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The Master and Margarita Audiobook

The Master and Margarita

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

(P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (932 )
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4.4 (768 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 12-05-16
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 12-05-16 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "An authentic Soviet-era masterpiece"

    Without a doubt the best novel I have read in years. I cannot shake the feeling that there are multiple layers of references that I am missing through my own ignorance of Eastern European history in general and 1930s Russian society in particular. Even without that, it is enormously entertaining. It is also somewhat telling how similar Soviet Russia and the US are when you get right down to cases. And human nature is universal no matter what kind of system you try to impose on it.

    It is a fairly densely written novel. Apart from a number of Moscow-specific place references, it assumes some familiarity with the New Testament, the Faust story, and their influence on European history in the intervening centuries. All of this is put into play in the service of a satire on contemporary Soviet society in the pre-World War II period. It is of course much more than a mere social satire.

    While there is a comic tone that runs throughout most of the book, there are serious aspects as well. I am hard put to think of another book that touches on so many different aspects of humanity. The title characters manage to stay out of center stage through most of it; perhaps their essential dignity shelters them in some way... In any case, the book functions at a number of levels. It is eminently satisfying. I was sorry it had to end. Even though there were some unanswered questions, it still felt like the book had reached its natural place of conclusion, and I was happy to leave things exactly the way the author chose to leave them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C T 10-05-16
    C T 10-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Master and Margarita again? Why?

    Yes, tremendously clever.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Behemoth and Azazello, such rich characters.


    Which character – as performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt – was your favorite?

    His reading of Behemoth was without par... Very very entertaining


    Any additional comments?

    I am astounded that this was a Russian author, having read a number of the other dour Russian authors who always seem to put together a tome that required stamina and dedication.This was a delight to read, and was also quite a bit more than a delightful story, really made me think about Pontius and own responsibility to our actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc A New York, NY United States 10-01-16
    Marc A New York, NY United States 10-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The reader destroys the experience of this classic"
    What disappointed you about The Master and Margarita?

    It's a great book but the narrator dramatizes every character into a caricature. It's extremely disorienting and annoying. Couldn't get through it for that reason alone. I ended up buying the actual book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performances?

    Never.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rasmus 07-21-16
    Rasmus 07-21-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Great story with irregular voice"

    This book reveals a surprising story and amateur or metaphors and twisted stories will enjoy it. The voice though is sometimes loud and sometimes very low which made it difficult to follow in the street or public areas. But characters are well impersonated

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Luke Asheville, NC 07-09-16
    S. Luke Asheville, NC 07-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant!"
    What did you love best about The Master and Margarita?

    It's combination of deep psychological insight and its profound,
    side splitting humor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Master and Margarita?

    One of the final scenes in which the meaning of forgiveness is portrayed in the experience of Pontius Pilate.


    What about Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance did you like?

    His delivery and insight into Bulgakov's humor is delightful.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. Both.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. J. Ribeiro 06-05-16
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    "Mind bending tales and characters"

    Loved how it made my imagination fantasize in new peculiar ways! The situations were brilliantly portraited in an old Moscow that just envelope you. And oh the tales from Pontius Pilot! Exquisite reading. Thank you Messiah.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    National Velvet 05-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth it just for the masterful performance"
    What made the experience of listening to The Master and Margarita the most enjoyable?

    The jury is still out on the story - at the moment, I don't like the fact that Satan is benevolent in the tale, because he is definitely NOT like that in reality - but I felt compelled to review this book for the superlative performance. It is a sublime to experience the reader getting on the inside of each character, and giving the voice, intonation, accent, etc. that suits the character to perfection. His rendering of Woland is the absolute tops. I just finished - and feel like starting over just to hear again this genius of a reader.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kilian Evang 05-07-16
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    3
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    "Meh"

    The story is entertainingly weird but I fail to see what's so special. As for the performance, I find it overacted, making it sometimes annoying to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonna 12-02-15
    Rhonna 12-02-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Fascinating, Fun, but requires knowing the classics"

    Would love to see this as a movie or play...it's so visual. Charting the characters names would have been helpful since many are called by more than 1 name. I will read this again when I have time to reread the references and more of the historical reality being satirized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    framed 11-10-15
    framed 11-10-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank you, thank you, Julian Rhind-Tutt!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Master and Margarita to and why?

