The Master & Margarita By Mikhail Bulgakov


Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!

Where do I begin with this book, first of all I would love to thank Will at Alma Books for being so kind and sending me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and was originally written in1938 however, was not published until 1966/67. The reason this version of the novel was not published until the sixties because an early version of the novel had been published previously and was subsequently banned for the themes and nature of the book.

The story centres on (official blurb): “As a mysterious gentleman and self-proclaimed magician arrives in Moscow, followed by a most bizarre retinue of servants – which includes a strangley dressed ex-choirmaster, a fangled hitman and a mischievous tomcat with the gift of the gab – the Russian literary world is shaken to its foundations. It soon becomes clear that he is the Devil, and that he has come to wtrak havoc among the cultural elite of the disbelieving capital. But the Devil’s mission quickly becomes entangled with the fate of the master – the author of an unpublished historical novel about Pontius Pilate – who has turn his back on real life and his lover Margarita, finding shelter in a lunatic asylum after traumatic publishers’ rejections, vilification in the press and political persecution.”

There are so many things that can be said about this novel as a whole. However, I would like to comment on the use of characters, settings and Bulgakov’s writing in general each of these areas and themes were presented and examined in such a perfect way. Each of these areas has such a uniqueness, creativity and strangeness about them. The characters within this novel were incredibly lifelike. The Master and Margarita are two key characters within this novel and are at the heart of the story. The connection between these two characters (The Master and Margarita) was most definitely a love story however, this novel is so much more that just your typical love story.

Another area that was done very well throughout this novel was the use of mood. The use of mood within this book was very dark and connected very well with Moscow during this time period. Overall the mood and setting of this novel were captured perfectly.

Throughout the whole novel Mikhail Bulgakov manages to weave everything within the story together perfectly especially with the use of intertextuality throughout. The Master and Margarita was heavily influenced by Goethe’s famous take on the Faust legend.

…so who are you in the end? I am a part of that power which eternally desires evil and eternally does good. – Goethe, Faust

The story was most definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and a product of the existentialist era. Bulgakov’s writing, characters, settings, atmosphere, etc was done perfectly and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a damn good story.

But would you kindly ponder this question: what would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the shadow of my shadow. But shadows also come from trees and living beings. Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things because of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You’re stupid.


The edition was published by Alma Classics (2016)

(The Image is my own please do not copy/take without permission first)


3 responses to “The Master & Margarita By Mikhail Bulgakov

  1. I read this a few years ago and loved it – it was so different and unusual! I’m looking forward to reading it again one day as I’m sure there must have been a lot that I missed the first time. Great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this couple of years back and I completely agree with your review! I love the settings, it captures the mood of Russia brilliantly. Of course the characters are equally well drawn and exceptional.

    Liked by 1 person

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