Monday, January 30, 2017

The Master and Margarita

This book is bananas. I mean that in the most affectionate and complimentary way. Most importantly it has a talking cat. Written in the 30's but not published until the 60's because apparently it was too subversive for Stalin's Russia. To me, it doesn't overtly seem politically problematic but it is nuts. It is not a spoiler to tell you The Devil is a character. He's not even in the top five in the list of the book's most interesting characters.

While this is considered a classic, it reads like a modern comedy/farce/magical realism I don't even know what.  I've worked in a couple of bookstores and I don't know where I'd put this--maybe "Staff Picks." Just read it. Naked ladies, vodka, "magic" tricks, Pontius Pilate and a man-pig (plus a talking cat who is awesome). What more do you want?

I was watching my neighbor clean the dog turds out of his backyard this morning.  That is how winter feels to me. Dog turd clean-up.  You could use a sense of wonder these days. This book is good for that. It does have a lot of confusing Russian names so be warned. Other than that (Italian chef kiss).

Like any good Russian novel we need a strong vodka drink.  Caipiroska: Slice a whole lime and put this into a cocktail shaker or large mixing glass.  Muddle the slices (don't go too crazy) in one tablespoon of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and add 1/4 cup of vodka. Fill an old fashioned glass with cracked ice. Pour the whole vodka lime mixture over the ice, then back into mixing glass then back into the glass. Enjoy with your cat. What elegance!

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