    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.


    What about Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It needs to be savored.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • michael
    7/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story, very creative but left me a bit wanting in the end"

    Story: A delightfully visual and farcical story but left me a bit hanging in the end. I kept waiting for the story to go somewhere but I'm not sure it really did, or what the point was.
    Performance: The performances were good but perhaps a bit too dramatised and exaggerated especially the portrayal of the cat which was hard to listen to. I think I otherwise could have liked this character but was put off by some of the voice portrayals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • F
    6/7/15
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    "Fantastic book and reading"

    One of the most enjoyable and thought provoking audiobooks I've listened to. The nature of the characters, particularly Margarita and Volant, develops through the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    United Kingdom
    6/1/15
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    "Why didi I dislike this book so much?"
    Would you try another book written by Mikhail Bulgakov or narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt?


    I would have to know much more about Mikhail Bulgakov and the book before committing myself to it. Julian Rhind-Tutt did as well as he could with this bizarre story and bizarre characters. I am supposing that he was asked to create such silly voices because when was only narrating he did very well.


    What was most disappointing about Mikhail Bulgakov’s story?

    Everything. I think the translation may have been at fault as some of the phrasing was very odd. .Did I dislike it so much because I don't understand Russian nuances? I wouldn't have minded the evil scenes if they had been evil - but they weren't. It was probably intentional to have an obscure period setting to enhance the evil but unfortunately the evil was ridiculous.


    What does Julian Rhind-Tutt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His silly voices made it worse.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Master and Margarita?

    My answer to this is obvious. Bin the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy the sections about Pontius Pilate but can't work out the relevance of these.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nomad Design
    3/20/15
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    Story
    "Brilliant, thrilling and enthralling."

    Loved every second if it. Thrilling story I'm going to listen to it again very soon!! Thank you kindly sir

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss B.
    1/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quirky, entertaining but a meanders a bit"

    The sort of Russian novel that reinforces the idea that perhaps the abridged version would be better. Wonderful first third or so but then seems to lose its way a bit. Definitely worth finishing as the fun returns. Excellently read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • greg
    1/28/15
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    Performance
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    "Wonderful description, superbly read"

    Fascinating listen and Masterfully read. Thoroughly enjoyable, unlike anything else I have read, though I am not well read. The description is just gorgeous and yet succinct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P.Lean
    1/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Success at last."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because I have wanted to read this for ages and tried several times without success. However the audio version was a breakthrough and allowed me to access the whole book for the first time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Master and Margarita?

    The flight scene of the witch.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The love scenes between the Master and Margarita.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The greatest feeling was that it was continuously thought provoking and stimulating.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so thankful to the narrator for letting me finally enjoy this book. I was subsequently able to enjoy a theatre production of it so it was a gift that keeps giving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • markj
    12/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh dear!"
    Would you try another book written by Mikhail Bulgakov or narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt?

    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.


    Has The Master and Margarita put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes, at least for a while.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The Pilate and Christ scene was good, but too long.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Giovanna
    Varberg, Sweden
    8/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring, I was not able to finish it!"
    What would have made The Master and Margarita better?

    I appreciate the satire and the attempt to make you think about human weakness but this could be done without being so boring.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mikhail Bulgakov again?

    No


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was good but couldn't improve the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ReadingWild
    England
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Master and Margarita to be better than the print version?

    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


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Behemoth...you've got t love that cat.


    Which character – as performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt – was your favourite?

    He wonderfully captured the Master's weakness and tragedy - but he makes every character dance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If you could you would


    Any additional comments?

    There are those who have read the Master....and then there are the others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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