Mikhail Bulgakov Best Books 📚

Mikhail Bulgakov’s writing style is defined by rich imagery, stunning metaphors, and a florid language style. Also, he freely uses political allegory, science fiction, and abrupt leaps into the absurd.

Mikhail Bulgakov

(1891-1940), Russian

Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov was well-known for his distinctive writing style, combining satire, allegory, surrealism, and fantasy to create vivid stories with deep philosophical undertones. The plays Bulgakov contributed to Konstantin Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theater were his most well-known works during his lifetime. The drama ‘Days of the Turbins (ни уринx), which was based on Bulgakov’s fantastical novel ‘The White Guard,’ is said to have been a favorite of Stalin’s. The Moscow Art Theater continues to present his portrayal of Molière’s life in ‘The Cabal of Hypocrites.’ Bulgakov continued to write plays about Stalin’s formative years and a grotesquely humorous farce about Ivan the Terrible’s visit to 1930s Moscow even after his plays were outlawed. In the horror year of 1937, when practically all writers opposed to Stalin’s leadership were exterminated, this may have saved his life.

Beginning in the early 1920s, Bulgakov released autobiographical works, including ‘The White Guard‘ and a collection of short stories titled ‘Notes of a Rural Doctor,’ both of which were inspired by the author’s experiences in post-revolutionary Ukraine. He developed an admiration for H.G. Wells’ writings in the middle of the 1920s and produced several science fiction pieces, including ‘The Fatal Eggs (1924) and the ‘Heart of a Dog (1925).

Heart of a Dog

The testicles and pituitary gland of a recently deceased man are transplanted into a stray dog by a wealthy, successful professor in Moscow as part of an experiment. As a very human-like animal is let out later, the professor’s, up until then, respectable life turns into an unbearable nightmare. This classic work is a ridiculous and hilarious tale that may also be interpreted as a ferocious parable of the Russian Revolution.

Black Snow: A Theatrical Novel

After Maxudov’s attempt to commit himself is unsuccessful, he dramatizes the novel whose failure prompted the attempt. His play is accepted by the storied Independent Theatre, much to the chagrin of literary Moscow, and he is sucked into a whirlwind of inflated egos. The likelihood of the play being produced is decreasing as more sparks fly at each rehearsal. The ten-year love-hate relationship he had with Stanislavsky and the Moscow Arts Theatre is the subject of this backstage story, which is also a masterful satire.

A Country’s Doctor’s Notebook

The 25-year-old Dr. Mikhail Bulgakov was thrust into the depths of rural Russia, which in 1916–17 was still largely undisturbed by such wonders as the motor car, the telephone, or the electric light, while the ink on his diploma was still wet. Bulgakov’s fascinating blend of frank realism and imaginative exuberance describes how his alter-ego deals (and fails to deal) with the new and frequently horrifying obligations of a lone practitioner in a huge rural practice – in blizzards, stalked by wolves, and on the verge of Revolution.

Fatal Eggs

Professor Persikov discovers a brand-new type of light ray that can quicken the growth of simple creatures. But, when this ray is directed at the incorrect batch of eggs, the Professor finds himself unwittingly responsible for the creation of enormous hybrids and the target of a vicious media campaign. Because it appears that the propaganda machine has focused on him, warping his character in the same manner that his ‘innocent’ meddling produced the giant snakes and crocodiles that are already terrorizing the neighborhood. An inventive science fiction piece that also serves as a stinging political metaphor.

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita‘ is a fantastic fusion of fantasy and realism that provides a satirical vision of communist Russia. In between chapters about Pontius Pilate and Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and the Devil’s entry into Moscow, there are chapters about an artist and his relationships with his work and his lover. The three levels of the narrative are seamlessly woven together with captivating creative power. The book is a complex indictment of both the Soviet literary establishment and Soviet society in general. The story opens with Satan visiting Moscow in 1935 and engaging in a lively discussion about whether Jesus Christ and the Devil exist with a critic and a poet.


What is the most important aspect of Mikhail Bulgakov’s writing?

The writing of Mikhail Bulgakov was varied and explored a range of themes and literary devices. Yet, he used satire to criticize the Soviet government and society, which is one of the most significant features of his literature. The Soviet Union underwent severe censorship and repression throughout the time that Bulgakov lived and wrote. He exposed the absurdity, corruption, and inhumanity of the Soviet dictatorship through his writings, using humor. He bemoaned the bureaucratic structure, the cult of personality, and the restriction of personal choice and originality.

What is Mikhail Bulgakov’s best book?

It is ‘The Master and Margarita.’ It has received critical and commercial acclaim for its critique of the Soviet Union. As a satirical book, ‘The Master and Margarita‘ depicts the tale of the devil’s trip to Moscow in the 1930s. The literary and artistic elite are exposed for their corruption and hypocrisy as the devil, and his entourage wreak devastation on the city. The work also tells the narrative of the Master, a writer who has been tormented and banned by the Soviet authorities, and Margarita, his girlfriend, who strikes a pact with the devil to aid the Master.

Who were Mikhail Bulgakov’s Influences?

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, Goethe, and Shakespeare are a few authors who had an impact on Mikhail Bulgakov. He also borrowed his magical realism style from writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges, as well as European writers such as Franz Kafka.

Charles Asoluka
About Charles Asoluka
Charles is an experienced content creator, writer, and literary critic. He has written professionally for multiple reputable media organizations. He loves reading Western classics and reviewing them.
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