Humorous scenes where simply anything could happen! A talking cat, flying witches and the annual Hell Ball.
The ending was a little drawn out, unfortunately.
Laughed out loud, in some places.
Definitely this version - because of story and performance. If this is not deemed a classic, it well should be!
There were so many parallel themes and intricacies reflecting the time and the place, the complexities of the Russian experience, the fallibility of humanity and the logic of insanity as a fallacy. I think the best part for me was that it was story driven, as it was likely too complex to be a completely character driven satire. I specifically enjoyed how the stories wound together in the end, with so much varied detail coming to a definite and solid point.
Rhind-Tutt brought life to the characters with consistent and comedic voices and accents. Though the writing did this in itself, his performance also kept you on the edge - waiting for each sentence in eager anticipation. One of the best I have heard!
The Devil will care!
Master and Margarita were given release from the torture of a life that had escaped them, especially the Master, but by extension of relationship, Margarita too. And she had, with the help of Woland and his entourage, found a kind of salvation from her life of loneliness and despair - her broken heart wondering about the fate which had befallen Master - and had somewhat embraced her rebellious nature and her role as a witch. They were granted peace by a merciful Satan -- brilliantly done by the artist Bulgakov! I believe the translation was superb. The literature, had it been written in English first, was masterful even.
No. The story did not catch me.
Some of them. It is not a story for all of them.
It was very good. Tone was very good and the difference among characters very good.
I first found this book many years ago for 0.25cents and had no idea what I was getting... Have read it several times over the years, but must say listening to it was so much more fun! It is a fantastic book and the narration was wonderful. Highly recommend!
Julian Rhind-Tutt is brilliant - I cannot imagine a better match between narrator and story. Bravo.
They're all wonderful; villains and heros alike.
I certainly will after this experience!
Great story, great reader - simply a lot of fun to listen to. Don't be put off by the fact it is a classic - you will enjoy the humor.
The story line(s) for this book was/were way too eclectic and hard to follow. Several times it really didn't make any sense at all. If I had known it was structured in this manner, I would certainly have not selected it.
Very dissatisfied with this read. Never made it through the first part before giving up (and I never give up on a good book).
The Devil visits 1930's Moscow and raises holy hell with the Stalinists. He and his helpers aren't evil, just zany, providing biting satire along with madcap antics. This is good writing, with lots of poetic images in the prose. Underneath it all is a celebration of a human spirit that can't be crushed.
There's a love story mixed in too, written straight. Plus there are long sober sections on Pontius Pilate and Jesus, providing Bulgakov a way to compare the Soviet State with the Roman Empire. A Polish friend said this was the part he liked the best -- how Pontius Pilate weighed his options is how Poland had been ruled.
The book is NOT a difficult read or listen, but there are a lot of things that those of us in current-day America wouldn't normally get. Bulgakov's use of odd justapoxitions of events can seem disorienting to us, until we put it in the backdrop of the Expressionist movement of the time, with its exaggerated colors and ordinary things displayed out of context. (The Penguin hardcopy book uses an example for its cover.)
The satire may be hard for us to recognize too, but that's part of the book's value, figuring out why this book couldn't be published for decades and why it became so wildly popular in Eastern Europe when it was. Fortunately, there are excellent on-line resources that help explain.
The 2005 Russian TV mini-series is an excellent supplement too, all eight hours of it. The quality of the this production is much better than you expect from TV. (There are more naked ladies in this show than you can shake a stick at, so you may want to be selective about who you watch it with.)
The narration of the Naxos audiobook is wonderful. Some other negative reviewers just may not like to have fun.
The book is complex and require full attention, and the narrator dancing around with his heavy British accent on Russian characters. He increases his audio-volume and shout unexpectedly, you can imagine how inconvenient that is while you do your cardio and someone, suddenly SHOUT in your headset, must stop the cardio and turn down the volume (unprofessional) he is trying to perform, and its makes the book impossible to listen. Why in this website they never sample when narrators read a dialogue because that when we can see how horrible they are. It should be flat reading Like Jeremy iron in Alchemist.
Before I address the story itself, I'd like to make a few comments about the performance.
Have you ever watched a Guy Richie film and thought to yourself, "Man, if only the narrator were more shrill!"?
While reading Anna Karenina or War and Peace, have you ever thought to yourself, "If only I could imagine every character speaking with a Cockney accent!"?
If the above resonates with you at all, then I've great news! This performance is for you!
Why do Russian accents with Russian characters when British accents just make everything better all the time!?!
Now, with regards to the story itself:
I didn't get it. I mean, many people on here seem to think that it's the most cleveristest social satire ever, but if you didn't grow up in Soviet Russia, and haven't the inclination to immerse yourself in its clusterfuckedupitudity just to get what Bulgakov is subtlety getting at, then I'd suggest you read The Trial or Catch-22 (both in the "bureaucracy be cray" category) instead.
p.s. It seems that having your book banned or repressed automatically gives the literary crowd a raging hard on. I mean, I really, really, wanted to like The Satanic Verses, but I've yet to get through it, so maybe it's me (and if life has taught me anything, it's that it probably is).