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The Master and Margarita

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  161,012 Ratings  ·  7,557 Reviews
Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts—one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow—the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshu ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published March 19th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

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Kris
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review is dedicated to Mary, the very model of a perfect co-moderator and GR friend.

Unlocking the Meaning of The Master and Margarita


Mikhail Bulgakov

In the decades following the publication of The Master and Margarita, myriad critics have attempted to find a key to unlock the meaning of Bulgakov’s unfinished masterwork. Some viewed the novel as a political roman à clef, laboriously substituting historical figures from Stalinist Moscow for Bulgakov’s characters. Others posited a religious fo
...more
Nataliya

EXTRA! EXTRA! This review has now been immortalized in audio format. Authentic Russian accent and Russian quotes are provided free of charge :) http://soundcloud.com/nataliyac/the-m...
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I'm staying home from work today, sick to the extreme, and it's only in that unique feverish clarity that comes with illness that I dare to even try to write about this book.

This is THE book. The one that all the other books are measured against. The one that I've read more times since I was tw
...more
Jason
The Chicago Tribune wrote: “The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant, and everywhere full of rich descriptive passages.”

Hilarious and contemplative my ass, CT. This book is an interminable slog.

Look, here’s the deal. I get that this book satirizes 1930s Stalinist Russia, and I get that—for some—this earns The Master and Margarita a place on their “works-of-historical-importance” shelves. But for me, it earns nothing. I mean, let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we
...more
Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος   Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο   Αμούν Arnum
«Sympathy for the Devil»


His name is God. Not Lucifer,not Satan,but God!!!
Satan is God in a bad mood. God in a bad mood lays our souls to waste.
«As heads is tales
Just call me LUCIFER
cop is to criminal as God is to Lucifer».

God in a good mood plays games with us.
«What’s confusing you is just THE NATURE OF MY GAME»

«This song has a direct tie to the book, "the Master and the Margarita", is about all the history & tragedies with points throughout time. The man he is describing is the devil.
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
عنوان: مرشد و مارگریتا؛ نویسنده: میخائیل بولگاکف؛ مترجم: عباس میلانی؛ تهران، فرهنگ نشر نو؛ چاپ اول 1362 ؛ شابک: 9647443277؛ چاپ ششم 1385؛ هفتم 1386؛ چاپ دهم 1389؛
در این اثر واقعیت و خیال، «رئال» و «سورئال» درهم تنیده شده، میتوان گفت: نوعی «رئالیسم جادویی روسی»ست. رمان بن مایه های فلسفی و اجتماعی دارد، با پس زمینه ای سیاسی، که به شکلی رقیق و غیرمستقیم یادآور دوران حکومت «استالین» است، با بیانی بسیار ظریف و هنرمندانه، و گاه شاعرانه، مسائل جامعه آن روزهای
...more
Afshar
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Afshar by: من
مزخرف یعنی این: از لحاظ تازگی درجه دو
تازگی تنها یک درجه دارد؛ درجه اول و آخرش یکی است

این کتاب نمایشی است از تقابل راستی و دروغ در جامعه روسیه استالین

جامعه روسیه را دروغ و دزدی و تظاهر فرا گرفته و روشنفکران و منتقدان و نویسندگان هم به این کار دامن می زنند
از آنان بیشتر از این انتظاری نمی توان داشت
با حقوق و مزایای زیادی که از دولت می گیرند و خانه گاریبایدوف(محل کلوب
...نویسندگان وابسته به دولت) با آن غذاهای اعلا و ارزان، برنده شدن آپارتمان و

به قول دو زیردست ابلیس، این نویسندگان مانند آناناس در گر
...more
s.penkevich
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: You, Citizen!
Recommended to s.penkevich by: The Devil knows who!
Manuscripts don’t burn…
Mikhail Bulgakov, who is no stranger to the pale fire of a burning manuscript, has created a masterpiece of fiction that truly cannot be burned. Having been completed, but not fully edited, by the time of Bulgakov’s demise, this novel survived Soviet censorship and the test of time to remain one of the foremost Russian novels of the 20th century, and still holds relevance in today’s world. From political intrigue and scathing social satire to religious commentary and witch
...more
Ilse
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Each and everyone
Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other…

