Is it still a haul if it’s only one book?
Today Mr. TBR had some books to pick up at the library on the way to the grocery store, and I did not, so I noodled around in the Friends of the Library shop next door, and when I spotted this logo, my heart skipped a beat!
That is the logo for Persephone Books, a UK-based publishing house that specialises in early to mid-twentieth century books (mostly) by women that have been otherwise neglected by the literary world. Their catalogue itself is beautiful, as are all of their books! For a dollar, I snapped up book #8, Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes, by Mollie Panter-Downes.
Today I finished The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov. Satire is not a genre I generally have much success with, so I’m really happy that I enjoyed this book enough to finish it! It’s not that I don’t get satire, but I’ve generally found myself disliking the humour of it. TMaM was funny in a way that didn’t make me feel like I was part of the group being mocked. Bulgakov’s last book, TMaM remained unpublished for 26 years after his death in 1940, it wasn’t until 1966 that a book that satirized Stalin’s regime could safely be published. Bulgakov deftly pokes a hole in the buffoonery of bureaucracy insuch a sly way. The secondary plot concerns a novel within the novel, written by the eponymous Master, about Pontius Pilate. The digressions never felt forced, I never felt like I was suddenly removed from the overall storyline, and the conclusion felt like the only possible outcome without feeling predictable.
Favourite line(s): “The job of the team of twelve men assigned to the case was rather like that of someone with a knitting-needle trying to pick up stitches dropped all over Moscow.” (p.353) Isn’t that such a great image?!