The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

This a 1967 book, written in the late 1930s, by Mikhail Bulgakov ( It is an intriguing read and has acquired something of a cult status.

Written during the darkest period of Stalin’s repressive regime, it is a satire on Soviet life. The book combines two parts: one set in contemporary Moscow and the other in ancient Jerusalem, each full of incident. It abounds with historical, imaginary, frightful and wonderful characters. One of these is Satan in disguise. Expect to be amused, challenged and delighted. A little knowledge about the Soviet period will enrich your appreciation of this work.

Stalin makes Hitler look like a pussycat at a tea party. Up to 20 million human beings were destroyed as a result of his dictatorship. He is arguably the worst monster in human history. Follow up an interest in Stalin by reaching for Norman Naimark’s book ‘Stalin’s Genocides’ ( : stalins genocides) and also Anne Applebaum’s ‘Gulag: A History’ (Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps by Applebaum, Anne (

The novel was adapted as a TV mini series in 2005 (

Mikhail Bulgakov

432 pages in the Penguin Classics paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0140455465

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