I experienced this magical novel as an unrivalled ode to love and reveled in its delectable burlesque and hilarious scenes. It knocked me off my feet and pointed
...more
Henry Avila
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A poet "Homeless", as he calls himself, and a magazine editor, his gruff boss, Berlioz, are having a conversation, in a quiet, nondescript Moscow park, just before the start of the Second World War. Drinking, just harmless sodas, and discussing business, ordinary right? That's the last time in this novel, it is. An apparition appears in the sky, weird and unbelievable, a frightening seven foot transparent man, is seen floating above their heads, but only Berlioz spots it, he's obviously, the edi ...more
William1
This is a romp. While reading it I saw somewhere that Salman Rushdie said it was a major influence for him in the writing of The Satanic Verses. I have an inkling, unconfirmed at this point, that Gabriel García Márquez and Italo Calvino were also influenced by it. Several things about it surprise me. No doubt it's loaded with political subtext about Stalin's Russia; it was written during the years of the worst crimes of Stalin's regime. I speak here of "dekulakization," in which some 20 to 50 m ...more
Steve
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
There once was a book praised as boff
That caused others to pan it and scoff
So who wrote this thing
Whence sentiments swing?
T’was a Russian they called Bulgakov.

The culture was smothered by Stalin
He purged those he felt failed to fall in.
So how to respond
Sans magical wand?
With satire, to show it’s appallin’.

The book has been said to have layers
With multiple plotlines and players.
There’s good and there’s bad
And witches unclad.
Can naked truth sate the naysayers?

The Devil’s own minions had power.
Blin
...more
Lyn
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Master and Margarita by Soviet era writer Mikhail Bulgakov seems to inspire strong emotions though most critics and commentators have been impressed with the fantastic satire. Le Monde listed the novel number 94 on its 100 books of the century. I found it absurd, outrageous, inconsistent, but for the most part entertaining.

I would probably appreciate the novel more if I better understood Bulgakov’s scathing satire on atheistic Soviet society, which he exposes as materialistic and bourgeois.
...more
Mike Puma
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists

This is not a review. This is my reaction to reading TM&M. Nothing more, and certainly less.

From time to time, and always when I receive a Friend Request, I check other people’s Read list via the Compare Books function—constantly cringing at the five titles that always show up as huge scars—the titles on their Read list and my To Read list. The indignity. It doesn’t end. There are five, five which constantly haunt me, flood me with shame. This is (was) one of them (had I chosen to read the c

...more
B0nnie
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read The Master and Margarita many years ago I saw it as a diamond in the rough. Rereading it now, I can see how brilliant that diamond really is.
description
Jubilee edition
It's difficult to explain the effect of this book. There is such a wild oscillation in it that swings us back and forth between two worlds: the world of Moscow - a wild circus with the devil Woland as ringmaster - and the world of Yershalaim (Jerusalem). These are fictional reinventions that retain a basic truth.

Bu
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Swimming Against the Stream

This was my second reading of “The Master and Margarita”, although the first must have been in the mid-70’s.

I had vivid memories of the first reading, although if you had asked me to describe them, I wouldn’t have been able to. All I can recall is something fluid and magical.

I hesitate to use the term “Magical Realism”, because I wasn’t aware of it at the time and, besides, I dispute whether the term applies to Bulgakov’s work.

My experience this time was quite differen
...more
ميقات الراجحي
وكأنها نحتت من صخر.. فنان عاهدها بالمراجعة والتدقيق من حينٍ لآخر لتخرج لنا بهذه الصورة النهائية. لوحة فنية وغيمة من مطر وإعصار تربك القارئ حد الجنون هذه رواية من روح ونبض.


