17) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Since I was away this weekend, I decided I’d take two books back with me and try to read both before work tomorrow. This was partly my desire to return them to the friend that lent them to me, and by Jove, I managed it! I read this novel second because it seemed like it might have some fantasy elements, and I’m trying to ease myself into literary fiction gently rather than just going genre cold turkey, as it were. I wasn’t expecting to like this novel, but I actually really enjoyed it; unfortunately I felt that the last fifty pages were somewhat unnecessary, and the plot would have been resolved entirely satisfactorily had it ended on p346, instead of on p396. However, this is a minor quibble, and I think I’d still recommend it.
This was the first translation from Russian that I’ve read, I believe, and I was surprised at how well-written the book was. That’s my ignorance of such things showing through; it’s fairly obvious, now that I’m thinking about it, that the translators do more than just replicate the bare bones of the plot.
I’m really enjoying reading more, and I’m glad I didn’t put any television on my laptop before I went away. I think I need encouragement to read more often, and perhaps having a lack of options is a good way to achieve that!