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The Master and Margarita: A Graphic Novel

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The Master and the Margarita, beautifully painted in this stunning graphic novel, follows the devil and his retinue as they systematically wreak havoc in Moscow. Caught up in the chaos are two lovers: The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned by the very bureaucracy it The Master and the Margarita, beautifully painted in this stunning graphic novel, follows the devil and his retinue as they systematically wreak havoc in Moscow. Caught up in the chaos are two lovers: The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned by the very bureaucracy it criticised, Bulgakov's satirical novel comes to life in this new adaptation. Mixing absurdity and erudition, it depicts fantastical events with a macabre humour, contrasting mischief and murder with humility and love.


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The Master and the Margarita, beautifully painted in this stunning graphic novel, follows the devil and his retinue as they systematically wreak havoc in Moscow. Caught up in the chaos are two lovers: The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned by the very bureaucracy it The Master and the Margarita, beautifully painted in this stunning graphic novel, follows the devil and his retinue as they systematically wreak havoc in Moscow. Caught up in the chaos are two lovers: The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned by the very bureaucracy it criticised, Bulgakov's satirical novel comes to life in this new adaptation. Mixing absurdity and erudition, it depicts fantastical events with a macabre humour, contrasting mischief and murder with humility and love.

30 review for The Master and Margarita: A Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bettie☯

    .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Astrid Langeveld

    Dit is het stripverhaal van het oorspronkelijke boek. Dit boek is vroeger verbannen geweest. Ik vind deze variant het boek geen eer aan doen. Ik geef het 2 sterren.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

    A disappointing adaptation, all the more unfortunate for the spectacular marriage of literature and imagery it could have been. While it was a competent illustration of the general plot of the novel, this graphic version was completely barren of all the magic that imbued Bulgakov's original masterpiece. The dark, foreboding atmosphere of a Moscow teetering on the brink of hysteria in a paranoid Stalinist regime; the hint of madness in the hot summer air just waiting to drop, personified as a sor A disappointing adaptation, all the more unfortunate for the spectacular marriage of literature and imagery it could have been. While it was a competent illustration of the general plot of the novel, this graphic version was completely barren of all the magic that imbued Bulgakov's original masterpiece. The dark, foreboding atmosphere of a Moscow teetering on the brink of hysteria in a paranoid Stalinist regime; the hint of madness in the hot summer air just waiting to drop, personified as a sort of claustrophobic release by Woland and his retinue; the dizzying sights and sounds of the devil's ball, as seen through Margaret's eyes, dispirited and ready to bid it all goodbye in a fit of recklessness; the blazing headache of the helpless procurator under the cruel Mediterranean sun..... These are evocative scenes that could have been perfectly captured by the graphic novel genre, given another artist's imagination. As it stands, the art is flat and lifeless, literal to an almost offensive degree in light of the source material. It was an enjoyable read insofar as it refreshed my memory of the novel's events. But I would not present this to someone unfamiliar with the original; it simply doesn't do it justice. I hope that someday some brave artist who knows how to fear and how to dream and how to set fire to a page with pictures, as Bulgakov so brilliantly did with words, gives it another go.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rommel

