Mikhail Bulgakov‘s “Heart of a Dog” was my first introduction to the author.  I was interested in reading “The Master and Margarita” but as it was a longer book, I didn’t want to get caught up in some type of surreal, Kafka-esque reading experience nightmare (as I hate to start a book and then not finish it).

So, “Heart of a Dog” was well worth the experience and put me on to The Master and Margarita.  “Heart of a Dog” feels like Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson before there was a Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson.  In a nutshell, the story is set in the midst of communist Russia where some people are “more equal” than others and a brilliant scientist performs complicated operations for people of importance.  Meanwhile, the scientist is battling the equivalent of a homeowner’s association in his apartment building whom are accusing him of unjustly taking up too much space.

In the midst of this domestic and economic chaos, the scientist/doctor is also attempting to perform a first time experiment of transplanting a human pituitary gland into the brain of a dog.  The dog eventually ends up transforming into a man,  demanding its rights, and figuratively biting the hand that fed it.

It’s well worth the ride and seems a great promise regarding “The Master and Margarita.”


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