The Heart of a Dog – Book Review

This story is by Mikhail Bulgakov who wrote The Master and Margarita, a considerably longer book than this one.

Mikhail Bulgakov’s work was read and publicly criticised by Josef Stalin and yet Bulgakov was never arrested and sent to a concentration camp. If rumour is to be believed Stalin arranged for Bulgakov to get a job as an assistant director at the Maly Theatre. Another rumour is that Stalin banned a play called Batum by Bulgakov because the playwright had portrayed Stalin as too gentle and kind.

The Heart of a Dog shows glimpses of pre-Revolutionary Russia as well as the Soviet Union of the 1920s which is lead by ignorant people and those willing to toe the party line. The nostalgia for the former is palpable.

The story is that a Muscovite professor befriends a stray dog in the street and takes him home for nefarious reasons. The professor / doctor performs a long operation transplanting into the dog a pair of male testicles and pituitary gland from a recently deceased man.

The resulting human / animal hybrid turns the professor’s life into chaos. Items are stolen, cats are chased, and floods occur. What can the professor, his loyal assistant, and down-to-earth servants do to quell the activities of this creature?

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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