    Of all places, I learned about this book,in a Hip Hop bar in the entertainment district in Seoul. After bar hoppin with an associate we finally ended up at a place where there where some Russian girls he knew by the bar. Naturally, I started a conversation with one of them on Russian literature. It was nice to have a pleasent and intelligent conversation in the least of expected places with this stranger. In the end, she recommended "Morphine" and "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov, Of all places, I learned about this book,in a Hip Hop bar in the entertainment district in Seoul. After bar hoppin with an associate we finally ended up at a place where there where some Russian girls he knew by the bar. Naturally, I started a conversation with one of them on Russian literature. It was nice to have a pleasent and intelligent conversation in the least of expected places with this stranger. In the end, she recommended "Morphine" and "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov, I recommended "The Savage Detectives" by Roberto Bolano and we went our separate ways. I couldn't find Morphine so I went with the latter and I'm glad I did![I have to be honest, as I wasn't used to reading Russian literature other than at the time I was reading "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the reading was very difficult to follow at the beginning. However, as I read more and more it began to flow for me and i got used to the author's style of writing. So if you are not used to reading Russian literature I recommend you stick to this one because you are likely not going to regret it.] This book is an absolute epic of a novel. It is a fantasy story about the devil showing up in Moscow with his band of accomplices and creating havoc. This book is so multifaceted, on the one hand, it covers black magic and how it was used by the devil and it's bandits to manipulate the citizens of Moscow which parallels the author's views and retaliation against the abuse of Stalin's soviet union. Another important storyline in this novel, is Margarita's love for a writer who ends up in a mental hospital after his dream to have his novel notably published is destroyed. Finally, the third storyline that brings all of them together is the story which the novel written by the Master is based on, that of the crucifixion of Yeshua Ha-Notsri, or Jesus Christ, by Pontius Pilate. I enjoyed the interconnectness between the stories and characters, however, at times I found it difficult to remember some of the characters as there are so many that come and go through out the story. The important thing I think is to stick to the storyline and the adventures of these lunatic devils as they harass and manipulate the many victims along their journey. In a way, I think Mikhail Bulgakov tried to make fun of the victims of Stalin's rule by imposing ridiculous and sadanistic acts on them through the trio of Wolland, Behemoth, and Fagot (Korokyev), the main characters of this novel. Even though Margarita and the Master are also victims of the trio, in a way they become the enlightened or awaken ones as they too reject and rebel against some of the ways of their world. As the reader, I found it rather easy to side with the trio as it became apparent that one aspect of Bulgakov's story is one of backlash against the conformity of people to the bondage of government and societal powers. I found the methods of the trio to be extremely funny and hilarous at times, and in a way the author is saying; take that you fools! What can I say, by the end of the story, I was rooting for the bad guys but it is hard not to because it's almost set up this way by the author. Bulgakov has a way of portraying the victims as everyday people who have jobs, wives, and that play important parts in society but that are also very much human in that they lie, cheat, steal, are greedy and are confused, so he sets out to expose them. Having said that, there is a certain playfullness and creativity behind the acts performed by the trio that one forgets about the realness of the situations. Instead, as the reader, you submerge yourself into the scenes as if one was reading a comic full of fantasy. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an ironic, unexpected and twisted story told in the way that only Russian authors can! [With most of the adventures in this book, I found myself in aww and fear at the same time, but always saying to myself, "I wonder what's next?, what's next!" and anticipating the next surprise just around the corner.] RP

  5. 4 out of 5

    Missy (myweereads)

    “Manuscripts do not burn..” The Master And Margarita by Bulgakov Klimowski Schejbal is a graphic novel based on the actual novel of the same name. This follows the devil and his entourage as they cause chaos in Moscow. There are two people which are caught up in this mess, The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned, this novel tells the tale in a dark way. I had no idea that this was based on th “Manuscripts do not burn..” The Master And Margarita by Bulgakov Klimowski Schejbal is a graphic novel based on the actual novel of the same name. This follows the devil and his entourage as they cause chaos in Moscow. There are two people which are caught up in this mess, The Master, a writer broken by criticisms of his novel about Pontius Pilate, and Margarita, for whom the devil has his own plans. Initially banned, this novel tells the tale in a dark way. I had no idea that this was based on the original novel which made sense to me when I finished it as I could tell there were parts where I didn’t quite figure out what was happening. Having said that the story has me intrigued to read the actual novel. This story is of the dark antics of the devil and its told in a macabre way with humour and thought provoking reactions of the humans that become entangled in the devils tricks. The illustrations in this book I thought were beautiful. They match the tone of the novel very well and the intricate details worked well with the setting of the story. I am now going to pick up the proper novel that came before this adaption but it is a sick and twisted story which I liked and having more knowledge of the background of it first I would then recommend picking this up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim Coughenour

