The Master and Margarita
Books | Fiction / Satire
Satan comes to Soviet Moscow in this critically acclaimed translation of one of the most important and best-loved modern classics in world literature.The Master and Margarita has been captivating readers around the world ever since its first publication in 1967. Written during Stalin’s time in power but suppressed in the Soviet Union for decades, Bulgakov’s masterpiece is an ironic parable on power and its corruption, on good and evil, and on human frailty and the strength of love.In The Master and Margarita, the Devil himself pays a visit to Soviet Moscow. Accompanied by a retinue that includes the fast-talking, vodka-drinking, giant tomcat Behemoth, he sets about creating a whirlwind of chaos that soon involves the beautiful Margarita and her beloved, a distraught writer known only as the Master, and even Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate. The Master and Margarita combines fable, fantasy, political satire, and slapstick comedy to create a wildly entertaining and unforgettable tale that is commonly considered the greatest novel to come out of the Soviet Union. It appears in this edition in a translation by Mirra Ginsburg that was judged “brilliant” by Publishers Weekly.Praise for The Master and Margarita“A wild surrealistic romp. . . . Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The Detroit News“Fine, funny, imaginative. . . . The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative.” —Saul Maloff, Newsweek“A rich, funny, moving and bitter novel. . . . Vast and boisterous entertainment.” —The New York Times“The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant. . . . A great work.” —Chicago Tribune“Funny, devilish, brilliant satire. . . . It’s literature of the highest order and . . . it will deliver a full measure of enjoyment and enlightenment.” —Publishers Weekly
Community ReviewsSee all
"One of my favorites. Such a surreal book! It is extremely funny, ridiculous, satirical, fantastical, rollicking, just a masterpiece. You’ll enjoy it if you’re just reading on the surface (although it may seem very strange and nonsensical) or if you’re doing thesis level analysis on all the symbolism throughout. This is a book where rereadings reveal new secrets you missed on prior reads, a gift that keeps on giving."
"Hilarious and charming satire of life, love, and artistic expression in the Soviet Union. Our characters, ranging from average to absurd, hateful to heroic, wrestle with doing what is duty, what is allowed, and what is right, what is wanted. Even on surface level this story is wildly entertaining, but once you sit back and digest what the book is really saying, it gains so much depth and meaning. I will be thinking about this for a very long time! "
"I tried really hard to like this one, but I ultimately found it fairly dull and didn't understand the point. The Biblical re-telling was more interesting than the Russian literary plot in my opinion."