№7: The Master and Margarita
Satire. Celebrated Russian prose. A rotating cast of characters more numerous than Tolkien’s. The actual devil. A less-than-satisfying account on one author’s interpretation of the gospel of Matthew. This book has a little bit of everything.
To be completely honest, I told a friend I’d read this about three years ago; to be sure, Amazon tells me I purchased this title May 5, 2014. 2017 shall be a year for slogging through my bookshelf.
While we’re on the subject of honesty, I didn’t dislike this book nearly as much as I expected to. If that sounds backhanded, let me say: I really enjoyed some elements of this book. There were certainly enough diversified elements that I feel they can be particularly isolated. I enjoyed immensely the way the book toyed with the idea of truth in regard to the sequence of events. I was also keen on the parallelism found in the various relationships and plot lines strewn about the novel.
Continuing the chain of honesty: at this point in my life…I don’t really appreciate Russian literature…on the whole. I don’t have the attention span for it. The characters, the nonlinear plot lines, the constant references to Russian politics and social norms that I just don’t have the prior knowledge to be able to grasp — it’s just not my cup of tea. And I take complete responsibility for that. I just haven’t done my homework.
That said, I do plan on making it through The Brothers Karamazov before year’s end, and maybe War and Peace. We’ll see.