Synopsis A new translation of Bulgakov’s novel which also includes a commentary and afterword that provide new insights into the subtext of the novel.
Bookclub Review Satan and his cohort of peculiar characters arrive in Stalinís Moscow and run amok. Meanwhile, Margarita, who has been searching for her long-lost lover, falls into Satanís good graces by selling her soul in exchange for having her lover back. The Master and Margarita is a multi-level novel, with three stories converging into one Ė Satanís tear through Moscow, Margaritaís lost love, and a new take on the biblical account of Pontius Pilate. The novel boldly ventures into the absurd, with black sťances, talking cats, and witches flying on broomsticks. But underneath this bizarre and complex veneer, it is an austere commentary on all the hot buttons Ė politics, God and love. So much so that Bulgakovís work was banned in Moscow until 1973. Despite its dark nature, the book was comical and entertaining, and made Satan seem like quite a personable guy!
What the group thought:
The group really enjoyed this enigmatic book. We had many unanswered questions (maybe that is the idea?) and a lively and lengthy discussion. The book was a clear satire that truly captured the irony of the former Soviet Union in the 1920s, but is still relevant today. A strong Faust theme of mankindís urge to understand the world and to know the unknowable is apparent. In all, it was a hilarious, weird and thought-provoking read, but the lack of a clear conclusion was somewhat confusing. It also should be noted the importance of reading a proper translation, as there are some Russian nuances that can be missed in some translations (i.e. the meaning of charactersí names).
The group rated this book a 4.5 out of 5, probably one of our highest scores!