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Thanks for mentioning an amazing book of literature. The Master and Margarita is my favorite fiction book! I've read it in two translations and I prefer the Burgin & O'Connor to the Glenny, but both are great.

Everytime I read it I gain more insights. I absolutely recommend reading this book alongside a readers guide which gives more background and depth, there are many biblical, historical, and author-related references that won't be understood otherwise. The author's own life is massively relevent to the events of the novel. I recommend this guide:


My experience with secondary literature about MaM is negative. I went to the University Library and checked out a massive commentary on it and a book about its interpretation.

The latter argued that, contrary to a common notion, Woland is emphatically not the Devil. I did not get far in trying to understand it, but this and the similarly non-understandable commentary really took away some fun out of reading the book, because I constantly felt I was too stupid to get it.

Reading commentary is good, but maybe on a way lower level than literature professors trying to make a name.

I just wanted to point out the hilarity of this in the context of the book's literary critic thread :)

I can sympathize with this, however, if you read my recommended guide, it absolutely isn't "that kind" of criticism. It's very readable and made a lot of sense to me. :)

Was amazed when I saw the recommendation on the top comment. My fiancé recommended me this book and I just finished it on my commute this morning (this specific translation). Still thinking about it! Wonderful book, super engaging and just absolutely beautifully written. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!

About depth of the book: we've studied it in literature class in Russia for a month, because it's a kaleidoscope of interpretations, one would definitely miss too much without a guide (especially in 17 y.o. as myself). The only piece with more class time is War and Peace for obvious reasons.

What about Almost Zero? How does that stack up? I am dying to read that https://inpatientpress.bigcartel.com/product/almost-zero-by-...

It's good but nothing outstanding, the ending is particulary weak. But that's fine because the author is not a professional writer.

I've never heard about this book. What can you tell us about it?

Any particular reason for preferring that translation? I'm always curious to hear others' thoughts before picking one to read.

I did a meta review of translations before trying that particular translation. I found it extremely readable, and the humor comes through nicely, while also maintaining some of the long sentences Bulgakov liked and remaining faithful in general to his style.

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