Diaboliad and Other Stories
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Diaboliad and Other Stories

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  709 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The only translation of Bulgakov's entire first collection of short stories, works which range from the surreal to science -fiction to parody.

Contents: Diaboliad, The Fatal Eggs, "No. 13, the Elpit-Rabkommun Building," "A Chinese Tale," and "The Adventures of Chichikov."
Paperback, 236 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Vintage Books USA (first published September 1972)
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MJ Nicholls
Four stories. ‘Diaboliad’ is a farcical satire on bureaucratic absurdity, a surreal reworking of Dostoevsky’s The Double that clouds the narrative’s clarity with too many oddities. ‘No. 13—The Elpit Workers’ Commune’ is even more strange, an over-the-top blackly comic story about a collapsing building and the ensuing casualties. The tone is extremely uneven and lacking in a narrative viewpoint or point of focus. ‘A Chinese Tale’ is a little too time-specific to have any contemporary value. ‘The...more
Danielle
Anyone who has read Bulgakov will enjoy witnessing the use of his talents in this collection. Anyone who hasn't read Bulgakov before -- well, this would be quite the odd book with which to begin. How in the world would you stumble across this randomly? I suppose it could be grouped with some other writing from the same location and period -- there are similarities between Bulgakov's style and that of other Soviet writers, but I do believe he's special. As for Diaboliad, I found that I had to foc...more
Eric Bruen
Kafka in wonderland! My mind was elsewhere reading this but I'm not sure I would have taken any more in if I had been giving it my full attention.
Jim
If "revenge is a dish best served cold" then satire is a dish best served piping hot. This serving is tepid at best which is a shame because in its day I’m sure it did exactly what it was intended to do. I don’t think, however, that the stories have worn as well as The Master and Margarita which although similar has stood the test of time. Diaboliad is an interesting read as an historical document but I’m not as sure of it as a literary one.

You can read my full review on my blog here.
Suncan Stone
Not as good as The Master and Margarita, but then... it would probably be surprising if it was. Appropriately enough I read Diaboliad (the first story) while waiting in a 60s socially equipped dentist surgery (in 2009, not to be mistaken) and it seemed the perfect ambience for that story. Diaboliad is also my favourite story in the book, for some of the others truly seem a tad mediocre, even though The adventures of Chichikov isalso a good one as it has a lot of references to Gogol, and I always...more
Rhys
An astounding writer, certainly one of the finest Russian writers of the last century. This book contains four stories and all are very good. The title story, 'The Diaboliad', is a nightmarish novella about a minor clerk who ends up lost in the absurd labyrinth of Soviet bureaucracy. His attempts to protest against his sacking are complicated by the fact that both he and his boss have identical doubles. This work is like a more frenetic version of Kafka's *The Trial* and features some truly biza...more
J.A.
Initially I had The Fatal Eggs on my list, but when I saw that this collection contained that tale among others I made the switch. Turns out I could have saved some time and stayed with my original selection. These stories do not endure being taken out of context; they are better suited for a study of Soviet literature in the early 1920s than a study of the author's works.
Eliz Mananadhar
these stories didn't live upto my expectations. also, the innumerous headachy Russian references were quite a handful. i feel the translation was pretty bad too.. but bulgakov's surrealistic-meets-everyday style is praiseworthy..
ben
I really enjoyed 'The Fatal Eggs.' It had elements of action and science fiction and I wouldn't have suspected end result at all, weird surprising twists. It ended just the way I liked it.
Abhishek Ganguly
Mikhail Bulgakov is a man after my own heart - crafty in explaining the human face of a story, yet not unrealistic in any line.
He has definitely revived my interest is Russian writing.
Anosh
you can see the beginnings of his masterpiece "master and the margarita" in these stories.
Anna
Bulgakov in short stories. Still absurdal climate and really good writing.
Niclas
I've only read Diaboliad, in the swedish translation
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Mikhaíl Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Булгаков) was the first of six children in the family of a theology professor. His family belonged to the intellectual elite of Kiev. Bulgakov and his brothers took part in the demonstration commemorating the death of Leo Tolstoy. Bulgakov later graduated with honors from the Medical School of Kiev University in 1915. He married his classmate Tatiana...more
More about Mikhail Bulgakov...
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