pinknantucket's Reviews > The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
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's review
Nov 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ms-readathon-2006
Read in January, 2006

I wanted this book to be one of my favourite books of all time, but it isn’t – which isn’t to say I didn’t like it; it was enormous fun!! Just look at the rating I gave it!! I did enjoy it, but it didn’t move me, I guess. (So eat a prune…).

The Devil arrives in Moscow (during Stalin’s era) in the guise of a Mr Woland, professor of black magic, with an entourage that includes a kind of rubbery-looking man named Koroviev, a man with a fang named Azazello, a nude witch called Hella (her character is not terribly developed, unfortunately) and a large walking talking living cat, Behemoth. (I became quite fond of Behemoth, but it might have just been because he was a cat). They proceed to cause havoc, especially amongst the local literary elite, many of whom are of course athiests, and pompous to boot, and could be said to get their just desserts.

It’s all a bit like a “Carry on Satan” film until the character of Margarita appears, who decides to see if she can use Woland to find her lost lover, an unnamed man (the “Master”) who has checked himself into the local asylum without telling her. He has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, known of course for having Jesus executed, which Margarita thinks is a work of genious (she might be biased, of course) and Woland finds it of interest because of course he was there at the time. The story of Pontius Pilate is woven throughout the whole story, I think with the aim of showing him redeemed at the end of the novel, but I’m not quite sure about that. I confess I was a bit mystified by the whole Pontius bit, which is perhaps another reasons why this book wasn’t a fave.

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