    It's cruel to give this book a low rating. It's clearly born from two talented artists' love for Bulgakov's matchless novel. But I can't help feeling (strongly) that anyone who picked up this version without first reading Bulgakov would be cheating themselves of one of the chief literary delights of the twentieth century. And afterwards? – it seems redundant. On one level The Master and Margarita is indeed a cartoon, even a burlesque. Andrej Kilmowski and Danusia Schejbal capture this aspect well It's cruel to give this book a low rating. It's clearly born from two talented artists' love for Bulgakov's matchless novel. But I can't help feeling (strongly) that anyone who picked up this version without first reading Bulgakov would be cheating themselves of one of the chief literary delights of the twentieth century. And afterwards? – it seems redundant. On one level The Master and Margarita is indeed a cartoon, even a burlesque. Andrej Kilmowski and Danusia Schejbal capture this aspect well – but that's really all they can capture. The book is pure literature; its magic is in its language (which survives translation from Russian into English in the art of translators such Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky or – in my preferred version – Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor). There's no way a graphic novel can capture what Bulgakov makes of Satan, who turns out to be a devil very different from his incarnations in the Bible, Milton, the Faust legends or any other story I know. Put simply, he isn't evil but he is magnificently, hilariously Other. Bulgakov did with Stalinist Moscow what Dante did with medieval Florence: created a comedy that recreates and revives our sense of what is it to be human, even under an absurd and lethal tyranny. So is this a stupid review, since it seems I'm only praising Bulgakov all over again? Probably. I admire the artists for trying, but there's no substitute for the book, only distractions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fata Jana

    Meraviglioso.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cintia Andrade

    Belíssima adaptação. Os quadrinhos são telas pintadas pelos artistas Klimowski e Schejbal, um casal de ingleses de ascendência polonesa. Ele pinta telas em preto e branco; ela, em cores. O trabalho é muito bonito e a adaptação mantém o humor, a tristeza, a mágica e a ironia de Bulgákov.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    **review of graphic novel adaptation - It's driving me crazy that Goodreads can't seem to keep the novel and its graphic novel adaptations' listings separate. I have reviewed the novel as well, but this ain't that review.** I confess that I didn't finish this ... just couldn't get interested in the artwork. It felt like page after page of talking heads and kind of stodgy drawings. I also found the lettering kind of hard to read. I've got to stop trying these adapted-from-literature graphic novels **review of graphic novel adaptation - It's driving me crazy that Goodreads can't seem to keep the novel and its graphic novel adaptations' listings separate. I have reviewed the novel as well, but this ain't that review.** I confess that I didn't finish this ... just couldn't get interested in the artwork. It felt like page after page of talking heads and kind of stodgy drawings. I also found the lettering kind of hard to read. I've got to stop trying these adapted-from-literature graphic novels, they don't really work. I read the novel late last year and it was great. This comics version feels much less visual than what I imagined while reading the novel.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morris

    Read the graphic novel on the path toward the (hard) original novel (in translation). Saw a brilliant staged adaptation by Simon McBurney and Complicite in London in the spring that made me/us want to read Bulgakov's work.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I read the Penguin Classic Edition of this book which was a paperback with 409 pages, unlike other editions which had 128 pages. The book is set in Russia under Stalin's regime. However, it is an allegorical tale which can be confusing and whose references I did not fully understand. Fortunately there are notes for each chapter and they are a valuable tool to the reader. There are many characters like many Russian novels with some going by variations on their names which makes it difficult to fol I read the Penguin Classic Edition of this book which was a paperback with 409 pages, unlike other editions which had 128 pages. The book is set in Russia under Stalin's regime. However, it is an allegorical tale which can be confusing and whose references I did not fully understand. Fortunately there are notes for each chapter and they are a valuable tool to the reader. There are many characters like many Russian novels with some going by variations on their names which makes it difficult to follow. The Master and Margarita is an enigmatic novel with some humor and metaphor. It was a challenging read for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ron Johnson

    M&M has been one of my favorite books for most of my life. I had no idea that a graphic novel existed until my wonderful daughter gifted me a copy for my birthday. I thought the illustrations were excellent and suited the character of the book. The adaptation was well done considering the length of the original text. You, of course, are missing many of the nuances that the book contains but the main plot points were there and I believe they captured the tone of the original.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fareda Ashour

    #المعلم_ومرغريتا أو #الشيطان_يزور_موسكو #بولغاكوف يبدع بأحداث غرائبية لا تتوقع كقارئ أي حدث من أحداثها الكثيرة والمثيرة إلى حد كبير أعتقد بالرغم من كل ما قيل عنها وعن كاتبها أن الكاتب صاحب مبدأ ويحثنا على عدم تتبع خطوات الشيطان دون أن نشعر بشيء من أساليب الوعظ التقليدية هذا ما شعرت به قبل مناقشة مجموعة #رواياتي التي أضافت لي الكثير حول الرواية ومكانتها وأهمية الحالة النفسية للكاتب خلال الكتابة

  14. 4 out of 5

    J

    I've read the print version and now the graphic novel version and still can't get the appeal of this novel. Is the profundity escaping me or is it that kind of shock value statement that's now passé? At any rate, meh.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    An interesting version of one of my favorite stories, but unfortunately, the story was unbelievably simplified, and I wasn't thrilled with the artwork.

