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Customer Reviews for

The Master and Margarita

Average Rating 4
( 103 )
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5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A Window Into Our Souls ? Maybe !

About four years, ago I had met a person who is from Russia. We have a common interest in our family's sports. In a conversation one day on good, evil and the temptations that try men's souls; he recommended I read "The Master and Margarita." The first two chapters lock...
About four years, ago I had met a person who is from Russia. We have a common interest in our family's sports. In a conversation one day on good, evil and the temptations that try men's souls; he recommended I read "The Master and Margarita." The first two chapters locked me in. The setting of Pontius Pilate in a private conversation with Christ prior to his execution, was a concept never presented to me before. I would like to believe that such an event occurred. I enjoyed the transitioning in time through out the book. Reading Bulgakov's book has only cemented my thoughts that Hell is real and it exists in our minds. I was surprised at the way Bulgakov presented the Devil (the character Woland). Controlled, not "fire-breathing", an individual with total confidence in his agenda; collecting souls. What I noticed in most of the encounters was the always present "option" presented by Woland through his underlings; to do the right thing or follow the temptation.
I felt no compassion for Margarita. I feel that Margarita and The Master ended up as they were from the beginning; lost souls.
My high point of the book was in the final chapters when Levi delivered Woland(The Devil) the order from Christ on Margarita and The Master. Even the Devil must answer to someone. Good does win out over evil.
This was the first time I ever reviewed a book. I hope you enjoy this book. Thank you for taking the time to read my review.

posted by Hirlau on July 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Dissapointed

I was looking forward to reading this book on my Nook and was sad to find it was not an English translation. It would have been nice if they said so somewhere before l bought it. Nook doesn't offer this book in English so it's off to the public library.

posted by 6601516 on April 13, 2013

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Fantastic read

    Friends that I recommend this book to ask me what it's about, and all I can tell them is: everything! It spans a range of subjects, and is an absolutely delightful read.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    This is...

    the best masterpiece of 20-th century.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    A Russian Masterpiece

    Bugakov manages to pull off a work so meaningful that it has become a part of everyday Russian speech. In its moving and comic scenes, he shows where the evil of man truly originates, and how little control humans exert over their lives despite any illusion that depicts the opposite. The intellectual girth can be measured in the same scale as the works of Dostoevsky, making this a work so profound that it inspires sympathy for the most unlikely of targets. This is truly one of the best stories to be told by a Russian author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    Simply Wonderful!

    I cannot even BEGIN to describe how much I LOVE this book! It has now become one of my favorites! The first part of the book is a little strange, as it seems to only tell stories of people meeting with a supernatural phenomenon. And yet, throughout all of this, there is still a pattern to be held that keeps you hooked. The second part of the book brings these seemingly miscellaneous characters together, as you realize what must be given for one to be truly happy. I loved it all the way through! DEFINITELY a must-read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    Satan the Not So Bad Guy

    Satan is one of the main forces in this book, even if, as a character, he doesn't feature as often as the others of his entourage. Still, the characters are delightful in their wickedness, but they aren't evil. Philosophically delightful, Satan and his crazy, hilarious minions are part of the great scheme of things, at odds with Heaven, but simply because that seems to be their function in some ways. They don't act all that badly, and they seem to punish people, when they do, out of sheer fun, or because the person warrants it. And that is how the first half of the book goes: Satan and his retinue wreaking havoc through Moscow, killing people, making them disappear, driving them insane. And then the real hero comes in, and it becomes a sort of love story. Interwoven with the main tale are a few chapters that detail the days of Pilate after he sends Christ off to die on the cross. And, in the end, Satan and Co. play a much more interesting role than simply punishers and tormentors.
    It's a lovely little tale, and the end is, for once, a true pay-off.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Complex, entertaining, frustrating but a good read

    The novel reminds me of the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was immensely entertaining, but I lack the knowledge and perspective of the historian; I guess I need to know more about Stalinist Russia to appreciate the novel. I'm glad I read it though. It is one of those books that could be read several times and has many levels to it.

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A cleverly shrouded satire on Stalin's Soviet Union

    The Master and Margarita is a funny, surreal take on 1930s Soviet life. Believe me when I say surreal, I mean it. Along with Satan, his talking human-like cat and other bizarre sidekicks, there are witches, mental patients, and quite a few imaginary and strange happenings. Satan goes on a series of terrible crimes upon entering Moscow and much of the novel seems to be his almost pointless transgressions against the humanity of the people there. The plot consists of several different stories that come together nicely near the end of the novel. It's strange, however, how the title characters aren't even mentioned until well over a hundred pages into the novel, and not nearly enough time is devoted to them. The majority of the novel, as I said, is devoted to watching the Devil as he goes about destroying people's lives. Though this is entertaining at the beginning, by the end of the novel, his and his henchman's antics become excruciatingly boring. There are flashbacks to Jesus's interaction with Pontius Pilate and crucifixion which are very good and important to the meaning of the novel as a whole. After finishing the book I find that its greatest moment comes from a conversation between the Master and the poet Ivan Homeless in a mental asylum. Though the book has many strong and encoded messages on Soviet life and humanity, an excellent ending, and funny characters; the passage of Ivan Homeless and the Master meeting for the first time is by far the most aesthetically beautiful in the book.
    Overall a very good book, though not the masterpiece as many would have you believe it is.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    A piece of literary genius...

