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.
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.
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.