Daily Archives: November 20, 2013

Master and Margarita: A Review

The most recent book I have finished reading is The Master and Margatita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It tells the story of the Devil showing up in Moscow one day, some time in the late 1930s and follows him and his entourage across the town as they cause a number of outrageous incidents. While the satirical elements may not resonate with those unfamiliar with Stalin-era Soviet history (such as the Apartment Crisis), the events and characters will definitely compensate. The titular Master is a novelist who is writing a novel within a novel, which tells the story of Pontius Pilate and creates an amazing juxtaposition between modern Moscow and ancient Jerusalem. This overlaps with a retelling of the Faust legend. What makes the novel so brilliant are all of the characters, including the Devil who is shown as a stage magician and professor of the occult, a witch who is always naked, a dwarf vampire, Jesus, and giant talking cat who gives Garfield and the Cheshire Cat a run for their money. Oh, and accordion playing chimpanzees show up at one point. This is the best book I have read all year. You should read it. You shouldn’t be disappointed.

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