Monday, July 12, 2010

The Master and Margarita

I'm currently reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.  It was written in the 1930s in Russian, but this translation was published in 1995.  It's a bit slow going, I'm not sure why.  I'm having a hard time feeling attached to any one character.

It's a retelling of Faust, apparently, which I don't know much about beyond "deal with the devil."  It opens with two men, both poets, walking in the park on a summer day in communist Russia.  They meet a stranger, a foreigner, who accurately predicts the death of one of the poets.  After the poet dies later that day, the other poet, Ivan Nikolayevich seeks out the foreigner, to accuse him, but is thought crazy and put in a mental hospital.  That's what's happened so far, anyway.

I ordered a bunch of books on Amazon last week, and I'm really excited about them.  Thirty-one bucks for six books, pretty good.  Two I've read before and just want to own, but the rest are new to me.  I got another Joseph Kanon novel, a young adult book by Claire Zulkey, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, and The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld (author of Prep!).  I can't wait to break them open.

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