Books

The Master and Margarita (Vintage Classic Russians Series)

Mikhail Bulgakov

THE ORIGINAL AND BEST TRANSLATION BY MICHAEL GLENNY

50th Anniversary Edition

Afterwards, when it was frankly too late, descriptions were issued of the man: expensive grey suit, grey beret, one green eye and the other black. He arrives in Moscow one hot summer afternoon with various alarming accomplices, including a demonic, fast-talking black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order are in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil’s onslaught. Brilliant and blackly comic, The Master and Margarita was repressed by Stalin’s authorities and only published after the author’s death.

The Vintage Classic Russians Series: Published for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, these are must-have, beautifully designed editions of six epic masterpieces that have survived controversy, censorship and suppression to influence decades of thought and artistic expression.

The Master And Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

'Manuscripts don't burn'

This ribald, carnivalesque satire - featuring the Devil, true love and a gun-toting cat - was written in the darkest days of the Soviet Union and became an underground sensation.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

TRANSLATED BY MICHAEL GLENNY

The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by various demons, including a naked girl and a huge black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil's onslaught.

The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY WILL SELF

The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by various demons, including a naked girl and a huge black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil's onslaught.

A Country Doctor's Notebook

Mikhail Bulgakov

TRANSLATED BY MICHAEL GLENNY

With the ink still wet on his diploma, the twenty-five-year-old Dr Mikhail Bulgakov was flung into the depths of rural Russia which, in 1916-17, was still largely unaffected by such novelties as the motor car, the telephone or electric light. How his alter-ego copes (or fails to cope) with the new and often appalling responsibilities of a lone doctor in a vast country practice - on the eve of Revolution - is described in Bulgakov's delightful blend of candid realism and imaginative exuberance.

Diaboliad

Mikhail Bulgakov

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.

The Heart Of A Dog

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY ANDREY KURKOV

A rich, successful Moscow professor befriends a stray dog and attempts a scientific first by transplanting into it the testicles and pituitary gland of a recently deceased man. A distinctly worryingly human animal is now on the loose, and the professor's hitherto respectable life becomes a nightmare beyond endurance. An absurd and superbly comic story, this classic novel can also be read as a fierce parable of the Russian Revolution.

A Dead Man's Memoir

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

This is Bulgakov's semi-autobiographical story of a writer who fails to sell his novel and fails to commit suicide. When his play is taken up by the theatre, literary success beckons, but he has reckoned without the grotesquely inflated egos of the actors, directors and theatre managers.

The Master And Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is a fiercely satirical fantasy that remained unpublished in its author's home country for over thirty years. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the acclaimed translators of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

In Soviet Moscow, God is dead, but the devil - to say nothing of his retinue of demons, from a loudmouthed, gun-toting tomcat, to the fanged fallen angel Koroviev - is very much alive. As death and destruction spread through the city like wildfire, condemning Moscow's cultural elite to prison cells and body bags, only a madman, the Master, and Margarita, his beautiful, courageous lover, can hope to end the chaos. Written in secret during the darkest days of Stalin's reign and circulated in samizdat form for decades, when The Master and the Margarita was finally published it became an overnight literary phenomenon, signalling artistic freedom for Russians everywhere.

This luminous translation from the complete and unabridged Russian text is accompanied by an introduction by Richard Pevear exploring the extraordinary circumstances of the novel's composition and publication, and how Bulgakov drew on carnivalesque folk traditions to create his ironic subversion of Soviet propaganda. This edition also contains a list of further reading and a note on the text.

After finishing high school, Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) entered the Medical School of Kiev University, graduating in 1916. He wrote about his experiences as a doctor in his early works Notes of a Young Country Doctor. His later works treated the subject of the artist and the tyrant under the guise of historical characters, but The Master and Margarita is generally considered his masterpiece.

If you enjoyed The Master and Margarita, you might like Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, also available in Penguin Classics.

