What greater emphasis could I place on this book than to say that if you only read one Russian novel in your life, let it be this one. The Devil arrives in Moscow, bringing with him a fantastical troop of nefarious characters, wreaking havoc on all who cross their path. Let's not forget The Master, a writer committed to a psych ward, and his faithful lover, Margarita, who literally flies to Hell in order to be with him. Written during Stalin's reign, and with a second story line imagining Pontius Pilate's struggle at the trial of Jesus, this satirical masterpiece embodies all of the great interplay between shadow and light. A truly essential read. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Through the darkened lens of Stalinist Russia, the brightest of lights shines through in this seminal work of 20th-century Russian literature. Can one capture so many stories in a blurb? Flying pigs! Parisian fashion! Crucifixion and beheadings! Poetry! Champagne! This book has all of that and love, too! Recommended By John K., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A 50th-anniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20th-century masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation
Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. One spring afternoon, the Devil, trailing fire and chaos in his wake, weaves himself out of the shadows and into Moscow. Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantastical, funny, and devastating satire of Soviet life combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with historical, imaginary, frightful, and wonderful characters. Written during the darkest days of Stalin’s reign, and finally published in 1966 and 1967, The Master and Margarita became a literary phenomenon, signaling artistic and spiritual freedom for Russians everywhere.
This newly revised translation, by the award-winning team of Pevear and Volokhonsky, is made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.
"Beautiful, strange, tender, scarifying, and incandescent . . . One of those novels that, even in translation, make one feel that not one word could have been written differently . . . Margarita has too many achievements to list—for one thing, a plot scudding with action and suspense, not exactly a hallmark of Russian literature. . . . This luminous translation [is] distinguished by not only the stylistic elegance that has become a hallmark of Pevear and Volokhonsky translations but also a supreme ear for the sound and meaning of Soviet life. . . . It’s time for The Master and Margarita to rise to its rightful place in the canon of great world literature. . . . As literature, it will live forever." Boris Fishman, from the Foreword
"A wild surrealistic romp . . . Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous." Joyce Carol Oates
"A soaring, dazzling novel; an extraordinary fusion of wildly disparate elements. It is a concerto played simultaneously on the organ, the bagpipes, and a pennywhistle, while someone sets off fireworks between the players' feet." The New York Times
"By turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative, and poignant...A great work." Chicago Tribune
"One of the truly great Russian novels of [the twentieth] century." The New York Times Book Review
"My favorite novel—it's just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart." Daniel Radcliffe
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.