The devil went down to
Moscow, he was looking
for a soul to steal
to satirize the Stalinist Soviet Union. Check.
Bizarre, absurd, slap-stick, Kafkaesque, Celine-like, Dostoevsky-worthy, and the like. The adjectives and accolades and comparisons used to describe this book over the years are endless, including: "the greatest novel of the 20th century." Come on now. I've liked every Russian writer I've ever invited into my brain and Bulgakov is no exception, however, being witty or clever doesn't automatically place you in the echelon of literary greats. In my opinion it was a fine book, and the sections dealing with Pontius Pilate are magnificently written, but it wandered around so that I frankly had a difficult time keeping track of just what was happening to who and when. And the "wackiness" of the unexpected didn't quite go far enough to keep me sufficiently interested.
I feel guilty for not enjoying this book as much as so many other people obviously have.