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The Master and Margarita (Vintage…
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The Master and Margarita (Vintage International) (original 1966; edition 1996)

by Mikhail Bulgakov

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,711296187 (4.26)6 / 768
Member:gaskella
Title:The Master and Margarita (Vintage International)
Authors:Mikhail Bulgakov
Info:Vintage (1996), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Book Group Reads
Rating:****
Tags:Russia, 20thC classic, Satire, Fiction, Book group

Work details

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1966)

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    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".
  8. 30
    Faust 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. 96
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    markusnenadovus: Older Russian literature
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  14. 00
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  15. 11
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  16. 22
    The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare (Cecilturtle)
  17. 00
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    aethercowboy: Woland and the gentleman with thistle-down hair are very similar.
  18. 33
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  19. 01
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    browsers: More fun with evil.
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(see all 23 recommendations)

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English (255)  Italian (11)  French (10)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (295)
Showing 1-5 of 255 (next | show all)
I wished I was smarter; or knew more about Russia. It was still a fun read though, both the absurdity of the activities of Woland and company, and the novel within the novel about Pontious Pilate. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
I thought I had ordered The Master and Margarita as an audio read but it arrived as a full cast audio dramatization.

"Satan and his retinue, i(including a seven foot tall skinny fellow with a pince-nez, an obnoxious cigar smoking black cat (Behemoth) with a liking for chess, pistols and vodka and capable of standing on two legs and talking and a beautiful, naked vampire) visit Moscow in the 1920s taking with them chaos and insanity wherever they go"
(notes from the LA Theater Works rendition)
'
The havoc they create induces madness and several distinguished theatricals enter mental asylums.
In the midst of this mayhem, "we find two lovers; Margarita, the beautiful wife of a wealthy man who leaves her loveless marriage to pursue a life in the shadows and the ‘Master’ a writer who has suffered a nervous breakdown but with whom Margarita is in love."
There is also the matter of the Master's unfinished, unpublished novel about Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Nozri .

By this time, I was glad to have an abridged theatrical version and seriously wondering what pertinent points I'd missed.
The ending was definite but what exactly was implied?

I did later find an explanatory website (http://www.masterandmargarita.eu)
Discussion topics include the novel, context, themes, characters, locations, Bulgakov, adaptations and links.
Now I get it!..........MAYBE
  pennsylady | Jan 29, 2016 |
How to describe this weirdly fantastic novel other than to say it’s Russian? I have to admit to problems with all the long Russian names which make it tough following sometimes. Plus, there’s an undercurrent of bizarre events obviously referring to actual historical happenings. But nevertheless this book is amazing and well worth a read if for no other reason than to get a wonderful description of Satan – a very Russian Satan who throws a wrench into the day-to-day of Moscow. This is a great translation with notes (in the back) explaining some of the more obscure references. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
One day the devil and his cronies come down to Moscow, with peculiar results.
I can honestly say that this novel is now among my favourite ever, and I can see why it is counted among the best novels of the 20th century. Almost every page of this book is steeped in symbolism, from the enigmatic Woland who will make you question the nature of evil, to the subtle messages about the dangers of Stalinism. The majority of the book is set within an undisclosed date of Soviet era Moscow, and explores the effects that the devil has on the unwitting populace, while several specific chapters go back 2000 years and give an interesting reinterpretation of Jesus and his execution. This book has so many levels, it is comical, satirical, and sometimes frightening, but never boring, and I cannot recommend it enough. It is only a pity that like many of his books Bulgakov never got it published in his lifetime, with the book only surfacing nearly 30 years after his death, and only emerging untouched by soviet censors over 40 years after. Truly Bulgakov's magnum opus.
( )
  hickey92 | Jan 24, 2016 |
I liked The Master & Margarita. The characters and multiple story lines were interesting and entertaining, especially Behemoth, the cat -- what a card. Reading background materials about the book and author ahead of time would have enriched the story; the plot threads, not to mention the many names and nicknames used to refer to one person, are puzzling in the beginning without background information. ( )
  kimberwolf | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 255 (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 (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bulgakov, Mikhailprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatormain authorsome 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
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
Lacasa, AmayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larissa VolokhonskyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ligny, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäkelä, MarttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morávková, AlenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nitzberg, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nitzberg, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, Katherine TiernanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Conner, Katherine TiernanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ojamaa, JüriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orlando FigesIntroductionsecondary 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
Sancha, Amaya LacasaTranslatorsecondary 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
Stuart, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szőllősy, KláraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulla-Liisa HeinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vācietis, OjārsTranslatorsecondary 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.
Op een broeihete lentedag daagden omtrent zonsondergang twee burgers op in het park rond de Patriarchvijver.
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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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (6)

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)

The novel's vision of Soviet life in the 1930s is so ferociously accurate that it could not be published during its author's lifetime and appeared only in a censored edition in the 1960s. Its truths are so enduring that its language has become part of the common Russian speech. One hot spring, the devil arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a retinue that includes a beautiful naked witch and an immense talking black cat with a fondness for chess and vodka. The visitors quickly wreak havoc in a city that refuses to believe in either God or Satan. But they also bring peace to two unhappy Muscovites: one is the Master, a writer pilloried for daring to write a novel about Christ and Pontius Pilate; the other is Margarita, who loves the Master so deeply that she is willing literally to go to hell for him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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Editions: 0141188286, 0140455469

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