The Master and Margarita - Classic Russian reader by Mikhail Bulgakov. Essential classic of modern Russian literature. Paperback, 413 pages. The novel's vision of Soviet life in the 1930s is so ferociously accurate it could not be published during the author's lifetime and appeared only in a censored version in the 1960s. When Satan arrives in Moscow with an entourage including a talking cat that walks upright and a faithful 'translator,' anyone standing in this bizarre threesome's path is swiftly dealt with-usually via a trip to a famed Moscow mental health institution. Satan is used to represent of the 'official' Soviet view of foreigners--suspicious, evil and not to be trusted. The tyranny of Soviet life is also well documented through the character's offbeat adventures and actions. Through the main character, the poet Homeless, as well as the elusive Master, writers as represented as an oppressed society in Soviet life. This is a clear political statement of the author's and adds to the controversy of the book. Although politics are usually the subject of mockery and satire, this book is highly unique and certainly not to be missed. New insights into a dark period of Soviet history will be gained in a delightful and entertaining way.