”Never less than riveting.” —The Wall St. Journal
Attempting a medical first, a scientist transplants the glands of a petty criminal into a scroungy Moscow mongrel named Sharik. The creature that results is a hairy, lecherous, vulgar, vodka-swilling comrade who wreaks havoc on the scientist’s apartment, chases cats as head of the “sub-department of the Moscow Cleansing Department responsible for eliminating vagrant quadrupeds,” and threatens to expose his creator as a counterrevolutionary.
First translated into English by Michael Glenny in 1968, twenty years before it would be officially published in the Soviet Union, The Heart of a Dog is a blistering satire on the Communist efforts to create a “new Soviet man.” It’s also superbly funny and narratively bold, told partly from the point of view of the dog—a novel that yaps, barks, and still bites.
”One of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest.” —The Independent
”As high-spirited as it is pointed. Unlike so much satire, it has a splendid sense of fun.” —Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
”Bulgakov here assaults the dour, utilitarian lives of Soviet citizens with a defiant, boisterous display of nonsense.” —The Times (London)
”Spirited and entertaining.” —The Times Literary Supplement
”As timely a piece of literary excellence as one could wish for… The author is mordant and very funny. His style, through Michael Glenny’s fine translation, has great strength and simplicity; the recommendation is unreserved.” —The New Statesman
”Such is Bulgakov’s unobtrusive skill that it all seems quite believable… The psychology is sound, the illusion is remarkably well sustained, the humor is never forced, and implicit always is a passionate and severe humanity.” —The New York Times Book Review
”Bulgakov was unique, with a voice all his own… Humorous rather than witty, horrifying rather than bitter, he was, in his daemonic fantasy and his uproarious laughter, akin to Gogol.” —The New York Review of Books