I received this as a gift from my wonderful friend Vita. We were excitedly conversing about novels and she brought this up as something she has been meaning to give to me. I said, “yeah, whenever you want!” Not sure what I was expecting. It arrived in the mail a week later and I was pleased by the cover. What a cover! I still had no idea what to expect from it besides the fact that it is Russian (which has its own set of expectations).
Upon a little digging around in the forward, it is apparent that this was Bulgakov’s “master work”, that he spent 12 years writing it and wanted it published but this was during the heyday of Stalin’s regime and most likely it would have never seen the light of day.
In the forward by Boris Fishman, he notes that the novel “spans several summer days … During which the capital (Moscow) is visited by the Devil himself, trailed by a piebald entourage: two baroquely disfigured henchmen, a naked seductress named Hella, and an easily insulted giant car with a fondness for vodka and guns.”
I don’t know what to expect except for this to be wonderfully insane.