Sometimes I really wonder why I listen to other people’s recommendations as to what books to read. But how else am I to broaden my horizons if I don’t stray from my usual path right? I read my fair share of Russian children stories growing up including one of my favourite The Three Fat Men and so I was not at all put off. Familiar territory I thought.
I get that this tiny book written in the 1920s – 1930s (but published post-humously in the 1960s) and dripping in satire and irony is a commentary of Stalin’s Soviet Union, It consists of multiple stories. Foremost, it features the devil in the guise of a professor/magician known as Woland who along with his posse terrorize the literary elite of Moscow by exposing them to their own hypocrisy. Then there’s the story of Pontius Pilate and the trial of Yeshua Ha-Notsri which was written by the Master. Finally, the story of the Master and Margarita, separated lovers, which I guess ties everything together but I would have to go back and read the book ten times more to get through all the dense allegory. Or maybe I would need to learn Russian and read the book in it’s original tongue.
This book is regarded by many as one of the greatest novels of the last century. Sadly, I did not fall in love with it.