Suppressed in the Soviet Union for twenty-six years, Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece is an ironic parable on power and its corruption, on good and evil, and on human frailty and the strength of love. Featuring Satan, accompanied by a retinue that includes the large, fast-talking vodka-drinking black tom cat Behemoth, the beautiful Margarita, her beloved - a distraught writer known only as the Master - Pontius Pilate, and Jesus Christ, The Master and Margarita combines fable, fantasy, political satire, and slapstick comedy into a wildly entertaining and unforgettable tale that is commonly considered one of the greatest novels ever to come out of the Soviet Union.
Through surreal, often grotesque humour, Bulgakov gives an ingenious new twist to the "Frankenstein" parable, in a new translation of one of the most popular satires on the Russian Revolution and on Soviet society
Having been scalded by boiling water earlier that day, and with little chance to survive the severe winter night, a stray dog is left for dead on the streets. Lamenting his fate, he is ill-prepared for the chance arrival of a wealthy professor who befriends him and takes him home. However, it seems the professor's motives are not entirely altruistic—an expert in medical experimentation, he sees his new charge as the potential subject for a bizarre operation, and implants glands from a dead criminal in the dog. The resulting half-man, half-beast is, as to be expected, a monstrosity, yet one that fits in remarkably well with Soviet society.
The White Guard is less famous than Mikhail Bulgakov's comic hit, The Master and Margarita, but it is a lovely book, though completely different in tone. It is set in Kiev during the Russian revolution and tells the story of the Turbin family and the war's effect on the middle-classes (not workers).
The story was not seen as politically correct, and thereby contributed to Bulgakov's lifelong troubles with the Soviet authorities. It was, however, a well-loved book, and the novel was turned into a successful play at the time of its publication in 1967.
Part autobiography, part fiction, this early work by the author of The Master and Margarita shows a master at the dawn of his craft, and a nation divided by centuries of unequal progress.
In 1916 a 25-year-old, newly qualified doctor named Mikhail Bulgakov was posted to the remote Russian countryside. He brought to his position a diploma and a complete lack of field experience. And the challenges he faced didn’t end there: he was assigned to cover a vast and sprawling territory that was as yet unvisited by modern conveniences such as the motor car, the telephone, and electric lights.
The stories in A Country Doctor’s Notebook are based on this two-year window in the life of the great modernist. Bulgakov candidly speaks of his own feelings of inadequacy, and warmly and wittily conjures episodes such as peasants applying medicine to their outer clothing rather than their skin, and finding himself charged with delivering a baby—having only read about the procedure in text books.
Not yet marked by the dark fantasy of his later writing, this early work features a realistic and wonderfully engaging narrative voice—the voice, indeed, of twentieth century Russia’s greatest writer.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The five, irreverant, satirical and imaginative stories contained in Diaboliad caused an uproar upon the book's first publication in 1925. Full of invention, they display Bulgakov's breathtaking stylistic range, moving at dizzying speed from grotesque satire to science fiction, from the plainest realism to the most madcap fantasy. Diaboliad is a wonderful introduction to literature's most uncategorisable and subversive genius.
As the turbulent years following the Russian revolution of 1917 settle down into a new Soviet reality, the brilliant and eccentric zoologist Persikov discovers an amazing ray that drastically increases the size and reproductive rate of living organisms. At the same time, a mysterious plague wipes out all the chickens in the Soviet republics. The government expropriates Persikov's untested invention in order to rebuild the poultry industry, but a horrible mix-up quickly leads to a disaster that could threaten the entire world. This H. G. Wells-inspired novel by the legendary Mikhail Bulgakov is the only one of his larger works to have been published in its entirety during the author's lifetime. A poignant work of social science fiction and a brilliant satire on the Soviet revolution, it can now be enjoyed by English-speaking audiences through this accurate new translation. Includes annotations and afterword.
The stories collected here represent a sampling of the prose that first established Bulgakov as a major figure in the literary renaissance of Moscow in the 1920s, long before he became known as an influential playwright and novelist. The centerpiece of this collection is the long story "Notes on the Cuff," a comically autobiographical account of how the tenacious young writer managed to begin his literary career despite famine, typhus, civil war, the wrong political affiliation, and the Byzantine Moscow bureaucracy. This stylistically brilliant work was only partially published during Bulgakov's lifetime due to censorship, but was immediately recognized by the literati as an important work. The other stories collected here range from a sequence about the Civil War to Bulgakov's early reportage on the rebuilding of Moscow in the early 1920s, stories which now have a strikingly contemporary ring. Bulgakov describes the swindlers who arrived along with NEP, a program for the limited return to a market economy, as well as the vast reconstruction as the city is brought back from the destruction of civil war. Bulgakov, who burst on the world literary scene in the 1960s with the publication of his long-suppressed The Master and Margarita, has continued to enjoy tremendous success both in and out of Russia where productions of his plays and adaptations of his prose works have found new audiences.