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The Master and Margarita (Everyman's Library)

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The Master and Margarita (Everyman's Library) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679410461
ISBN10: 0679410465
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The underground masterpiece of twentieth-century Russian fiction, Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita was written during Stalin's regime and could not be published until many years after its author's death.

When the devil arrives in 1930s Moscow, consorting with a retinue of odd associates — including a talking black cat, an assassin, and a beautiful naked witch — his antics wreak havoc among the literary elite of the world capital of atheism. Meanwhile, the Master, author of an unpublished novel about Jesus and Pontius Pilate, languishes in despair in a psychiatric hospital, while his devoted lover, Margarita, decides to sell her soul to save him. As Bulgakov's dazzlingly exuberant narrative weaves back and forth between Moscow and ancient Jerusalem, studded with scenes ranging from a giddy Satanic ball to the murder of Judas in Gethsemane, Margarita's enduring love for the Master joins the strands of plot across space and time.

Review:

"A wild surrealistic romp....Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous." Joyce Carol Oates

Review:

"One of the truly great Russian novels of [the twentieth] century." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative, and poignant....A great work." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Fine, funny, imaginative...The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative." Newsweek

Review:

"Sparkling, enchanting, funny, deeply serious and sometimes baffling...[The Master and Margarita is] a liberating, exuberant social and political satire combined with a profound moral and political allegory....A bravura performance of truly heroic virtuosity, a carnival of the imagination." From the Introduction by Simon Franklin

Synopsis:

The devil, disguised as a magician, descends upon Moscow in the 1930s with his riotous band, which includes a talking cat and an expert assassin. Together they succeed in comically befuddling a population which denies the devil's existence, even as it is confronted with the diabolic results of a magic act gone wrong. This visit to the capital of world atheism has several aims, one of which concerns the fate of the Master, a writer who has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, and is now in a mental hospital. Margarita, the despairing and daring heroine, becomes a witch in an effort to save the Master, and agrees to become the devil's hostess at his annual spring ball. By turns acidly satiric, fantastic, and ironically philosophical, this work constantly surprises and entertains, as the action switches back and forth between the Moscow of the 1930s and first-century Jerusalem.

About the Author

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916. He rapidly abandoned medicine to write some of the greatest Russian literature of this century. He died impoverished and blind in 1940 shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Heather G, September 6, 2012 (view all comments by Heather G)
From the first page, this spooky, sexy story is by turns jaw-dropping and laugh-out-loud funny. Bulgakov paints a surreal tableau of 1930s Moscow, complete with a smart-alec talking cat, sidekick to the devil. For devotees of Russian history, there are plenty of allegorical barbs at the Communist party henchmen, aligned with a parallel story-within-a-story bit about Pontius Pilate and Jesus. (How they missed it and failed to censor the book is one of the great oversights of 20th Century literature). If you like metaphysical and surrealist authors like Haruki Murakami, you must try this book!
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Russian lit-mystery fan, August 29, 2012 (view all comments by Russian lit-mystery fan)
Master and Margarita is one of the five books I would choose to keep with me if I was stranded for life on a desert island. Through wit and sarcasm Bulgakov managed to skewer the Soviet system in a magical twist on the Faust legend, while writing one of the most romantic stories I have read. There are great quotes throughout: “Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck both of us at once... She by the way, insisted afterwards that is wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other…” Nothing is predictable in this story, and every moment is memorable. It took Bulgakov 12 courageous years to write, and another 25 years after his death before it could be published in the Soviet Union. His masterpiece was instantly recognized as one of the greatest works of fiction of the 20th century.
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pebbeb, January 12, 2009 (view all comments by pebbeb)
A masterful work of magical realism. It shows what happens when the devil arrives in 1930's Moscow with his henchmen, including a talking cat who loves to drink and play chess, and a naked witch. All the while the Master, who's written a novel about Pontious Pilate and Jesus, struggles with despair in a mental institution. In order to save him, his lover, Margarita, decides to sell her soul to the devil. Bulgakov masterfully weaves between these storylines and brings it all to a dizzying conclusion.
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679410461
Author:
Bulgakov, Mikhail
Publisher:
Everyman's Library
Introduction by:
Franklin, Simon
Introduction:
Franklin, Simon
Author:
Everyman's Library
Author:
Everyman's Library
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Non-Classifiable
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Continental european fiction (fictional works
Subject:
Russian & Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
Allegories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;russia;russian;novel;satire;fantasy;russian literature;literature;magical realism;20th century;classic;classics;devil;religion;moscow;soviet union;satan;magic;bulgakov;russian fiction;communism;allegory;1930s;soviet;pontius pilate;politics;cats;su
Subject:
fiction;russia;russian;novel;satire;fantasy;russian literature;literature;magical realism;20th century;classic;classics;devil;religion;moscow;soviet union;satan;magic;bulgakov;russian fiction;communism;allegory;1930s;soviet;pontius pilate;politics;cats;su
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Series:
Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
Series Volume:
66
Publication Date:
19920428
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
488
Dimensions:
8.25x5.22x1.23 in. 1.32 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Master and Margarita (Everyman's Library) New Hardcover
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Product details 488 pages Everyman's Library - English 9780679410461 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A wild surrealistic romp....Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous."
"Review" by , "One of the truly great Russian novels of [the twentieth] century."
"Review" by , "The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative, and poignant....A great work."
"Review" by , "Fine, funny, imaginative...The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative."
"Review" by , "Sparkling, enchanting, funny, deeply serious and sometimes baffling...[The Master and Margarita is] a liberating, exuberant social and political satire combined with a profound moral and political allegory....A bravura performance of truly heroic virtuosity, a carnival of the imagination."
"Synopsis" by , The devil, disguised as a magician, descends upon Moscow in the 1930s with his riotous band, which includes a talking cat and an expert assassin. Together they succeed in comically befuddling a population which denies the devil's existence, even as it is confronted with the diabolic results of a magic act gone wrong. This visit to the capital of world atheism has several aims, one of which concerns the fate of the Master, a writer who has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, and is now in a mental hospital. Margarita, the despairing and daring heroine, becomes a witch in an effort to save the Master, and agrees to become the devil's hostess at his annual spring ball. By turns acidly satiric, fantastic, and ironically philosophical, this work constantly surprises and entertains, as the action switches back and forth between the Moscow of the 1930s and first-century Jerusalem.
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