Magic, Madness, Moonshine

Blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream; watermelon, beer, brats. Not sure exactly how Independence Day morphed into the great American picnic extravaganza. I confess to finding it all rather wonderful, as long as there is a breezy air all round.  But, given your reading selection for July, I’d say a nice cold vodka gimlet, with some tidbits of hot-smoked mackerel on the side, might be more in order. Either way, I hope you celebrate in style as you dance your way through the phantasmagoria of our July selection:

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, 1966, Translated from Russian, 384 pages
''Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts-one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow-the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue-including the vodka-drinking, black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita-exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grostesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.'' “One of the truly great Russian novels of [the twentieth] century.” (New York Times Book Review) “The books is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative, and poignant . . . A great work.” (Chicago Tribune)

The book is available in both the New Orleans and Jefferson public libraries, used online from $3.25+$3.99 shipping, and as an e-book and audio book.

Please note: If anyone has a preferred translation, please post your preference in a comment, so that the rest of us can have some guidance.

As always, you wonderful people, I ask you to be respectful of everyone in the group.  RSVP Yes only if you truly plan to read the book and attend.  If, for some reason, your plans change, please change the RSVP so that another happy reader may take your place. I am starting to delete members after 3 times no-show.



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  • Dixie M.

    Hi, Did not see any notification for the next meeting. Am I still in the club?

    July 31, 2013

    • Ann Giardina M.

      Yes you are still here! LOL I don't think it has posted yet. I keep checking too.

      August 1, 2013

    • Lorraine L.

      hi guys---not posted yet, but will be today!

      August 1, 2013

  • Caryn S.

    Sorry, not going to be able to get there. Hopefully someone can take my spot!

    July 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I won't be able to make it.

    July 29, 2013

  • Flora

    I'm so sorry guys, but I am very behind in work. So, since I'm not 100% sure that I'll be able to finish the book in the next 10 days, I'm offering my spot to someone else. Hope to do it next time!

    July 21, 2013

  • Mary T.

    I am confirmed but will not be ale to make it. I went back to my original invitation and declined, but wanted to make sure my spot is made available to someone else

    July 15, 2013

    • Lorraine L.

      Thanks SO much for letting us know about the change. Hope to see you soon.

      July 15, 2013

  • Justin H.

    For those of you using a Kindle, I had trouble finding the e-book (outside of the Russian-language version) on Amazon. I did find a free e-book at: I take it that the book is in the public domain, so no problems there. It took some finagling but I finally uploaded a very good Pervear/Volokhonsky translation onto the Kindle.

    July 2, 2013

    • Lorraine L.

      Thanks Justin. I will see if I can finagle my way to that edition.

      July 5, 2013

  • Dixie M.

    I downloaded it from Audible, a while back. Think I will listen to it this time round.

    July 2, 2013

  • Patricia C.

    Stay away from the Ginsburg translation -- it was made from an incomplete, censored manuscript and crucial parts of the book are missing! Burgin, Glenny, pervear/Volokhonsky translations are good.

    2 · July 2, 2013

    • Roderick

      How to check for translation??

      July 2, 2013

  • Roderick

    How do I check for a better translation?

    July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was already sitting by my bed in my reading queue, perfect!

    July 2, 2013

  • Bridget C.

    I'll be there :)

    July 1, 2013

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