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Writing a love story that resonates with people, is not an easy task. Shakespeare has shown how it can be done with his Romeo and Juliet.
Writing a political novel is not easy, either. Most of them
have an expiry date and when the main dictator is gone, the story becomes meaningless, or at best "historical".
So you should pause and recognize a masterpiece where the two are combined in a timeless and exquisite manner. "Master and Margarita" is one of those rare novels.
Bulgakov has blended the eternal love, with the poison of power in two different eras: the Roman empire's tyranny in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago and Stalin's dictatorship in the Soviet Union.
How skillful a writer should be, to intertwine the story of Christ's crucification, The love between Master and Margarita, terror of Stalin's era and a visit by Satan to Moscow!
In each case of these power struggles, the least powerful and most vulnerable eventually prevails: Christ over the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and the High Priest of Jerusalem, And the defenseless and fragile writer ("Master" as Margarita addresses him) against the monstrous power of Stalin.
Jesus is still in hearts and minds of many today while Pontius Pilate or the High Priest of Jerusalem are buried in history. Bulgakov lives through his masterpiece while Stalin has become a name in history books.
But above and beyond the deadly games of power, the most powerful force of them all shines through: eternal love.
The love between a lonely writer and a married woman. On the day that Margarita meets the writer, she was determined to kill herself if she didn't find her love to take her away from her boring life.
Margarita puts behind, all that matters to ordinary people: comfortable life as the wife of a wealthy husband, clothes, jewelery, nice house and a maid, and she even submits to Satan knowingly, to perish for love, only to save her lover.
It takes a lot of mastery to make a coherent story out of different threads that at first seem to be unrelated to each other, but at the end, the reader feels the corrupting impact of power, the truth of love, and how love of power and power of love have not changed in thousands of years.
 

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A true tour de force!

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No doubt a cult classic. This book is a sleeper, while as poignant as Orwell's "Animal House" and Dante's "Inferno". Superb. Mikhail Bulgakov's translation and writing style is excellent.

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Daniela - Goodreads

I really liked the tone and writing style, and at times found the book hilarious. I don't know enough about Russia during this time to fully appreciate all of the satire- but the book motivates me to learn more. Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Vessy - Goodreads

A very original book, which contains philosphy, psychology, imagination, humour (it gave me a good laugh at some places) and a chilling darkness. So, in theory, it works. Only, it doesn't. Not for me ... Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Chas Bayfield - Goodreads

This was a wonderful escape. Pure fantasy but utterly gripping. It was a bit hard keeping tabs with all the names of the various theatre personnel but otherwise it was a proper romp through 1930s Russia. Devilishly good! Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Rachel - Goodreads

Oh Russian fiction. I wish I had "gotten" this-- a very dear friend recommended this book, plus it's one of Daniel Radcliffe's favorite reads and that should count for SOMEthing, right? But alas, I ... Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Christopher Klein - Goodreads

With the exception of the beginning of Part Two, especially the "Flight" chapter, I really enjoyed this work. I'm thinking of using it in the class I teach next year. Excellent read. Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Justinas Rudys - Goodreads

Top book. It brought me back to my childhood reads.. Read full review

Review: The Master and Margarita

User Review  - Daniel Austin - Goodreads

Despite Mikhail Bulgakov's repressive environment, 1930s Soviet Russia, I admire how he managed to pull off a masterful allergorical tale of his times(even though it was not published until after his ... Read full review


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