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The Master and Margarita (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Mikhail Bulgakov , Michael Karpelson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Feb 2011 Wordsworth Classics
Translated, with explanatory notes, by Michael Karpelson.

Moscow, 1929: a city that has lost its way amid corruption and fear, inhabited by people who have abandoned their morals and forsaken spirituality. But when a mysterious stranger arrives in town with a bizarre entourage that includes a giant talking cat and a fanged assassin, all hell breaks loose. Among those caught up in the strange and inexplicable events that transpire in the capital are the Master, a writer whose life has been destroyed by Soviet repression, and his beloved Margarita. Their adventures reveal a story that began two thousand years ago in ancient Jerusalem - and its resolution will decide their fate.

Considered one of the finest creations of Russian literature in the 20th century, The Master and Margarita is an amazing work of fantasy, a love story, a biting satire on Soviet life, and a lot more. Mikhail Bulgakov's last book and crowning achievement, it has been written in secrecy, burned and restored, and banned for decades. Its author, who worked on it until his final days, never saw it in print. This new translation faithfully reproduces the style and idiomatic flow of the text, so that English-speaking audiences may fully enjoy Bulgakov's masterpiece.

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The Master and Margarita (Wordsworth Classics) + Dead Souls (Wordsworth Classics) + The Idiot (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (15 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226577
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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. After a lifetime at odds with the stultifying Soviet regime, he died impoverished and blind in 1940, shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. None of his major fiction was published during his lifetime.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Modernist Literature! 7 Sep 2011
By KiRa
LOVE it! Mind blowing!
For a lot of people i know Russian literature is 'War and Peace' or 'Crime and Punishment'. Luckily, if you reading this, you are about to change that, at least for oneself, and experience a masterpiece of 20th century Modern Russian Literature.

This book is a true jewel, contemporary, witty, deep, unpredictable, very Russian! You will love it or never get to understand it. no middle point...like with anything Russian.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Every now and again we all come across a book which is fantastic in every way. Often it is something that has been around for decades nut somehow eluded us. As a so-called writer, these books have the paradoxical affect of compelling me to create wonderful fiction yet downhearten me in the knowledge that, even at my best, I could never match the brilliance of what I am reading.

Set in 1930s Moscow, the story centres around the devil who has appeared in the Soviet capital in the guise of a learned magician. His entourage an over-sized, vodka swilling cat, a shape-shifting illusionist and a befanged assassin; together they plan to wreak havoc. The satirical plot shifts from Moscow, where the hellish entourage seek to expose and humiliate the hypocrites espousing bourgeoisie greed, and Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate.

Incarcerated in a mental institution, the Master has been ruined by the literary powers and ostracised for writing a religious text, that of Pontius Pilate's execution of Jesus, and a story which is inextricably linked to the devil's presence in Moscow. Shunning his beloved mistress, Margarita, lest she be ruined too he has allowed himself to rot in solitude. When Margarita is approached by the devil with the offer to attend his Midnight Ball as hostess, opening the door for both her and the Master to get mixed up with the devil.

Russian literature can be rather impenetrable. Having previously struggled through the likes of Tolstoy and Chekov, and their beautiful yet long-winded prose, it was with a little apprehension that I picked up this novel. Whilst the plot is nowhere near as straightforward and structured as today's commercial novels, there is barely a page in this wonderful book that loses the reader.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bulgakov, Master & Margarita 18 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent presentation - short summary of context; short history of the text; brief glossary and notes to further contextual understanding - much better than the Kindle edition which lost me in the preface with it's self conscious and obstructive use of inclusive indicatives and articles.

The Novel - different - Faustian - Pythonesque at first - constructively and deliberately chaotic, creating a deep sense of unease; but the pathos of the characters and the bathos of the plot helps to introduce welcome relief of humour. Not an easy read for me, but worthwhile
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Story 17 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My favorite novel, favorite book cover. Great service. I'd buy every copy of it if I could... Thanks so much for the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master and Margarita paperback 18 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This edition seems true to the original story with god interpretation.
Love this story and it's place in Russian history and Mikhail Bulgakov's struggle to maintain his writing and keep out of prison.
First time I read this story I thought it terribly sad and the 2nd time I thought it was hilariously funny so see how this 3rd book feels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual classic 30 Aug 2013
By grace21
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Crazy fantasy novel, which has especially great depth if you know your Russian history (which I really don't). Chosen by a Russian member of the reading group I'm in. We really enjoyed it. Margarita is a fantastic character.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful 29 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Could not get through it . I am an avid reader of all forms of literature, but had to give up on this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 19 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had no idea what to expect this but it's a powerful piece yet surprisingly easy to read. Still in the early chapters but really enjoying it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Anna Healy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by xxx
5.0 out of 5 stars be amazed
very topical for all interested in russia especially today as Russia is returning to stalinism.
Complex, intellectual, wonderful reading, a challenge.
Published 17 months ago by fedz
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book
Everyone should at least try to read this book. We shouldn't discuss the tastes, but in my very subjective opinion, this is a very universal an beautiful book.
Published 17 months ago by M. GLOWALA-SLUPINSKI
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
A Russian classic, deep fantasy looking at realistic forces in life. Good vs evil, religion etc great read for escapism.
Published 18 months ago by Eimear
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest of Russian Literature
This is really fun-a look at what goes on behind closed doors. Like Twilight, only 50 years earlier.
Moscow, a city of deprivation and corruption. Like any city really. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Hugo Minney
4.0 out of 5 stars The Master and Margarita
It's style is well constructed. The characters and story line to be believed.Because some are representative of well known Russians alive at the time. Read more
Published 21 months ago by john sullivan
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me!
Read this book for my book club and I couldn't understand it! Probably needed to do more background reading to enjoy this classic.
Published 21 months ago by A. Anderson
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Whose translation is this, please? 2 9 Oct 2011
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