The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

You know me, there’s going to be spoilers.

I’ve never in my life read Russian Literature™.

I’m told by Russian Lit™ fans, Lolita doesn’t count and even though I have no personal reference, I do actually agree with them based on what I’ve heard.

That being said I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, though I’ve heard more than one person tell me it’s difficult to understand the first time you read it, because Russians refer to one another in way that is very confusing to English speakers. I’m happy to report this book had little of that.

Secondly, I want to commend the character Margarita for being an actual boss witch and the next time the devil throws a party I hope she invites me. Like. Please.

The rest of the book however, was a tossup for me, because I prefer books with deeper, philosophical leanings. But after I let the book simply be what it was (or at least what I think it was), which was a light-hearted tale of love and madness, and con-artistry it was enjoyable enough.

I hate to admit this, because I love telling myself I’m crazy smart, but if I’m keeping it 100 I wondered more than once whether or not I just wasn’t getting it. Like the book opens making such a BIG MAJOR FUCKING DEAL about Pontius Pilate, the books opens with a group of men talking about him and then some stranger weirds his way into their conversation talking about how “he had proof of Pontius Pilate’s existence”. We then learn The Master is now in the loony bin for writing a book about Pontius Pilate? This guy just can’t stop ruining lives.

After I finished the book, I learned it was written in 1930s and was released posthumously, which I guess makes a little more sense. I imagine a book about a book focusing on the man who sentenced Jesus to death probably wasn’t going to be all the rage in the USSR.

Final Grade: B-

It was fine, don’t expect it to be deep because it isn’t. The characters are charming and hilarious.

Bonus: there’s a black cat who is also a person. For those of you who don’t know, my cat Boris is a black cat who is also a person. That character was particularly relatible.

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