The M&M Readalong Concludes Very Confusingly

The best legal and investigatory minds of Moscow are on the trail of Woland and his crew, and look, again, I am all about the bureaucratic details of organizations tasked with addressing supernatural issues. That’s what I wanted Agents of SHIELD to be, if you’ll recall: A workplace drama where the characters perhaps are taken hostage by supervillains occasionally but mostly are bickering over whose turn it is to make coffee and which budget codes to use for reimbursements when Thor hammer-smashes most of the furnishes in a 5th Avenue McDonald’s by accident.

So, very fun for me to have a chapter where the Moscow bureaucracy is trying to sort out the legal ramifications of all the shenanigans Woland and them have been pulling over the course of the book.

Next, Korovyov and the cat go burning down various bits of Moscow that I have to say don’t seem to deserve it. Behemoth (the cat) having previously burned down the apartment everyone wanted, he and Korovyov go to like a candy and meat store and burn it down, then go out for fancy dinner and burn the fancy restaurant down. My main question was why there was a story that sold both candy and meat, given that the Russia with which we have been presented does not seem friendly to fancy items of any kind. Here’s what my book’s endnotes have to say:

In its quest to extract all hard currency and valuables from both its citizens and foreign visitors, Russia had stores which specialized in offering in exchange generally unobtainable items, ranging from clothes to food and drink.

THANKS BOOK.

And then, gosh, the devil gets word from ?Jesus? that he should take care of the Master and Margarita, so he like takes them away from their banal lives to Jerusalem, where they see Pontius Pilate still waiting for a chance to explain himself to Jesus. And the Master tells Pontius Pilate he’s free now, and Pontius Pilate and his dog run away, and the Master and Margarita get to go live in a nice cottage? But is the cottage hell? I have no idea, and anyway, Woland flies away on his black horse.

Roll credits.

My final verdict is that I did not understand this book, and maybe that’s okay! In any case, almost seven years after being given it as a gift, I have managed to read it, I am now a wiser woman (I guess?), and I appreciate the blogosphere for helping me get to this moment in my life.

  • As in The Rook and Stiletto, I also really like seeing bureaucracy having to deal with the supernatural. And the ending of a satire, you know, is supposed to be unsatisfying.

  • Oh no, I am sorry that this book left you confused. It’s a bummer when a book does that but on the positive side, at least you read it!

  • Alley

    CAN I JUST TELL YOU how much I want that same bureaucratic + supernatural. (Though I’d prefer a comedy to drama. Or dramedy) And no one will give it to me. Including this cos I wasn’t too enthralled with that chapter but probably because I still only had the vaguest sense of what’s going on.

    I don’t understand why providing peace to M&M is within the devil’s list of responsibilities. Like, wouldn’t that be an angel thing? Unless they’re in hell but hell is better than soviet Russia? Is that it?

  • Well, you convinced me… I will strike this book off my Classics Club List. I don’t think I would understand what the heck it’s all supposed to mean.

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    Hunh. I suspect this book that has been on my tbr for a really long time will remain on my tbr for a lot longer.

  • Read Diverse Books

    I gifted this book to a coworker for his birthday and will not shut up about how perfect and amazing it is. He’s pressuring me into reading it, but I don’t wanna! D: Not yet at least. I don’t think it’s my kind of book and will probably end up confused as well.

  • https://tenor.co/vCPj.gif

    I never could have finished it. For serious. I enjoyed your recaps, though!

  • Nishita

    I know nothing about the book, and so I can’t say I understand very much about it (except not to read it, maybe?) from your blog posts. But that last GIF of Jon Snow walking away? Hilarious!

  • Alice

    Ermg I just don’t even know. But I’m glad we DID it, because it’s been on my TBR list since I was like 21. And now I can be like, oh yeah, the book where everyone’s obsessed with apartments and the demon cat, yes yes.