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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
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The Master and Margarita (1966)

by Mikhail Bulgakov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,558346229 (4.24)8 / 974
  1. 146
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (LottaBerling)
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    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Mouseear)
  3. 70
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (shelfoflisa)
  4. 92
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (ateolf)
  5. 71
    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (BGP)
  6. 50
    The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Another tale where the devil shows up as a device to reveal and transcend the normality of "imposed terror".
  7. 73
    The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol by Nikolai Gogol (BGP, ateolf)
  8. 30
    Faust I & II by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (WSB7)
    WSB7: You will recognize many parallels as you read, and also consider that Bulgakov revised his work too over many years.
  9. 107
    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (markusnenadovus)
    markusnenadovus: Older Russian literature
  10. 20
    The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf (gbill)
  11. 20
    Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov (Nickelini)
  12. 10
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Woland and the gentleman with thistle-down hair are very similar.
  13. 65
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (raudakind)
  14. 00
    Envy by Yuri Olesha (sparemethecensor)
  15. 00
    Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (amanda4242)
    amanda4242: Both feature cities thrown into chaos by the arrival of otherworldly visitors.
  16. 55
    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (ateolf)
  17. 00
    Pilate's Wife by H.D. (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The comparison is mostly to the "book-within-a-book" that makes up one half of Bulgakov's narrative. Both books tell a version of Jesus's encounter with Pilate where the Roman tries to intercede on the prophet's behalf.
  18. 11
    The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (igor.chubin)
  19. 11
    Nervous People and Other Satires by Mikhail Zoshchenko (roby72)
  20. 12
    The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare (Cecilturtle)

(see all 25 recommendations)

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English (300)  Italian (14)  French (12)  Finnish (4)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (346)
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
I know that it got rave reviews, that's why I purchased it, but to me it's a dud! It read like a slap-stick comedy, of which I am not fond. Every chapter introduced new characters whose names all looked and sounded like everybody else's. The best word I can use to describe it is inane. Life is too short to read a large book that you hate! Read 16/32 chapters (about 200 pages) . ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Aug 15, 2018 |
One of the most picturesque books I have read. Conjures great images of 60s Soviet Russia. ( )
  simonspacecadet | Jul 29, 2018 |
I love this crazy, unpredictable book. The devil rocks up in Moscow and causes all sorts of trouble, it's absurd and funny. In the meantime Pontius Pilate is meeting Jesus and getting himself all confused. I think there's a lot of in jokes and references that I don't get but it's not important as there is so much else going on. The description is wonderful and the scenes of chaos are very vivid. I like this translation too, am not sure which I read last time, but think this one seemed more fun. ( )
  AlisonSakai | May 7, 2018 |
The Master and Margarita starts with a meeting in a park between Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz, the editor of a prominent literary magazine and Ivan Nikolayevich Ponyryov, a poet who writes under the pen name - Homeless. They are discussing a poem Berlioz has requested from Homeless. This work is supposed to deny the existence of Jesus. Berlioz doesn't feel the poem is strong enough to make the point he wants.

While they are preparing for a meeting to discuss this problem, a foreigner named Woland shows up. He tells them the meeting will NOT occur and explains with some statements that make no sense, something about spilled cooking oil. He also tells them Christ existed and was crucified. He knows this because he was there and starts relating the story. There are details that differ from the traditional telling, but what Woland is speaking about is clear.

Berlioz is upset by Woland's words, thinks the man is insane, and runs off to call the authorities, starting a chain of events which authenticate Woland's words. Woland then disappears and Homeless, who is now upset with what he has just witnessed, starts a bizarre search for Woland to turn him over to the police.

The story continues with an interweaving of activities of Woland with more of the story of Pilate and the crucifixion. Margarita is introduced and takes off on a weird adventure. She is the lover of the master, who is the author of the Pilate novel, which Woland related to Berlioz and Homeless. When their love affair takes a bad turn, she turns to Woland for help.

Many of the scenes are weird, to say the least. Bulgakov often dresses his female characters in very little or nothing at all and frequently accompanies these women with men in tuxedos. There is a ball, attended by famous characters, living and dead, also a magic show designed to demonstrate the priorities of the bourgeoisie in the audience, and a large, odd cat with human qualities. Woland's strange powers are demonstrated throughout the book, generally with a relation to sin in some form.

The Master and Margarita was written between 1928 and 1940 during Stalin's regime, but not published as a book until 1967. It's an extremely complex satire, covering multiple topics including religion, life under an authoritarian regime, and the pretentiousness of art (both performance and literary). I listened to the audio version, but had to research the book to get the most out of it. I think anyone who is about to read it should at least visit the Wikipedia page. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mas... ). You'll encounter spoilers, but it will help the story make sense.