من أعظم ما قرأت في الأدب الروسي الأدب الذي يحتل مكانة مرموقة لا ينازعه عليها ويتجاوزه مؤخرًا أدب المناطق اللاتينية، وقد منعت في أول ظهورها لسنوات طويلة وهذا من سمات الأدب الروسي إبان العهد السوفيتي. من قرأ في أدبيات الإتحاد السوفييتي (1922 – 1991م) سيعرف الكثير من رمزيات هذا العمل العبقري ولماذا جابهه الإتحاد بالمنع سواء كان مص
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I love this book, but I won't assume you're an idiotic bigot if you think it sucks.
Fernando
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“Encantado de conocerte / espero que adivines mi nombre / lo que realmente te despista / es la clase de juego que me traigo”, cantan los Rolling Stones en “Sympathy for the Devil”, un tema que parece haber sido compuesto especialmente por y para este libro.
¡Y qué libro tan genial! Cuando uno lee este tipo de novelas, entiende por qué se los denomina “libros de culto” y es que simplemente uno no puede dejar de sucumbir ante tanta perfección narrativa y literaria. Hay ciertos autores que alcanzan
...more
Luís C.
Barely begun, I have more left! The fantastic adventures of the man with the severed head and demonic cat that disappears and reappears at will (among others) soothes me. What a brilliant storyteller that this Russian writer of the last century! The appearance of Marguerite Nikolaievna, the lover of the Master - 30 years, beautiful, smart, and married - without children - a very eminent specialist early in the second part of the story was very bewitching and for good reason, and thanks to Azazel ...more
Mohamed Al Marzooqi
عندما انضممت إلى صالون الأدب الروسي هنا في القودريدس، كان من ضمن أهدافي المضمرة هو التتلمذ على أيدي أساتذة الأدب الروسي (أعظم آداب العالم في رأيي) مثل غوغول ودوستويفسكي وبوشكين وتولستوي وغيرهم استعدادًا لكتابة روايتي الأولى.

مشكلة كتاب الرواية العرب المعاصرين أنهم يقتحمون هذا هذا العالم دون اطلاع على إنتاج الأمم الأخرى، وفي هذا الصدد، أذكر أنني حضرت ندوة لـ"روائي" خليجي متواضع، والتواضع صفة لأعماله لا لشخصه، فقد كان الرجل منتفخا كبالون وهو يستمع إلى إطراءات الجمهور، وحدث أن كان بين هذا الجمهور شا
...more
Foad
چگونه مى توان عاشق ولند نبود؟ چگونه مى توان آرزويش را نكرد؟ شيطانى كه با دستيارهايش جهان را از پاشنه در مى كند تا حق گردن كلفت ها را بگذارد كف دستشان، گردن بزرگ ترين هاشان را به يك اشاره خرد كند، با شعبده هايش به ريش شان بخندد و اين چهره هاى متشخص و جا افتاده را روانه ى تيمارستان كند، و از طرف ديگر، زير پا له شده ها را، بى منزلت ترين ها را، ديوانه هاى تيمارستانى را، مطرودان و محرومان هميشگى را غرق پاک ترين و كودكانه ترين رؤياهاشان كند، و همراه خود پرواز كنان از نزد مردمان فرومایه ببردشان، ببردشا ...more
Diane
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: Michelle
What. The Hell. Was That?

This Russian novel was so wacky and schizophrenic that it gave me a headache.

I had never heard of "The Master and Margarita" until a book club friend said it was one of her favorites. It comes weighted with a lot of praise -- it is considered one of the great Russian novels and has been listed as one of the best books of the 20th Century.

I read a lot of glowing, 5-star reviews of this book, but I just didn't connect with it as others have. I didn't even like the book un
...more
Robert
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
It is difficult to read the Master and Margarita without an uncomfortable awareness of one’s lack of understanding and ability to viscerally relate to the 1920’s Soviet Russia Bulgakov was enthusiastically eviscerating, and therefore easy (and maybe more enjoyable) to read it from a purely acontextual, Formalistic point of view. That being said, it is precisely those times where Bulgakov allows himself to overtly attack his enemies and speechify slightly on the stultifying nature of bureaucratic ...more
Fabian
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is sorta like trying to explain the Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios (a constant ad on Goodreads [also, cool factoid: this is actor Daniel Radcliffe's favorite novel!])--I will eventually make a fool of myself trying to describe the orchestrations of both the physical body with the pyrotechnics and rollercoaster mechanics... see, I just can't.

