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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased to meet you - hope you guessed my name.
Abandon everything you thought you knew. This may appear to be a cartoonish romp featuring farcical demons, beautiful witches and Mauser-wielding cats, but Bulgakov is screwing with your mind. Is this novel a biting satire of Stalinist Russia, a damning indictment of organised religion, a critique of received truth, or is it simply The Truth? Read the book that...
Published on 22 May 1999

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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Classics version - not the best translation
My review is less about the novel and more about the translation; while I am not a Russian speaker/reader and therefore have not read the original to be able to compare, I think that the "naturalness" of this particular English translation is not that great - the language seems stilted and slightly awkward. At first I wondered if this awkwardness was deliberate (ie that...
Published on 12 Dec 2008 by M. Maxwell


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting classic, 16 July 2013
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I wish I had read this book many years ago before magic realism was common place. I would have been completely taken by it. Many years later this style has been imitated by many and it comes as less of a surprise and a delight. Still worth going back to the classics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master and Margarita, 26 April 2013
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One of the best books ever written
Magical story well written -
Have it in hardback and now on EBook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent classic book, 7 April 2013
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I would highly recommend this book to anyone trying to understand Russia and life in the Soviet Union. You can easily understand why it was banned in the Soviet period as it highlights the absurdities of everyday life. Also it shows that in a society where all were equal, some were more equal than others. Although you sometimes need to understand the background, it is highly amusing and satirical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the russian names..., 3 April 2013
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This review is from: The Master and Margarita (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Predates Murakami's surrealism and takes the reader into a funny and frightening psychedelic world where you're not sure what is reality and how strong a grip the characters have on their place in this world. Written with such graphic descriptions it is easy to create the scenes in one's mind's eye enabling the reader to join the inhabitants in the dalliances with the devil....
Alot of fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A peculiar masterpiece, 21 Mar 2013
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Brilliantly funny and sly satire, by turns magical, disquieting and moving. I read it first too young yet rereading it I realised how much of its imagery has stayed with me. A great novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master and Margarita, 29 Jun 2012
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I heard about this book on Radio 4's book review show. Kate Mosse (I think) raved about it so I thought I would give it a go. I read it rapidly as it is a gripping read. I particularly liked the interweaving narrative between the story of Christ's crucifixion and the devil's antics with the large talking cat, a naked girl and a magician! It was surreal. You've got to read it. A classic.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars to will evil, to do good, 28 Jan 2003
Unlike other sainted Russian authors, Bulghakov's technique is neither morbidity nor interminable didactic. The Master and Margarita is rather a giant human comedy, a burlesque in the best sense. The absurdity of Soviet rule is more vividly captured in this callously jolly(though ultimately forgiving) parable than in a thousand gulag memoirs. More accessible than Joyce, racier than Borges, this is the great work of one of the few essential authors of the 20th century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book of all time (to date!), 30 July 1999
By A Customer
This is a story of requited and unrequited love, good versus evil, a comedy, a tragedy, and includes characters such as a quasi-human black cat, the devil, Pontius Pilate, an incarnation of Jesus Christ, corrupt politicians, the inhabitants of a lunatic asylum, and many many others. If you can cope with the Russian names (not too much of a problem, but some people find it rather off-putting), then it's an amazing read. I have read it many times, and each time it's a new adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterfully comic tale of hell on earth., 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer
The Devil pops into Moscow with a ragbag entourage - two demons, a naked girl and a monstrous black cat - in Bulgakov's masterfully original tale that flips between '30s Stalinist Russia and Pontius Pilate's Jerusalem. The result is a breathtaking whirl through the surreal, the profound and the satirical that recalls such disparate spirits as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lewis Carroll. A true masterpiece.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian literature at its best, 24 July 2007
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James Rogers (Norfolk, NE, USA) - See all my reviews
My friend recommended this book to me, and what actually made me to buy it was because he considered it his favorite book of all time. I agree with him about that. It is an amazing book. Not only that, I developed an interest in the author's other works. Nevertheless, this is the best book written by Mikhail Bulgakov. It is an absolute masterpiece, a classic accepted in Russia and the rest of the world.
"MASTER AND MARGARITA" is about purges Stalin ordered in the Soviet Union. The curious thing about this book is that the purges are depicted not to have been carried out Stalin's men, but rather by Satan himself, and in the manner of Baron Munchaussen, we get to know of a huge talking cat. Like animal farm, the greater meaning of the book is revealed through the intelligent though bizarre, compelling and humorous story. One is constantly left anticipating what the next page holds. There are so many layers and so many little details that one wonders how the author managed to put them together.

Bulgakov is the Soviet version of Imperial Russia's Dostoevsky, but unlike Dostoyevsky who had a mastery of the mind/soul Bulgakov mastery is in the literature of oppression. I have recommended this book to many friends and family and recommend it to any reader interested in the enigma that is Russia, especially Stalinist Russia. Other interesting stories set in Russia are THE UNION MOUJIK,TARAS BULBA, PUTIN'S RUSSIA, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LENIN, WAR AND PEACE. Also note that you are sure to find the widest selection of odd and creepy characters in this book .
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The Master and Margarita (Vintage Classics)
The Master and Margarita (Vintage Classics) by Mikhail Bulgakov (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
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