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.A.

    Love this novel, but not this art.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Milka

    I haven't read the actual novel this is based on, which is perhaps why I didn't fully grasp what was going on. I loved the art style, though (especially the changes between black and white and color), and perhaps more importantly, this really made me want to pick up the original novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    An adaptation of one of my all-time favourite Russian novels. I was eager to read it, because it has been about 15 to 20 years since I read the novel, and I was wondering why it was an all-time favourite of mine. Since I don't like to re-read books, I dove into this GN to remind me what the story was. Now I know why I had forgotten so much about it. It's a little complicated. But not so complicated that reading it is 'hard work', as I read in another review. Elsewhere I even read that this GN can An adaptation of one of my all-time favourite Russian novels. I was eager to read it, because it has been about 15 to 20 years since I read the novel, and I was wondering why it was an all-time favourite of mine. Since I don't like to re-read books, I dove into this GN to remind me what the story was. Now I know why I had forgotten so much about it. It's a little complicated. But not so complicated that reading it is 'hard work', as I read in another review. Elsewhere I even read that this GN can't be understood without being familiar with the novel on which it is based. I don't agree. Okay, I read the novel, so I can't really judge in this. But it were the complications that I had forgotten, so I don't think I differed really that much from a novice when I read this adaptation. In fact, I think Klimowski and Schejbal did an excellent job condensing the 400+ pages of the novel into a 130 page GN. I never had that Classics Illustrated feeling of reading a graphic summary. (One slight 'huh? moment': the devil's title of 'professor' came totally out of the blue.) I also think that I understand the book better now than when I first read it. And I like Klimowski's lettering.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristian

    this book is about named the master, he is a scary man yet nice man, he dislikes his wife truly a lot. so he attempts to kill her, when he sees what he wants to do she hires security. then he got stabbed, kicked and stomped on, margarita was horrified because she knew there were men after her after what she had done, next morning she did not wake up because she had been shot in her sleep, by the one and only master. he did not care about her anymore thats why he killed her, for that reason becau this book is about named the master, he is a scary man yet nice man, he dislikes his wife truly a lot. so he attempts to kill her, when he sees what he wants to do she hires security. then he got stabbed, kicked and stomped on, margarita was horrified because she knew there were men after her after what she had done, next morning she did not wake up because she had been shot in her sleep, by the one and only master. he did not care about her anymore thats why he killed her, for that reason because she goes to far sometimes. so he got re married and had 5 kids. he loved this lady truly, she never disobeyed him, she always respected him and he did the same. i can connect this book to my life because i was watching a movie where the wife finds out ths husband is cheating so she kills him. i give this book a 3 because i saw it all coming, and i dont like that, i like it when i dont see anything coming

  20. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    L'anormale quasi sicuramente sarò io... Ma questo libro è riuscito a farsi detestare e a farmi passare la voglia di leggere. La trama era intrigante (fra l'altro fra il fantastico e il reale, per me nota positiva), con alcune frasi ironiche e piacevoli... ma ho detestato il modo in cui è stato scritto. Non solo spesso perdevo la cognizione di ciò che stava spiegando, ma pure su chi stesse parlando e dove si svolgesse l'azione. Fra l'altro i nomi russi rendevano tutto ancor più difficile. Nonosta L'anormale quasi sicuramente sarò io... Ma questo libro è riuscito a farsi detestare e a farmi passare la voglia di leggere. La trama era intrigante (fra l'altro fra il fantastico e il reale, per me nota positiva), con alcune frasi ironiche e piacevoli... ma ho detestato il modo in cui è stato scritto. Non solo spesso perdevo la cognizione di ciò che stava spiegando, ma pure su chi stesse parlando e dove si svolgesse l'azione. Fra l'altro i nomi russi rendevano tutto ancor più difficile. Nonostante li appuntassi in un foglio a parte per non dimenticarli, riuscivo a non capirci più nulla perchè l'autore oltre ai 3 nomi di battesimo dei suoi personaggi inseriva nomignoli o abbreviazioni che non facilmente erano ricollegabili. Mi sono sforzata dio sa come, ho letto fino a metà libro trascinandomi con impazienza (perchè un libro odio lasciarlo a metà) sperando migliorasse... Ma non c'è stato verso. Mi stava facendo odiare la lettura.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eve Kay

