A most satisfying book, though a challenge at times, as I tried to put it into the context of Stalinist Russia. I saw it more as a Russian parable for what was occurring in Russia at the time Bulgakov wrote it ( the Revolution, and then the great purge of 1937/38 ). Simply amazing! I will read this many more times.
The translation is too dry. Or maybe its meant to be impossible to read. You don't need to know Russian history as much as you have to know Roman history. Or the bible. Footnotes and googling definitions galore. It took me 2 hours to read the second chapter and at no time was it funny or interesting. The people must know, my tushie. This book is completely not understandable. Way too long and elaborate. Though it could just be a really bad translation, but somehow I get the feeling it was doomed from the beginning as in never even finished. This book is a chore to read. I plod on hoping beyond hope this novel will jell. Oh, by the way, the introduction should only take a couple hours to read if you can at all make sense of it. Or maybe read the introduction after taking a course in Roman history, Russian history, and Bible Studies of the Old and New Testaments. Oh and don't forget to watch a few Harry Potter movies before attempting to decode the intoduction. Dedicate 6 months to a year at least to only reading and cross referencing this book. Then it MIGHT be funny or interesting. This is the kind of stuff people must pay to be educated for and then maybe still not grasp. Intellectual literature certainly not meant for the common man. Recommended not for the weak or those without a master's degree in literature.
It's a multifaceted book, with several plots skillfully interwoven and with Satan, Pontius Pilate and Jesus as its main protagonists (among others.) In spite of its multileveled complexity, Master and Margarita is a surprisingly smooth read. Funny and disturbing at the same time.
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