Tag Archives: Romance

Review: The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita
By Mikhail Bulgakov
Grove Press, 9780802130112, (Original 1967), 402pp.

The Short of It:

This is a fantastical tale of good and evil. There’s a fast-talking cat, a witch, Satan himself and a beheading that starts the ball rolling (pun intended).

The Rest of It:

The Master and Margarita is a favorite book to many but it’s a wondrous, crazy tale that reminded me a lot of Haruki Murakami’s work, minus the everyman take.

It’s hard to describe the story but basically the Master is an author whose work about Christ is so rejected by his peers that he decides to burn the manuscript. This leaves him bitter and just a shell of his former self.

His mistress, Margarita, refuses to let this turn of events affect her so one night, she accepts an invitation to a ball which first begins by her rubbing this special cream all over her body. This act transforms her into a beautiful, younger version of herself. Along with this youth, she is given the ability to fly which she uses to fly right into Satan’s ball. There, she discovers things about herself and makes a decision which will affect her life forever.

This is a book to experience. I can’t say that I understood all of the references but it has been said that Bulgakov wrote the book in response to the blatant Atheism in Soviet Russia. It delves into good and evil and what it means to be outspoken is a world that is not free. It’s definitely a book that begs to be read more than once.

Having experienced this book now for the first time, I can see why it’s a beloved classic but I don’t believe one reading puts it in that category. I would love to take a class where all that we study is this book because it’s bursting with imagery and meaning.

Have you read it? If so, what did you think of it?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
By Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books, 9781616204518, December 2014, 288pp.

The Short of It:

A sweet, feel-good story that includes lots of literary references for your bookish self.

The Rest of It:

It took forever for me to pick this one up and to be honest, had my book group not selected it, I probably would not have gotten to it. I thought it was a story about a grumpy old man.

Well, he’s kind of grumpy but not old and it reminded me a lot of the movie Baby Boom but with the roles reversed. A.J. Fikry owns an island bookstore but it’s not doing well and he doesn’t really do much to help that. His salty personality keeps people at bay, even though he is a long-time island resident and pretty well-known by the locals. But… his wife passed away not too long ago so his less-than-lovely personality is understandable.

Things change quickly when a young mother decides to leave her baby in his shop with only a letter asking that she be taken care of. After calling the appropriate authorities and discussing what will happen to the child, A.J. decides to foster her and then adopt her. This presents challenges for him but in the end, changes him forever.

As a book lover, it’s hard not to enjoy the literary references. The story is at times a little sappy and yes, there’s a little bit of romance tossed in but it’s one of those books that you just read and enjoy and that’s it. I loved the characters and setting. As a book club book, there was hardly anything to discuss but I could see it being made into a movie and having it star Tom Hanks or somebody like him.

Overall, enjoyable.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.