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Diaboliad and Other Stories

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,428 Ratings  ·  116 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 1924)
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Glenn Russell
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Considering dozens and dozens of reviews are posted for The Master and Margarita and my review of this little collection of Bulgakov tales published some twenty years ago is one of the first on Goodreads, it is fair to say many readers have committed an oversight. Unfortunate since these short works are masterpieces in their own right. If you love The Master and Margarita you will also love reading this book.

Eleven tales included here, two of which - Diaboliad and The Fatal Eggs - are long enou
...more
Jacob Overmark
Diaboliad or Life at the cooperative.

….sorry, we have run out of pay-checks but you will have your salary in matchsticks, or cheap wine, or even left-hand shoes – depending on what kind of cooperative you work in.
The Devil take it! And that is not just an expression.
Going into a frenzy, starting to test strike the very poor-quality matchsticks our protagonist-with-soon-no-name is covered in a cloud of Sulphur, not to mention the immediate harm done by flying sparks.

There is a distinct odor in
...more
Susan
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bulgakov fans, Russian literature lovers

This collection of Mikhail Bulgakov’s early short stories, written between 1922 and 1923, highlights the pathos and comic surrealism of life in post-revolutionary Moscow.

The title story, “The Diaboliad”, concerns the hapless Korotkov, the chief clerk at the Main Central Depot of Match Materials (or MatchMat) who is paid in the “produce of production” — in other words, matches. The innocent reader may assume that this is an example of Russian absurdism, but according to Lesley Milne’s excellent b
...more
Stian
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains five different stories by Bulgakov:
Diaboliad
The Fatal Eggs
No. 13, the Elpit-Workers' Commune
A Chinese Tale
The Adventures of Chichikov

I did not read the final story, as I will wait until I've read Gogol's Dead Souls before I do that. The only story I didn't like very much was No. 13, the Elpit-Workers' Commune, which I failed to appreciate: it was chaotic and not particularly interesting.

The other stories, however, are great. Diaboliad is an absolutely hilarious story, a funn
...more
Steven
One of the things against which Bulgakov railed at the time he was writing these five stories—Diaboliad, The Fatal Eggs (really more of a novella), No. 13, the Elpit-Workers' Commune, A Chinese Tale, and The Adventures of Chichikov—was a campaign, begun around 1921, which proudly claimed that satire no longer had a role to play in Soviet literature. The idea was that satire had fulfilled a vital function in the 19th century in furthering progressive, anti-authoritarian thinking—but now, in Sovie ...more
TheSkepticalReader
The Diaboliad - ★★★
Surreal and crazy but has moments of humor that I can appreciate.

The Elpit Workers' Commune Building - ★
Something just felt wrong with this story. I have a suspicion it maybe the translation. Or maybe it needed another edit. Rough and gritty but didn’t grab my attention much.

A Chinese Tale - ★
No.

The Adventures of Chichikov - ★★★★
Most enjoyable for this Gogol reader of Dead Souls. It’s like literary fanfiction from another one of your favorite Russians. Loved the ending in part
...more
Joseph
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) and the composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975) had met and briefly toyed with the idea of working together on a dramatic work. It was not to be, but their collaboration is a tantalizing "might have been". Indeed, the more I read of Bulgakov, the more he reminds me of Shostakovich. Not the composer of the symphonies perhaps, but the Shostakovich of the circus music, of the manic and dissonant galops, of the acerbic music theatre pieces. This is particularly true ...more
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
Ana  Vlădescu
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ana by: Ana
This I picked when at a friend's home, out of the sheer need to read something, because I had forgotten mine at home. I finished the book the same evening, as well as The Fatal Egg , a story by the same author.

This was humorous, especially because trying to imagine all the mess made me laugh at times. It's very short but also very energetic, at all times something is happening and if you miss on it, you don't understand a thing!