And one cant quite get to the bottom of "The Master and Margarita"--a trippy, satirical, hard-to-classify classic of
...more
Mahsa.RM
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
با وجود افراد فرهیخته و ریویو های خوبی که گذاشته میشه ،من با سواد ناقصم سعی می کنم کمتر نظر بدم. اما این کتاب اونقدر خوب بود که نمیتونم اشتیاق نوشتن احساسمو نادیده بگیرم.
فضای سورئال و فانتزی و کنایه های زیرپوستی این کتابو به یکی از بهترینا تبدیل کرد.و با شکوه ترین قسمتش دعوت مارگریتا به مهمونی ابلیس و پرواز بر فراز مسکو بود.
بخشی هم که بیشترین اثر روم گذاشت و گریبان گیرجامعه امروز خودمون هم هست،این بود که دنیای معاصر رمان سرشار از شگفتی ها و وقایع عجیب بود ،اما بخشی که در زمان گذشته رخ می داد کام
...more
Mary
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012, russia
I'm just going to let the sparrow take the wheel of this humble attempt to review a book that I cannot find the words to adequately define! The fox trotting sparrow that is. Haven't read this book yet? If you haven't, that isn't a spoiler, it's just a fantastical little paragraph and image that has stuck with me. Imagine...a sparrow dancing the foxtrot...and then pooping. Are you doing it? OK, now you're ready for this book.

I sure wasn't ready for what was in store for me. I struggled at first.
...more
Chloe
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The bizarrely mad
I knew that this was going to be a book that I loved the moment I learned that Satan was the main character. This is not due to any particular affinity for devil worship on my part, but because I love Tricksters in literature and in Western civilization you don't get a better trickster than the devil. Watching him turn Stalinist Moscow on its head proved to be one of the most amusing and engrossing things I've read all year.

From the moment he first materializes as the black magician Woland at a
...more
Libby
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Folklore fans, Lit buffs
Recommended to Libby by: My lovely sister
Very little can prepare you for the wild ride that is Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita," especially if you've read other literature or folklore that have the devil as a character. What will be helpful, I suspect, is knowing a bit about the time and setting of the novel. Bulgakov wrote this book between 1930 and 1940 while living in Moscow under Stalin. The book is set in 1920, when everything was being taken under government control, from the distribution of food and beverages to cit ...more
mai ahmd
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات

إن قراءة رواية مثل المعلم ومارغريتا مثل الدخول في حفلة صاخبة فيها أنشطة مختلفة وأنت تقف في المنتصف حائرا ولاتعرف ماذا تفعل بالضبط هذا كان حالي في وأنا أقرأ صفحات الرواية إلا إن المرحلة الهامة هي تلك التي تأتي بعد أن تغلق آخر صفحة وتفكر ماذا حدث بالضبط وأين كنت وأين ذهب كل هؤلاء المجانين !
بولغاكوف لديه مخيلة واسعة ولا أشك أن كتابته في المسرح ساعدته على أن يكتب بهذا الأسلوب الصاخب حتى إنك تشعر إن هناك ممرات سرية في مخيلة هذا الكاتب ليس سهلا أن تجدها ، إن رواية الشيطان يزور موسكو ممكن أن تقرأ برؤى
...more
Andrei Tamaş
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Maestrul şi Margareta, romanul unei epoci.
Mihail Bulgakov este indiscutabil geniul literaturii ruse moderne și totodată promotorul obscuritismului în Rusia.
"Maestrul și Margareta" este romanul care i-a adus întreaga faimă. La fel de captivantă precum scrierea este și povestea scrierii romanului în sine. Interzis în Rusia după publicare deoarece a stârnit critici și reacții în interiorul Partidului Comunist, Stalin ordonând, prin urmare, interzicerea, găsirea și arderea tuturor copiilor, romanul
...more
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Snippets That Ins...: Is Nothing As It Seems? 1 1 Oct 14, 2017 07:23AM  
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count for ISBN 9780679760801 2 11 Jul 10, 2017 04:10PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Change to better quality cover 2 16 Jun 24, 2017 12:21AM  
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Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kyiv, Russian Empire (today Ukraine) on May 15 1891. He studied and briefly practised medicine and, after indigent wanderings through revolutionary Russia and the Caucasus, he settled in Moscow in 1921. His sympathetic portrayal of White characters in his stories, in the plays The Days of the Turbins (The White Guard), which enjoyed great success at the Moscow Art Thea ...more
More about Mikhail Bulgakov...
“But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if
evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid.”
927 likes
“Everything will turn out right, the world is built on that.” 556 likes
More quotes…