Steve Lindahl – author of Under a Warped Cross, Hopatcong Vision Quest, White Horse Regressions, and Motherless Soul ( )
  SteveLindahl | Apr 10, 2018 |
This made me chuckle frequently. It's probably the most absurd book I've ever read. I mean the protagonist is Satan... that alone tells you a lot. I probably missed a lot of the political context, and I'm convinced the book will be even better once I get to re-read it. ( )
  Vinjii | Mar 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Hostigado y perseguido, como tantos otros creadores e intelectuales rusos, por sus críticas al sistema soviético, MIJAIL BULGÁKOV (1891-1940) no pudo llegar a ver publicada "El maestro y margarita", que, escrita entre 1929 y su fallecimiento, sólo pudo ver la luz en 1966. Novela de culto, la obra trasciende la mera sátira, si bien genial, de la sociedad soviética de entonces -con su población hambrienta, sus burócratas estúpidos, sus aterrados funcionarios y sus corruptos artistas, cuya sórdida existencia viene a interrumpir la llegada a Moscú del diablo, acompañado de una extravagante corte-, para erigirse en metáfora de la complejidad de la naturaleza humana, así como del eterno combate entre el bien y el mal.
added by pacocillero | editcontraportada de la edición
 

» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bulgakov, Mikhailprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arcella, SalvatoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomqvist, Lars ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgin, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crepax, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dridso, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dvořák, LiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Figes, OrlandoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flamant, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franklin, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginsburg, MirraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glenny, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstrom, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gradišnik, JanezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guercetti, EmanuelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrit, JørgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heino, Ulla-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppe, FelicitasAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Καραγεώργη… ΤίναTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karpelson, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klimowski, AndrzejIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kocić, ZlataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacasa Sancha, AmayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ligny, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäkelä, MarttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morávková, AlenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nitzberg, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, Katherine TiernanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ojamaa, JüriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orlov, VappuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pescada, AntónioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pos, Gert JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prestes, ZoiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prina, Maria SerenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, AaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Proffer, EllendeaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rea, PriitIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhind-Tutt, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schejbal, DanusiaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seabra, Manuel deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silva, Mario SalvianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skalaki, KrystynaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strada, VittorioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suart, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szőllősy, KláraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulla-Liisa HeinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vācietis, OjārsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
קריקסונוב, פטרTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...and so who are
you, after all?

—I am part of the power
which forever wills evil
and forever works good.

Goethe's Faust
‘Say at last — who art thou?’

‘That Power I serve
Which wills forever evil
Yet does forever good.’

Goethe, Faust
...Так кто ж ты, наконец?

— Я — часть той силы,
что вечно хочет
зла и вечно совершает благо.

Гете. “Фауст”
Dedication
First words
One hot spring evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch’s Ponds.
At the sunset hour of one warm spring day two men were to be seen at Patriarch’s Ponds.
Однажды весною, в час небывало жаркого заката, в Москве, на Патриарших
прудах, появились два гражданина.
Quotations
...manuscripts don’t burn.
Рукописи не горят.
Les manuscrits ne brûlent pas.
what would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
In this book, the devil and his entourage, which includes two demons, a naked girl and a huge cigar-smoking black cat who talks, walks upright and is a crack shot with a Mauser automatic, appear in Moscow. They wreak anarchy & havoc on the people.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679760806, Paperback)

Surely no stranger work exists in the annals of protest literature than The Master and Margarita. Written during the Soviet crackdown of the 1930s, when Mikhail Bulgakov's works were effectively banned, it wraps its anti-Stalinist message in a complex allegory of good and evil. Or would that be the other way around? The book's chief character is Satan, who appears in the guise of a foreigner and self-proclaimed black magician named Woland. Accompanied by a talking black tomcat and a "translator" wearing a jockey's cap and cracked pince-nez, Woland wreaks havoc throughout literary Moscow. First he predicts that the head of noted editor Berlioz will be cut off; when it is, he appropriates Berlioz's apartment. (A puzzled relative receives the following telegram: "Have just been run over by streetcar at Patriarch's Ponds funeral Friday three afternoon come Berlioz.") Woland and his minions transport one bureaucrat to Yalta, make another one disappear entirely except for his suit, and frighten several others so badly that they end up in a psychiatric hospital. In fact, it seems half of Moscow shows up in the bin, demanding to be placed in a locked cell for protection.

Meanwhile, a few doors down in the hospital lives the true object of Woland's visit: the author of an unpublished novel about Pontius Pilate. This Master--as he calls himself--has been driven mad by rejection, broken not only by editors' harsh criticism of his novel but, Bulgakov suggests, by political persecution as well. Yet Pilate's story becomes a kind of parallel narrative, appearing in different forms throughout Bulgakov's novel: as a manuscript read by the Master's indefatigable love, Margarita, as a scene dreamed by the poet--and fellow lunatic--Ivan Homeless, and even as a story told by Woland himself. Since we see this narrative from so many different points of view, who is truly its author? Given that the Master's novel and this one end the same way, are they in fact the same book? These are only a few of the many questions Bulgakov provokes, in a novel that reads like a set of infinitely nested Russian dolls: inside one narrative there is another, and then another, and yet another. His devil is not only entertaining, he is necessary: "What would your good be doing if there were no evil, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it?"

Unsurprisingly--in view of its frequent, scarcely disguised references to interrogation and terror--Bulgakov's masterwork was not published until 1967, almost three decades after his death. Yet one wonders if the world was really ready for this book in the late 1930s, if, indeed, we are ready for it now. Shocking, touching, and scathingly funny, it is a novel like no other. Woland may reattach heads or produce 10-ruble notes from the air, but Bulgakov proves the true magician here. The Master and Margarita is a different book each time it is opened. --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:39 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Presents a satirical drama about Satan's visit to Moscow, where he learns that the citizens no longer believe in God. He decides to teach them a lesson by perpetrating a series of horrific tricks. Combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem.… (more)

» see all 22 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188286, 0140455469

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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