The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov

Cover of The Master and Margarita

Rank: A
No. Times Read: 1
Last Read: Fall, 2002

Author Name: Mikhail Bulgakov

Review: I loved reading this book. From beginning to end, through and through, I absolutely adored this book, and wanted to keep reading it long after it was finished. I’ll definitely reread this book many times.

Considered Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita is about Satan, and why he comes to communist Moscow. The reason is complex, and I won’t spoil it, but I will tell you that it involves a black cat in a fancy suit, a writer driven insane by constant rejection and criticism, and the story of Pontius Pilate. The result is a story that is, at times, funny, terrifying, poignant, beautiful, and brilliant—and often all five at once. As I write about this book, I find myself wishing I was reading it, instead of writing about it.

A word of caution: This book isn’t for the ultra-devout. Satan is one of the main characters, and he is the good guy (which he isn’t in Milton’s Paradise Lost, no matter what anyone says). Also, if you’re a big fan of Stalin, you might not like this book, as Bulgakov was never very fond of the Georgian, and doesn’t attempt to conceal the fact. But if you can handle these two tidbits, I implore you to read this book. It may not change your life, but it sure will make you glad you’re living it (because, presumably, if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be able to read this book, and that would suck).

[Note: Upon rereading this woefully inadequate review, I want to make sure I add that the ending will knock your socks off. Be sure to wear socks while reading this book to get the full effect.]

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