Wednesday, 28 March 2007

at Uncle's in Kiev.

I mentioned planning to read Mikhail Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog the other week - I really liked 'The Master and Margherita', and my brother happened to buy this one from Amazon, so ever since then it's been on the 'to read' list.

'Heart of a Dog' is about a nice dog that gets his pituitary gland replaced with a human one by some scientists. He becomes human, and turns into a havoc-wreaking unholy terror.

Ok, so I guess it's kind of a good story, but to a 21st century gal who knows that replacing a pituitary gland wouldn't change quite that much, the premise is kind of unconvincing, especially compared to 'Frankenstein' which is much older but more conceivable. Beyond that, it's a compelling (and short) read, with good characters and dialogue etc. As a story, it's really quite fun, although it can't've been that amazing, because a week later I've totally forgotten how it ends. Although maybe that's just telling me that I should stop reading before bed. The problem with Bulgakov I find, is that I'm just too far removed from the metaphor to get it properly. So while I understand that the book is making a big point about life in Soviet Russia being a bit rubbish, I don't at all understand the finer points. And from what I've read about Bulgakov, he often makes of sharp jokes about specific people and places that 80 years later are pretty obscure even to Russians.

So if your brother buys this and you find it lying around, it's worth reading, and in any case won't take you long. Beyond that though, I would recommend you read 'The Master and Margherita' first, and see what you think before forking out for one.

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