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The Master and Margarita

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:59 am
by chatterbox
I hear that Julian is recording a new audiobook of The Master and Margarita by the Russian writer Bulgakov. No news on a release date yet, but I'm sure you'll all spot it as soon it gets listed anywhere...!

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:58 pm
by tutt-sweet
That's great news Kim. :D
Found a couple of reviews of the book on Amazon, which sounds fantastic & right up Julian's street.

I can't wait!

There is little that I could write to do sufficient justice to such an inspired flight of the imaginaltion. The dual settings in the novel of the fantastical last few days in the life of Jesus Christ compared to the chaos of a timeless Moscow held in thrall by the Devil in the guise of a cheap stage magican. The plots are so diverse and the characters are totally compelling (amongst them is Behemoth a cigarette smoking, gun toting, 5ft Black cat!) I have never read anything so darkly compelling yet wickedly funny that works on so many levels. I have read this book at least once a year for the last 6 years and I think I will continue to do so until I have picked it clean, and that will take me good while yet. Bulgakov is the true Master.

Every so often you may come across a book that defies many of your previous expectations; this is one of those books. It begins at a brisk pace as you are left in wonder at Bulgakov's ability to describe the world he wants you to believe in, to become part of. Human emotions, reactions and beliefs all surge to the fore as his understanding of human thought and language turns you into a spectator of his events in The Master and Margerita, no more are you a reader but an innocent bystander in Moscow, watching as his imagination unfolds before you. Description and dialogue flow with ease throughout, never overcomplicating the book or pulling you out of the immersive trance it puts you under. As you're wheeled away from one spectacular event to another, your mind wonders at the intricacies of the authors imagination.
The book follows the exploits of The Devil, and a number of his companions and servants as he wreaks havoc throughout Moscow, his sometimes dark and disturbing actions softened by the wonderfully satirical way in which Bulgakov writes. As well as punishing those who have sinned, the book and The Devils short existence in Moscow is directed towards the Master and Margerita, but to explain this without you having read it would be unfair.

The story is punctuated throughout with the story of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem immediately before and after the execution of Jesus, their conversations, thoughts and the physical actions, that leaves you begging for more after each and every chapter. Never before have I become so involved in a book as this, wishing and willing the story to go on for ever as the characters lives are up heaved in front of your very eyes, paying for the sins they have committed in The Devils own unique way.

Yes this is a difficult book, in terms of the number of characters and the different plotlines and it will not be for everyone, no one thing ever is, but if you believe yourself to be appreciative of fine literature then please please please get this book, it is enjoyable, importantly, and contains a brilliant story.


Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:30 pm
by faeriequeen
Whee! Excellent news...though not so good with regards to my bank balance!

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:40 pm
by grenniespex
OH my God - this is just so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is my FAVORITE book of all time! Its wonderful. Oh Julian will be fantastic at it, and the opportunities for Russian accents abound! Hurrah!!!


Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:01 pm
by kitchengirl
I notice The Master and Margarita Audio CD is now available to pre-order at Amazon :) ...
...but it looks like the release date is May 2009 :cry:

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:57 am
by chatterbox
Yes, I saw that Kitchengirl. I know that good things come to those who wait, but this is taking it a bit far! :roll:

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:50 pm
by faeriequeen
Bum. Well at least that gives me time to finish reading it!

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 8:39 pm
by faeriequeen
This appears to be available now! There's an audio sample on this site here:

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:05 pm
by chatterbox
Sorry folks - it's been available for a few weeks now. I put it on the shopping page but obviously forgot to post it here :roll: Sorry folks!!

I'm about half way through and enjoying it so far.... :D

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:50 pm
by chatterbox
Ruth just sent me a link to a little promotional review about the CD (Thanks Ruth :D )

This is the link

And this is an extract of what it says.... 'Since we released our first titles in 1994, it has been our intention to present the major footprints of literature, (as well as many byways of course!), and for some years now I have wanted to record Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.

This wonderfully quirky satire stands shoulder to shoulder with works as varied as Joyce’s Ulysses, Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk, Kafka’s The Trial and The Castle, and other novels that emerged from continental Europe in the years between the two world wars.

The Master and Margarita is a bit of a special case because it wasn’t published until nearly 30 years after Bulgakov’s death in 1940 though he began it in 1928. As entertaining as it is weird and fantastical, the novel had survived rather miraculously, and was justified by its swift acceptance by a world audience and ready adoption into the panoply of twentieth century classics.

Our recording is, as far as I know, the first. We are releasing it as an abridgement on 7 CDs this month, but then in its entirety on 13 CDs in November. We are using the new English translation by Michael Karpelson which, I am glad to say, is absolutely sparkling, maintaining so much of the spirit, as well as the letter, of the original – a particularly difficult task with a novel of this kind.

And the pairing of reader Julian Rhind-Tutt, himself a quirky comic, with the novel, proved perfect. To be frank, you never really know, until you actually get into the studio and the light goes on, whether the voice matches the words'

Hmm, I probably should have waited until the 13 CD set appeared before I hit the 'buy' button - just couldn't wait any longer though!

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:37 pm
by chatterbox
I meant to say that I have finished listening to the abridged version and loved it. Julian gives a virtuoso performance of different voices and accents not to be missed! I am going to have to buy the full version now :roll:

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:15 am
by ducatilady
13 CD's! that's a lot of Julian goodness!

Re: The Master and Margarita

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:24 am
by pennygwynne
If you've been to this page you probably already know this, but as it isn't specifically mentioned above, I thought I'd say that about half way down the page is a short podcast called "Mastering the Master", which is all Julian talking abut recording the book and the difficulties and pleasures of doing so.