The Devil comes to Moscow, but he isn't all bad; Pontius Pilate sentences a charismatic leader to his death, but yearns for redemption; and a writer tries to destroy his greatest tale, but discovers that manuscripts don't burn. Multi-layered and entrancing, blending sharp satire with glorious fantasy, The Master and Margarita is ceaselessly inventive and profoundly moving. In its imaginative freedom and raising of eternal human concerns, it is one of the world's great novels.
(P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
A relieved "Yes!" I have recommended the written version again and again over the years, and am happy to say I can now recommend this audio version, as well.
It's possible that comparable elements might be found in other books, but there is no one book out there that is quite like The Master and Margarita. Ask anyone who's ever read it and s/he will likely say the same.
I discovered this book in my early twenties and have read it maybe seven or eight times over the years - every time there's been a new English translation, and once or twice just to visit an old friend. I am 50 now, and this treasure of a novel just keeps giving.
As a person who tends to have a hard time choosing any one "favorite" thing, I don't use the term lightly. My fellow book lovers will understand, then, the depth of my gratitude to Julian Rhind-Tutt for not ruining my favorite book of all time.
He did more than not ruin it - in fact, he nailed it, with great energy and precision. So much so, that I began to think he must love this book as much as I, and so many others, do.
His character voices were excellent (thankfully, the hilariously depraved Behemoth is rendered flawlessly, as is his comrade-in-irreverence, Koroviev.) It seemed to me a good choice to use a variety of British/UK and other western European accents, as opposed to Russian ones; It made the humor, in particular, just that little bit more accessible to the English-speaking listener. Having said that, Mr. Rhind-Tutt seemed to have no trouble with Russian nomenclature. I don't speak Russian so I'm no expert, but his pronunciation was at the very least smooth and consistent.
Turns out Julian Rhind-Tutt is a fine actor. My biggest concern was that he'd miss some of the moods of this complex novel, but he caught them all - the snark, the slapstick, the darkness, the restlessness, the passion, and the poignancy - and all with the same deftness. I was already somewhat familiar with his work in movies and various BBC series, so I know him to be an engaging performer. However, as fans of audio books know, listening to a good actor narrate a good book is a peculiarly intimate experience. I now have new respect for Mr. Rhind-Tutt. In particular, he captures - surprise! - Margarita beautifully.
When I purchased this audio edition over a year ago, I found myself avoiding listening to it because I feared it might be a disappointing experience. I'm glad that last weekend I finally decided to give it a chance. Everyone knows there is no harsher critic than a disappointed fan; Mr. Rhind-Tutt may consider himself officially Worthy. Other TMAM fans rejoice! A thousand thanks to the producers & director(s), and, most especially, to Julian Rhind-Tutt.
No. It needs to be savored.
This story is unexpected and surprises you at every turn. You really can't see where it's going. Really a fun listen.
The character of the devil was never who you thought he would be.
Funny and brilliant. It's a great read. The performer is superb especially when he is reading Satan. The story is intricate but very playful. I will probably read twice and look up on Wikipedia to see how the names are all spelt.
I give every book and author a chance. I like books that grab you and evoke an emotional response.
It was a nice glimpse into this time in Russia, but mostly it was a fun and funny story with a satirical bent. Good read.
Yes I imagine everytime you listen something new will appear.
Margarita turning intoma witch and going to Satan's ball.
Many moved me to laughter.
I honestly didn't get far enough into it to find something to like (the part about the cat trying to pay to get on the tram was funny). The actor who does the narration has the most grating schreeching voice and every character is differentiated by a slightly different pitch of screech.
The book - possibly, when I finish it in dead tree format.
It is really all screech and squawk. Volume and pitch are not synonymous with acting.
I'm not sure if I'd try some more Bulgakov - maybe something significantly shorter. The narrator did his best, but I gave up after four and a half chapters.
Yes, at least for a while.
The Pilate and Christ scene was good, but too long.
After all the positive reviews of this book, I feel like a bit of a philistine, but sadly I really didn't like it. I found the humour forced and heavy, although the narrator did the best he could with the text. I couldn't imagine another fourteen hours of being battered over the head with this.
"Boring, I was not able to finish it!"
I appreciate the satire and the attempt to make you think about human weakness but this could be done without being so boring.
The performance was good but couldn't improve the book.
Access wise possibly. I've read the book twice and so bought the audio version as a treat and got a lot more out of the audio than I thought I would - very impressed
Behemoth...you've got t love that cat.
He wonderfully captured the Master's weakness and tragedy - but he makes every character dance.
If you could you would
There are those who have read the Master....and then there are the others.
"All time favourite"
Definitely, I love this book!
All of it!
Again all of it - I enjoyed every page
Lots of times it made me laugh
Get to know some Russian history around the period this book was written, it will give you a better understanding of the the time, politics and history of era.
"Masterpiece by Master plus great performance..."
I love this book ! I read it many years ago and now even more than then i LOVE IT !
IF YOU MAD ABOUT SOMEONE - READ THIS BOOK !
IF YOU LIKE FANTASY - READ IT !
but prepare yourself for sometimes difficult bits as it is strongly anchored in early Soviets reality and that is why you should find out about people management and commons life in Bolsheviks State at first - to understand context and references.
WHAT AN IMAGINATION ?
WHAT AN INTERPRETATION - BRAVO !
WHAT A BOOK !!!
Are you Gods believer, satanist or atheist...
READ THIS BOOK !!!
"Outstanding reading of a quirky classic"
A enjoyable surreal, bizarre and comic story. God and the devil, human foibles, love, greed, good vs evil in 30s Moscow - and the Jerusalem of Jesus Christ. Julian R-T gives an outstanding, clear and well characterised reading. For me he made some of the weird antics believable, chilling and comic (sometimes combined). A book worth a second reading particularly after digesting some research on the context of the book's production and how it has been interpreted. Like all great books it can be read on many levels.
Reading the book for the first time I was not quite sure what to expect, although I had some knowledge of the periods in which it was set. I was therefore quite shocked at the outset when certain violent events involving a prediction actually happened (I won't say more as this would be a spoiler). Woland's ball was also a marvellous set piece.
Quite a long book so pacing is important.
A quirky, comic read. Chilling in places, with serious undertones. Outstanding performance by Julian R-T.
"A dazzlingly inventive book"
This book is quite amazing. Despite the fact that I didn't care too much about the characters - or even the narrative arc - it was interesting and gripping.
I'm so glad I chose to listen to the audiobook as Julian Rhind-Tutt's performance is absolutely fantastic. I have never listened to a book with a better read. Worth it for that alone.
"Narrative mangled by narration"
The different voices projected in this performance were quite jarring. I'm sure the narrator had thought this through and decided that Woland's accomplices deserved the voices and accents he chose, but they were so off-putting that I almost stopped listening after a couple of hours. I had read the book before and knew that the writing would shine through eventually, but Mr Rhind-Tutt nearly ground Bulgakov's masterwork down. Be warned. If you haven't read the book before, this may ruin your appreciation of this wonderful piece of literature.
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