I get the feeling I'll be reading some more from Bulgakov, becaus
...more
فهد الفهد
نشيد الشيطان

ذات عوالم بولغاكوف والتي خبرتها في (المعلم ومارغريتا)، العالم الشيطاني الغريب والذي يقع فيه موظف روسي بسيط، تم فصله بسبب خطأ طباعي بسيط، وفي الطريق إلى تصحيح وضعه، يفقد وثائقه وتزداد غرائبية الأشياء التي يواجهها.
Andrei Tamaş
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Povestea unui funcționar dus la pierzanie de doi gemeni. Cadrul e specific lui Bulgakov: o lume lugubră cu personaje care apar și dispar (când, în fapt, totul e explicat prin prisma realului). Citind "Maestrul și Margareta", mă așteptam la ceva mai mult de la acest roman. Oricum, nimeni nu a excelat prin întreaga creație, iar Bulgakov e demn de a fi respectat pentru curajul de care a dat dovadă publicând aceste opere în contextul în care Rusia era guvernată de un pragmatic regim comunist.
Sookie
The Diaboliad

Bulgakov's characters are an exaggeration of their real lives counterparts. I am sure a government in some deeply nested bureaucratic system has gotten fired for an insane reason. Bulgakov's recurring themes like ignorance, bureaucratic bullshit, nonsensical paradigms issued by government and heard mentality, make an appearance. And also there is a cat.

Bulgakov's satire is a social commentary. In its over the top expression, his frustration towards his country's social climate chan
...more
Asha Seth
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clerk is at his wit's end when things start to tumble out of control right after he gets the sack.

This shit is insane but the best part is you will love it awfully much. That Bulgakov drives one crazy with his humour and sublime satire is only the beginning of the artistic journey and you are yet to discover much.

After M & M, I am on an orgy of sorts chasing Bulgakov stories, with seemingly no end, and just how bizarre yet perfectly orgasmic all of his works are.
Vishal
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What did I just read?

That was.....bizzare
Carloesse
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uova fatali, Cuore di cane e soprattutto Il Maestro e Margherita sono ancora da venire, ma già qualcosa in bozza di quelle storie un po’ sulfuree e di quel climax moscovita è già presente in questo lungo racconto (poco più di una sessantina di pagine) che li antecede di pochi anni e che Andrea Tarabbia, nella postfazione di questa edizione, definisce come una trasposizione nella società sovietizzata di quel conflitto tra individuo (l’uomo superfluo) e potere (quest’ ultimo rappresentato nel suo ...more
Moh A. Groof
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هناك قرارات تكتب بأحرفٍ قليلة وتقرأها في ثوانٍ معدودة

ولكن هذه القرارات كفيلة بأن تخيّرك بين الموت أو العار

فماذا ستختار؟

أنت وحدك من تقرر... وإن كان هناك عوامل نفسية بداخلك، وخارجية تؤثر في سلامة وصحة ما ستختاره..

إلا إنك محكوم بما ستختاره وما تريد أن تصيره

كُن أنت ولا تجعل غيرك يُحدد من أنت وما تُريد أن تكونه!

أحمد جابر

وأنشد الشيطان، فاستمعت له، ثم لم يعجبني صوته.
شخصية تحاول البقاء أكثر وقت ضد الأنظمة الفاسدة الجديدة، وتنجح.
الرمزية طاغية بشكل أكثر مما تقتضيه الحاجة وأكثر من ذلك الخيالات المكتوبة من تحوّل بعض الشخصيات إلى كائنات أخرى.
Nata
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-200-pag
Nu știu ce am așteptat de la această cărțulie, dar mai mult de 3 stele nu-i pot da, deși, povestirile conțin: acțiune, suspans, mister și dramatism. Îmi place stilul lui Bulgakov, l-am cunoscut datorită romanului său arhicunoscut „Maestrul și Margareta”și în continuare vreau să-l descopăr.
Isra'a
سأكتب عنها لاحقا
Ronald Morton
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
There are times when I loathe the star system here. I know some people choose to ignore it entirely, but my OCD tells me that I have to fill it in, so I always do. But I have no idea what rating to give a book that is as inconsistent as this one is.

On the high end, The Fatal Eggs is fantastic. Both a deeply funny satire and a weird science fiction novella/short story (at a 100 pages it doesn't feel like short story in appropriate), it should be essential reading if you like Bulgakov. Maybe pick
...more
دايس محمد
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
بزعمي تعتبر هذه الرواية مفاتيح لروايته الأهم المعلم ومارغريتا، بدون هذه الرواية سيكون من الصعب قراءة الأخرى، فالأحداث الروائية في المعلم ومارغريتا معقدة بشكلٍ لا يمكن تصوره، بينما في هذه الرواية من الممكن الدخول إلى عوالم بولغاكوف.