'One of the great novels of the 20th century, a scary, darkly comic allegory'
Daily Telegraph

A Dog's Heart

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

A Dog's Heart: An Appalling Story is Mikhail Bulgakov's hilarious satire on Communist hypocrisies. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Andrew Bromfield, and includes an introduction by James Meek.

In this surreal work by the author of The Master and Margarita, wealthy Moscow surgeon Filip Preobrazhensky implants the pituitary gland and testicles of a drunken petty criminal into the body of a stray dog named Sharik. As the dog slowly transforms into a man, and the man into a slovenly, lecherous government official, the doctor's life descends into chaos. A scathing indictment of the New Soviet Man, A Dog's Heart was immediately banned by the Soviet government when it was first published in 1925: alternating lucid realism with pulse-raising drama, the novel captures perfectly the atmosphere of its rapidly changing times.

Andrew Bromfield's vibrant translation is accompanied by an introduction by James Meek, which places the work in the context of the Russian class struggles of the era and considers the vision, progressive style and lasting relevance of an author who was isolated and suppressed during his lifetime. This edition also contains notes and a chronology.

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born in Kiev, today the capital of Ukraine. After finishing high school, Bulgakov entered the Medical School of Kiev University, graduating in 1916. He wrote about his experiences as a doctor in his early works Notes on Cuffs and Notes of a Young Country Doctor. His later works treated the subject of the artist and the tyrant under the guise of historical characters, but The Master and Margarita is generally considered his masterpiece. Fame, at home and abroad, was not to come until a quarter of a century after his death at Moscow in 1940.

If you enjoyed A Dog's Heart, you might like Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, also available in Penguin Classics.

'One of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest'
Nigel Jones, Independent

The White Guard

Mikhail Bulgakov

Drawing closely on Bulgakov's personal experiences of the horrors of civil war as a young doctor, The White Guard takes place in Kiev, 1918, a time of turmoil and suffocating uncertainty as the Bolsheviks, Socialists and Germans fight for control of the city. It tells the story of the Turbins, a once-wealthy Russian family, as they are forced to come to terms with revolution and a new regime.

Black Snow

Mikhail Bulgakov (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY TERRY GILLIAM

When Maxudov's bid to take his own life fails, he dramatises the novel whose failure provoked the suicide attempt. To the resentment of literary Moscow, his play is accepted by the legendary Independent Theatre and Maxudov plunges into a vortex of inflated egos. With each rehearsal more sparks fly and the chances of the play being ready to perform recede. Black Snow is the ultimate back-stage novel and a brilliant satire by the author of The Master and Margarita on his ten-year love-hate relationship with Stanislavsky, Method-acting and the Moscow Arts Theatre.

The Master And Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov

"My favorite novel -it's just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart." Daniel Radcliffe.

The devil with his retinue, a poet incarcerated in a mental institution for speaking the truth, and a startling re-creation of the story of Pontius Pilate, constitute the elements out of which Mikhail Bulgakov wove The Master and Margarita, the unofficial masterpiece of twentieth-century Soviet fiction. Long suppressed in its native land, this account of strange doings in Moscow in the 1930s provides us with the essence of the sceptical, trenchant, unadulterated voice of dissent

Biography

Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kiev in May 1891. He studied and briefly practised medicine and, after indigent wanderings through revolutionary Russia and the Caucasus, he settled in Moscow in 1921. His sympathetic portrayal of White characters in his stories, in the plays The Days of the Turbins (The White Guard), which enjoyed great success at the Moscow Arts Theatre in 1926, and Flight (1927), and his satirical treatment of the officials of the New Economic Plan, led to growing criticism, which became violent after the play The Purple Island.

His later works treat the subject of the artist and the tyrant under the guise of historical characters, with plays such as Molière, staged in 1936, Don Quixote, staged in 1940, and Pushkin, staged in 1943. He also wrote a brilliant biography, highly original in form, of his literary hero, Jean-Baptiste Molière, but The Master and Margarita, a fantasy novel about the devil and his henchmen set in modern Moscow, is generally considered his masterpiece. Fame, at home and abroad, was not to come until a quarter of a century after his death at Moscow in 1940.