The Master and Margarita, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY WILL SELF. The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by various demons, including a naked girl and a huge black cat.

When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray.

Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil's onslaught.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099540946

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I have never been to Russia nor studied it in great length but this book to me is quintessential Russia. It is a love letter and a satire at the same time, a mirror held against the political and social faults of Moscow. The devil and a few of his assistants descend upon the Moscow of 1929 - not to gather souls, but to show the citizens and their greed and hunger for power and riches up. With magical shows, games, murders and general mayhem the devil manages to get most of the good people into mental asylums.....and more I will not tell you. Woven into the story is the tale of Yeshua (Jesus) and his execution by Pontius Pilate. This part is written very sensitive and gentle, very serene, different to the loud and colourful telling of the devils tale. And of course in the end both stories come together. I like this devil, who is so different from the one we think we know. I like hell's version of Death, called The Murderer, I like the cat, one of the devils acolytes, mischievous and evil, I like the way the language is handled, the phrasing, the way it seems to be steeped in Russian history and lore. Go people, read!

Review by

I should disclose that I'm not a particular fan of magical realism, which no doubt coloured my reading of this Russian classic. That said, I actually found the absurdity of it really entertaining...for a while. I loved the first part of the book, when the (vividly portrayed) devil wreaks havoc all over Moscow. Eventually though, the gun-toting cat, car-driving crow, flying pig and all the rest of Bulgakov's vast menagerie wore out their welcome. The last hundred pages or so were a real slog for me. <i>The Master and Margarita</i> is a book that demands patience and time.