هذا العمل حالة صراع بين الإنسان وحلمه، بين الإنسان ومخيلته، بين الإنسان وسقوطه في حالات الوهم التي لا تنتهي رغم افتراض واقعية هذا الحلم، في العمل شتيمة هائلة للبيروقراطية السوفييتية، "بشخطة قلم" يتحول مصير إنسان إلى كارثة، يحاول الإمساك بخيوطها ليحلها فتتقافز الكلسونير
...more
Antonella
Jun 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Che confusione!!!

Difficile stare dietro a tutti i movimenti, i personaggi, i discorsi veloci, le situazioni...

Povero Korotkov!

La sue sicurezze e la sua vita tranquilla e monotona vanno improvvisamente e inspiegabilmente in frantumi e si ritrova - di colpo - a dover combattere, tra inseguimenti e fughe, per il mantenimento del proprio posto di lavoro, confrontandosi con una burocrazia, quella russa, che ha dell'assurdo.

Le ultime pagine riscattano un po' il racconto.

OK, è assodato: Bulgakov non f
...more
Alexandru Buşe-Dragomir
Descifrarea completă a analizelor sociale, religioase şi mai ales politice din opera lui Bulgakov mă duce cu gândul la încercarea dezlegării unui nod gordian cu mâinile goale. Nu îmi va fi greu să recunosc că aceste două nuvele nu se ridică la nivelul operei sale principale, ''Maestrul şi Margareta''.
Stilul este acelaşi, însă lipseşte profunzimea. Am avut de gând să renunţ la lectură, apoi am vrut să îi acord trei stele, dar mă voi limita la două datorită scrierii secundare.
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
My edition of Diaboliad by Mikhail Bulgakov was published in 1972. However, I believe the stories contained were written around the 1920s. Most of the stories are satires. The author has been compared to Nikolai Gogol and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Personally, am not keen with comparisons but I have read quite a number of Russian authors including Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov et cetra. I know chekhov was a Doctor by profession who later abandoned the practice to be a full time writer. Our writer also foll ...more
Lisa Witkowski
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, but last story doesn't make much sense without the context of Gogol. Introduction is worth reading, lends valuable insights into the lesser known stories in this collection.
Ginevra
Bulgakov is brilliant, but if you're afraid of snakes you might not like 'The Fatal Eggs'...just a warning
ParloDaIgnorante
Libricino che include due racconti, Diavoleide e Le avventure di Čičikov. Avendo letto uno dei due racconti con un madrelingua russo e basandomi sulle osservazioni fatte durante la lettura, posso dire che la traduzione è fatta bene, decisamente meglio di quella di Newton Compton.
In fondo al libricino sono presenti note che aiutano il lettore a decifrare alcuni giochi di parole di Bulgakov: a mio avviso sono essenziali per la comprensione dei testi. È presente anche una brevissima nota alla tradu
...more
Tony
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It'd be nigh on impossible to fault Bulgakov. One of those Russian writers whose name should be held in the same reverence as those other masters Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.

He's as capable with these surreal, satirical shorts as he is with sagas (The White Guard) and masterpiece epics (The Master and Margarita). He can evoke the chaos and confusion of his times while still managing to net let it impose too greatly on a great story. His characters are all memorable and vital and there's an ease to
...more
Danielle
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Beatrix Tung
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it just me, or the translator? If the disjointed writing was to make the reader feel like he was going as mad as the characters and the story, well done. But in that case, back to Lewis Carroll for me. It is a marvel that the stingily sparse sentences makes it even more arduous to comprehend what is going on, rather than strip the narrative down to its essence like Hemingway. In summary, the shortness of the sentences accumulate to form the longest stretch of nothingness I have ever read. The ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: book 4 14 May 04, 2015 01:14AM  
  • Вий
  • Happy Moscow
  • The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
  • The Shooting Party
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  • Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings
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  • The Village of Stepanchikovo
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  • Олеся: Повесть
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  • Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
  • Moscow 2042
  • Иуда Искариот
  • Sleepwalker in a Fog
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3873
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...

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“Целуй же меня, целуй скорее, пока нет никого из контрольной комиссии.” 2 likes
“– Вот, молодой человек, – горько усмехнувшись, сказал добрый и униженный Дыркин, – вот и награда за усердие. Ночей недосыпаешь, недоедаешь, недопиваешь, а результат всегда один – по морде. Может быть, и вы с тем же пришли? Что ж… Бейте Дыркина, бейте. Морда у него, видно, казенная. Может быть, вам рукой больно? Так вы канделябрик возьмите.” 0 likes
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