50 books to read before you die discussion

The Master and Margarita
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Book Disscusions Nominated Books > The Master and Margarita

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Buck (spectru) Won the poll for the 'open book' section. October 2017


Buck (spectru) Halfway through, I reached the point where it was just too bothersome to continue. I wasn't enjoying this book. Aside from the couple of chapters about Pontius Pilate and the crucifixion, which were straightforward prose, the writing was sometimes annoyingly nonsensical. It must have been lost in translation from the Russian.

I read a lot of science fiction, perhaps 30-40% of my reading, so it was a disappointment not to like this esteemed Russian classic.


Christine I have just finished reading this and I think it’s the weirdest book I have read. It was hard going until you got to the second part - Margarita - that’s when it became a little more understandable. However, I think it was a poor translation as the English didn’t flow.

I think Bulgakov was having a go at the ‘Moscow literary elite’ who under Stalin’s rule were suppressing writers who didn’t tow the party line.


Eden Zinchik | 1 comments Only halfway through the book and I am absolutely loving it. I don’t understand why more people don’t speak about Bulgakov. I love his humour and though the book is quiet absurd (and I have also read Heart of a Dog and must say it’s no less absurd) it’s done in a very creative and analytically understandable way. With a quick lesson on Russian history and society as well as some research on Bulgakov’s own personal experiences, the book suddenly becomes a huge joke as well as commentary on what life was like back then. Though I must say that this book was made to be read back then and reading it now in a different environment removes a level of the satirical humour and meaning to the absurdities that occur thus possibly confusing the reader. But for me personally it’s an amazing book that I will definitely recommend to my friends.


message 5: by Christine (last edited May 10, 2018 02:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Christine Eden wrote: "Only halfway through the book and I am absolutely loving it. I don’t understand why more people don’t speak about Bulgakov. I love his humour and though the book is quiet absurd (and I have also re..."

I agree with you Eden that it probably would be much better read for me if I knew more about life in Moscow at that time and with a different translation. I did find with the office workers singing compulsively very funny.


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