I admit I broke one of my rules when I chose to read this book: “Never read any book that is described as Magical Realism.” But, this book is hailed as a classic – a window into World War II Soviet Union. And I thought I could handle it. Well, I couldn’t.
The entire story is nonsensical. I couldn’t even appreciate the humor because I was too busy cringing as I read about a beheading, a man who claims to have been present at Christ’s crucifixion, a talking cat, and a woman who turns into a witch after applying a magic cream.
The book was completed in 1940. Bulgakov couched his views of the oppressive Russian regime within the lines of this novel. That is the reason this book is deemed “clever.” It ultimately wasn’t able to be published until 1966 – I suppose that was a feat in itself. But today, we can read about the Soviet Union without the gobbledy gook nonsense. I definitely prefer it that way.
2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1966
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