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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.

(P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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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.

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  • Marc A
  • New York, NY United States
  • 10-01-16

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.

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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

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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, <br/>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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.

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Enlightening

This is my favorite book. It has sophistication, complexity, humor, light, and a message of infinite goodness.

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  • Giovanna
  • 08-13-14

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.

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  • ReadingWild
  • 07-07-14

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.

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  • amber
  • 05-09-14

All time favourite

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely, I love this book!

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

All of it!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Again all of it - I enjoyed every page

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

Lots of times it made me laugh

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Me Chka
  • 12-15-13

Masterpiece by Master plus great performance...

What did you like most about The Master and Margarita?

FANTASTIC !!!<br/>I love this book ! I read it many years ago and now even more than then i LOVE IT !<br/>IF YOU MAD ABOUT SOMEONE - READ THIS BOOK !<br/>IF YOU LIKE FANTASY - READ IT !<br/>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.<br/>WHAT AN IMAGINATION ?<br/>WHAT AN INTERPRETATION - BRAVO !<br/>WHAT A BOOK !!!<br/>Are you Gods believer, satanist or atheist...<br/>READ THIS BOOK !!!

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  • Andrew
  • 12-02-13

Outstanding reading of a quirky classic

Would you listen to The Master and Margarita again? Why?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

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.

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

Quite a long book so pacing is important.

Any additional comments?

A quirky, comic read. Chilling in places, with serious undertones. Outstanding performance by Julian R-T.

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  • Natalie
  • 06-20-13

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.

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  • Borbála
  • 03-21-17

Can't even evaluate because of terrible narration

Would you try another book written by Mikhail Bulgakov or narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt?

I never made it past the first 15 minutes so I'm not sure.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Julian Rhind-Tutt?

I was so looking forward to this book, but unfortunately the narrator has made it impossible to even evaluate. Just because it's a satire it shouldn't be read as though it was supposed to be ha-ha funny. The characters as well as the narration sounded as though it was a performance of a comical children's story for 5-year-olds. There might have been nothing wrong with the narration if only he had not made it into a crass comedy. I'm returning this one and will read it instead for myself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • S
  • 05-05-14

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful