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.