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Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Master and Margarita (original 1967; edition 2006)

by Mikhail Bulgakov

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17,608410220 (4.23)8 / 1053
The professor and the poet who've come to Patriarch's Ponds for a stroll on a hot and stagnant Moscow afternoon are dismayed to encounter a quite extraordinary stranger, surely a deranged foreigner. As this quixotic character recalls a centuries-old story of destiny, his infamy becomes a matter of gruesome revelation for the doomed professor and his poor companion. And what will become of the Master's suppressed masterpiece? Something his lover, Margarita, will go to great lengths to ensure.… (more)
Title:Master and Margarita
Authors:Mikhail Bulgakov
Info:Penguin (2006), Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

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    WSB7: You will recognize many parallels as you read, and also consider that Bulgakov revised his work too over many years.
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  19. 00
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    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.
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(see all 26 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)
Excellent book. I would have liked it more without the Master and Margarita. ( )
  Nannus | Jan 17, 2022 |
Maybe 2.5/5 seems more appropriate.

I'm on the fence here. This book was not to my taste at all and a bit of a disappointment. To "get" this book also meant you need a good amount of context, which I was obviously not in the mood to research and read up on.

On the other hand, something tells me it will be stuck in my head for some time to come. It is certainly a unique piece of work. ( )
  nonames | Jan 14, 2022 |
For more reviews and bookish posts visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Мастер и Маргарита) is a Russian novel, published in the 1940s and is considered a classic of satire Russian literature. Mr. Bulgakov was born in, what is today, Ukraine and enjoyed great success during his lifetime.

During the 1930s, Satan appears at Patriarch’s Ponds disguised as Professor Woland. Satan is accompanied by four followers: Azazello, a hitman, Hella, a female vampire, Koroviev, his valet, and Behemoth, a huge talking black cat who loves chess as well as a good drink. The gang intends to target the literary elite and their trade union (Massolit).

Woland (Satan) is confronted head of the Massolit, Berlioz. Woland tells Berlioz how he’s going to die, which he indeed does in the exact manner. The conversation is witnessed by the young poet, Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyrev. After warning society of the dangers of the gang, Ponyrev is promptly put into an insane asylum.

Margarita, devoted to The Master who she believes to be dead, gets the chance to become a witch, and enters the realm of night. Surviving several challenges, Margarita gets an equally important wish granted from Satan.

This book is both a social commentary and a satire (as they usually are) about the Muscovites literary elites of the time. The author makes fun of everyone from the ruling elite, to writers, politicians, and Christianity just for good measure.
It’s no surprise that the Russian government censored the full novel until 1967.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov tells of a time when Satan showed up in Moscow, and gives everyone what they want. From there destruction and hilarity ensues, causing chaos in the whole city.

Throughout the novel, there’s a retelling of the story of Jesus of Nazarath and Pontius Pilate. Actually it’s more of Pilate’s story, making him a sympathetic, as well as complex character. Much like everyone else, Pilate is not all good, nor all evil.

The novel does have its insane parts. A cat with a gun, naked witches, magic and trickery. From the insanity it goes to a tender narrative of the fate of Judas, and Margarita’s rough life. This creates an interesting, funny, novel but also disjointed at parts.

Margarita herself is only introduced at the second half of the novel. There’s also some disjointed love story which didn’t work for me, however, Margarita ended being one of my favorite characters in the novel.

I’ve never heard of this novel until recently, I truly enjoyed it and certainly glad I read it. The satire is still funny and relevant. The people in Moscow are no different than in other places, and the outrageous absurdities still hold true. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Dec 23, 2021 |
A black magic black comedy. Chaos ensues in Moscow with the arrival of a magician and his entourage.
The actual story elements of this are fine... not great but fine. However i had major problems with the delivery. Its the same issues i usually have with fairy tales or pulps. A lack of descriptive writing combined with a narrators perspective, rather than a character perspective. This approach keeps you at a distance from the story and without that connection i just find it very difficult to care, and if i don't care then i find it a very tedious read.
I was reading the Glenny translation and gave up about a 3rd of the way through switching to an audiobook Karpelson translation. This is much easier to experience as audio than writing and i don't think it was just the translation change.
The entire first half of this book is really just setup. Its a sequence of horrible events which reminded me strongly of the film the Omen. As i said at the start this does seem to be a black comedy but you'll be forgiven for forgetting that its a comedy for long stretches in the first half.
The second half is much easier to digest. Its more absurd and funnier, you also have a more interesting character to focus on.
Finally theres the substory involving Pontius Pilate. These parts feel the most important and if there is any point to this book then this is where your likely to find it. It reminded me of the pirate sub-story from [b: Watchmen|472331|Watchmen|Alan Moore|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1442239711s/472331.jpg|4358649].
Overall this is a very visual novel. There's plenty of images in this that i won't forget anytime soon. However it never felt like it had much depth and i'd never have got through it in its written form. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
The Master and Margarita is one of my favorite books, so I was delighted when I saw that there was a graphic novelization. Until, that is, I read it. To be honest I was concerned when I picked up this slender volume and saw that it was the ONLY volume. How were they going to fit all the symbolism and madcapness and the novel within the novel and all the blessed side characters in this?

Answer: not so much. This adaptation is SO condensed that many of my favorite aspects are entirely missing. Here, Behemoth never speaks, Margarita asks only for the return of The Master, all of the satire of Stalinist Russia is gone, and in the end it all but declares that the entire thing was The Master's dream.

That said. For all of its truncatedness, some scenes replicated were surprising in their entirety — most of the Pontius Pilate stuff, Woland's appearance at Patriarch's Pond. The show at the theater. But I don't understand why these things when others were skipped, and in general this adaptation lost the sense of giddiness I so love about the book. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 352 (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 (101 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
Flaker, VidaTranslatorsecondary 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
Jacoby, MelissaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalugin, AleksandrCover artistsecondary 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
Vācietis, OjārsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
קריקסונוב, פטרTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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...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
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. (translated by Michael Glenny)
...manuscripts don’t burn.
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Canonical LCC
The professor and the poet who've come to Patriarch's Ponds for a stroll on a hot and stagnant Moscow afternoon are dismayed to encounter a quite extraordinary stranger, surely a deranged foreigner. As this quixotic character recalls a centuries-old story of destiny, his infamy becomes a matter of gruesome revelation for the doomed professor and his poor companion. And what will become of the Master's suppressed masterpiece? Something his lover, Margarita, will go to great lengths to ensure.

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Роман Михаила Булгакова (1891—1940) «Мастер и Маргарита» стал классикой мировой литературы, выдержал многомиллионные тиражи. Он переведен на многие языки мира, многократно инсценирован и экранизирован. На его сюжет созданы музыкальные произведения, оперы и балеты.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188286, 0140455469

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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