Master and Margarita, The
2 journalers for this copy...
Absurd and satirical, this book was one I enjoyed quite a bit. The devil and his crew were like slightly malicious trickster gods, making sure that people were hoisted on their own petards. There were many threads running through the novel: on one level it was a clear take down of Soviet bureaucracy, corruption, secret police state apparatus (along with its concomitant disappearances, executions, informing on neighbours, and committing of dissidents to psychiatric hospitals), censorship and the like; on another it is a story about love; on another it is about art and free expression, and there seems to also be a spiritual/religious/philosophical thread, but I can't quite grasp what's being said on that level. Especially since, as far as I'm aware, Bulgakov was an atheist.
At times, the book reminded me of Catch-22, which is unsurprising really. Behemoth was funny and a shade on the adorable side. Margarita was pretty kick-ass, though when you pare it down to the root, she only has life as, first, a muse, and second, as a worshipful lover of the Master--in other words, she has no desires, ambitions, accomplishments of her own. They're all on behalf of the Master--except, perhaps her plea for Frieda.
I'm listing this as available for now, but may release into the wild at some point.