pushing from Satan to be bad!
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Books by Mikhail Bulgakov / Humorous fiction / Books from Russia