    Even the most complementary words would not do justice to Bulgakov¿s creation. A work of a true genius, which puts Bulgakov among such Russian greats as Lomonosov, Pushkin, Mendeleev, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. As I read the reviews, I realized that I was not the only person who read this book multiple times, each time finding it to be different, but inevitably brilliant. It is always gripping, dramatic, funny, full of irresistible characters, scary at times, but always hopeful. To me, it¿s also always been a book about Moscow, as the city is one of the key characters in the book. In my view, this translation is the best one to date. It captures Bulgakov¿s unique literary sonorities, and peculiar details of the 1930s Soviet Union. Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2006

    As good as it gets.

    Kept me interested from the first page to the last! I had heard this one recommended by Henry Rollins and figured I should try it. This story progressively gets better to the last. Any fan of satire and the mysteriously strange would enjoy this classic. Set in 1920 Russia, it was slightly difficult to follow, but worth it. Strongly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2005

    Russian literature at its best

    My friend recommended this book to me, and what actually made me to buy it was because he considered it his favorite book of all time. I agree with him about that. It is an amazing book. Not only that, I developed an interest in the author¿s other works. Nevertheless, this is the best book written by Mikhail Bulgakov. It is an absolute masterpiece, a classic accepted in Russia and the rest of the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Amazing Read

    This book has become one of my favorites. It has the charm, wit, and storyline to keep your interests untill the very end. Without a doubt anyone interested in reading a satire that will make them think this book is perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    Best Book I Ever Read

    There aren't enough stars for this book. It's the funniest book I've ever read and also the most imaginative, readable, and richly metaphorical of any book I've read. It is a unique reading experience and cannot be categorized into any genre. It is rich in symbolism and therefore you never really tire of it. A must read for anyone with an active mind. I am looking for a reading group on this book in the NYC area so if you have any such information please so advise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2005

    The Book uncomparable to any other

    I read Master and Margaritta 3 times with an interval of 3-5 years, and every time I understood it differently. It is a book that should be read more then once, it is .. extreme and a must.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2004

    One of the best books I've recently read

    Although I was somewhat skeptical about reading 'Master and Margarita' once I've actually started I couldn't put it down! It's not a typical novel, has an interesting plot and grabs your attention right away! It is certainly a great use of free time for somebody who enjoys a book that requires some thinking. It's an outstanding, unparalleled book and a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2004

    3 Books in 1!

    I have read this book every year for the last 45 years. My first paperback version can only be read 1 page at a time! I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful husband who obtained an hardback fist edition (NO ONE is allowed to touch that copy)for our 30th wedding anniversary. It is now my privilege to pass this unique book onto my teenager. This story can be read every other chapter for the rolicking fun of 6 foot cat that is a dead eye shot with a Browning automatic as he romps thru Moscow, for the philosophical discussion between Pontius Pilate and Yehwah or all together for the scathing, blistering political analysis of early 20th century Russia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    Terrible annotation

    The annotation 'From the Publisher' is simply terrible. Should you have read the novel in the original, in Russian, you'd have understood it. The novel is about many things notably it's about fate, destiny, love, things which exist out of time, that's why such details as 'Darkest period of Stalin's regime' or 'the vodka-drinking, black cat' are a bit of a very much outdated nonsense, besides, he the black cat was very polite: 'How could I have dared to offer the lady some vodka ... only pure alcohol' - Behemoth said :-). This is a must read novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2003

    Imaginative, yet not entertaining

    The Master and Margarita started out as entertaining through the second chapter about Pilate. After that, it got so boring I couldn't even pay attention to what I was reading.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2003

    GREAT BOOK AWFUL TRANSLATION

    This is one of the best books ever written: witty, warm, touching, funny, sad, all at once! Beware of Mira Ginsburg's translation though, as a native Russian speaker, i have read this book in russian, and her translation is less than accurate and at times confusing. I never read any other english translations of this book, but she is just short of awful! BUY THIS BOOK!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    Really outstanding!

    Never read something like that... it's absolutely amazing and so well written... It's difficult to explain the emotions it leaves; you just have to don't be afraid to enter in a new (!) world....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2003

    THE BEST

    I want to say? that this book - is the book I really like. I have read it last year, but I wish, I'll have possibility to reread it. It is really interesting, humerous, but also based on real facts novel.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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