The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

78%

16 Critic Reviews

A classic that can be read on many levels, it's played strictly for laughs...But there is a much darker side.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Introduction by Simon Franklin; Translation by Michael Glenny
 

About Mikhail Bulgakov

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Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and lived most of his adult life in Stalinist Russia. A journalist, playwright, novelist, and short story writer, he is best known in the West for his novel "The Master and Margarita," Marian Schwartz is a prize-winning Russian translator who recently received her second Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to translate Olga Slavnikova's newest novel, "2017," She has translated classic literary works by Nina Berberova and Yuri Olesha, as well as Edvard Radzinsky's "The Last Tsar," She lives in Austin, TX. Diana Lewis Burgin is Professor of Russian and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and an Associate of the Russian Research Centre, Harvard University. She is author of a biography in verse, numerous articles on Russian literature, and a translator of Russian prose and poetry.
 
Published August 1, 1995 by Ardis. 367 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Master and Margarita
All: 16 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sue Arnold on Jul 31 2009

A classic that can be read on many levels, it's played strictly for laughs...But there is a much darker side.

Read Full Review of The Master and Margarita | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sue Arnold on Jul 31 2009

A classic that can be read on many levels, it's played strictly for laughs by Julian Rhind-Tutt. But there is a much darker side.

Read Full Review of The Master and Margarita | See more reviews from Guardian

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Magda Healey on Jan 01 2004

I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anybody who can cope with several interwoven stories and a quite serious helping of fantasy and grotesque. It has a love story, satire, philosophy, fantasy, horror and re-telling of part of the Gospels.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by Samantha on Aug 16 2012

...I think the events of The Master and Margarita keep the novel moving along at a good pace. There's something for everyone here...

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The Millions

Good
Reviewed by EMRE PEKER on Jul 11 2007

The gripping plot surely helps with the read, but Bulgakov’s genius is in the subtle theories and observations he advances throughout this page-turner, forcing a reader to think about what it all means as a grin maliciously spreads across his face.

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The Australian

Good
Reviewed by NICOLAS ROTHWELL on Sep 14 2013

The Master and Margarita (1967) defines Bulgakov. It catches the mood of its time. It reflects the fears and doubts spawned by dictatorship. It offers up a wild, bitter humour.

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SciFiNow

Excellent
Reviewed by James Rundle on Aug 25 2010

Of course, one of the primary factors in a novel transcending the passage of time or language barriers is that it has to work on many levels. In this, the book soars in triumph.

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Broad Street Review

Above average
Reviewed by Bob Levin on Apr 18 2014

By the climactic chapter, the slapstick has vanished; the laughter is over; the burlesque has ended. Now night unmasks illusion. Now silence speaks. Now Bulgakov delivers the conclusion he has drawn from the rugged paths he walked.

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Broad Street Review

Good
Reviewed by Bob Levin on Apr 18 2014

By the climactic chapter, the slapstick has vanished; the laughter is over; the burlesque has ended. Now night unmasks illusion. Now silence speaks. Now Bulgakov delivers the conclusion he has drawn from the rugged paths he walked.

Read Full Review of The Master and Margarita

Shelf Love

Above average
Reviewed by Teresa on Sep 07 2009

It’s a crazy, loopy, exhuberant story that goes in entirely unexpected directions. If you go in expecting an exposé of the Soviet system of governance, you’ll be disappointed. The politics aren’t so straightforward...

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She Reads Novels

Above average
Reviewed by Helen on Jun 21 2011

This is a book that I would definitely like to read again in the future; I might not find it as stunning the second time round but I’m sure I’ll be able to pick up on lots of little details that I missed the first time.

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http://www.sheilaomalley.com

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Nov 19 2006

The Master and Margarita was not published until 1966...and then, in highly censored form. It was still too hot to touch. And I would say, in many ways, it still is. It is a rebuke to authoritarian attitudes everywhere...The book is now considered the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century, and it sure isn’t hard to see why.

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Biblioklept

Good
Reviewed by Edwin Turner on Jul 22 2013

I’ve failed to remark on so much of The Master and Margarita, and I”m certain that much of its rich allusive texture was lost on me. (I should point out here how helpful the end notes of my edition were). Persons interested in early Soviet life who have not yet found their way to Bulgakov’s novel will wish to do so...

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Alex in Leeds

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex in Leeds on Jul 27 2012

Few novels receive that level of intense, prolonged energy once they’re written and all that effort makes the novel layered and nuanced and rich and all those other descriptives we humble book bloggers use when we’re awed by something complex and fiercely impressive.

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The Rhapsodist

Above average
on May 07 2013

I’d recommend this story if you want to know a little more about 1930s Russia and enjoy some light Soviet satire. But if you’re not a patient reader, you might find yourself drifting away from the central theme.

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Muse at Highway Speeds Blog

Good
Reviewed by Anna Andersen on Apr 11 2011

Generalizing hastily: I think it's a book that's either beloved or culturally important; Master and Margarita is both. It's also surreal, thought-provoking, funny, tender, and subversive. AND THERE IS A CAT THAT DRINKS VODKA.

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Anastasia Lebedev 13 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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Anastasia Lebedev 5 Sep 2013

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