    The drawing here was interesting. All their faces pretty much looked the same. To me at least. I don't know if it was intentional to portray the likeness of the characters or was it just the style of drawing for the artist. But whether or not it was intentional, I thought it was an interesting way to draw a comic book in which one of the characters is supposedly the devil and having other characters look like it. Needless to say, I paid more attention to the drawing than the actual story, so could The drawing here was interesting. All their faces pretty much looked the same. To me at least. I don't know if it was intentional to portray the likeness of the characters or was it just the style of drawing for the artist. But whether or not it was intentional, I thought it was an interesting way to draw a comic book in which one of the characters is supposedly the devil and having other characters look like it. Needless to say, I paid more attention to the drawing than the actual story, so couldn't really tell you what it's about.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    I enjoyed this version, but I know enough to understand there is probably a lot more going on in the novel, so it looks like I'm still going to have to read the original one of these days. It was easy to pick up on the satire of the Russian literary and social scene. It was a little more difficult to pick up on the parallels between the Pontius Pilate novel and power societies. I think the novel might make those connections clearer. Still, I'm very glad to finally at least know the plot. This bo I enjoyed this version, but I know enough to understand there is probably a lot more going on in the novel, so it looks like I'm still going to have to read the original one of these days. It was easy to pick up on the satire of the Russian literary and social scene. It was a little more difficult to pick up on the parallels between the Pontius Pilate novel and power societies. I think the novel might make those connections clearer. Still, I'm very glad to finally at least know the plot. This book has been on my radar since at least 1993. I enjoyed the illustrations. They were thoughtful and set an appropriate tone.

  23. 5 out of 5

    jamie

    please be sure to read the actual novel before you read this. the illustrations are excellent but you really need all the description and events of the novel to truly understand the beauty of the master and margarita.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    One of my all time favourites. I was dubious at first, but the reviews swayed me otherwise! I've passed this book on many a time to educate the masses!! It's working so far as I'm not alone in thinking this book is just fantastic. Russian Social Critique at it's best. What's more is the element of Magical Realism, for it's time is very contemporary and unusual, it is a book which requires dedicated time and some relevant historical knowledge. But, Bulgakov has done good.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sedef Pınar Avcı

    Sahip olduğum ilk çizgi roman, çok sevdiğim Usta ile Margarita. Çizimler, özellikle baskı kalitesi hoşuma gitti. Yalnız ayrıntılardan bu denli arındırılmış apar topar halini garipsedim. Türlerin farklılığını göz ardı edip çizgi roman ve kitabı aynı kefeye koyup değerlendirmek çok doğru değil tabii ki. Kitabı sevenler için güzel bir hediye olabilir, kendimden biliyorum bana doğum günü hediyesi olarak geldi :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I decided to read this book because I shall be going to Russia in June and it seemed inspiring for my visit to Moscow. I have to confess that I abandoned it halfway through, when Margherita appeared (at last) and started flying around the city, smashing windows etc. It was just too much for me....... My bad.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Incredible book. The character development is some of the best that I have yet to experience. While funny, it is also quite thought provoking. A must read for anyone with a keen interest in Soviet style literature.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emre Poyraz

    my rating applies to the graphic novel, and not Bulgakov's work. i'm not sure this was worth reading. i highly suggest the 2005 tv series adaptation of master and margarita if you're too lazy to read the novel. it is a much better adaptation :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    L'angolo Di Effe e Vi.

    Mentre lo stavo leggendo qualcuno mi ha detto: "vorrei non averlo mai letto per poterlo leggere di nuovo la prima volta". Leggi la recensione completa al sito: http://effeevi.blogspot.it/2013/06/il...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carolinemawer

    The main problem with this book is that it isn't the Master and Margarita. Anything is pale and uninteresting in comparison! See my review of M&M - or, better, read M&M to see what this book didn't have

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