After attending our discussion (or their discussion) it seems I missed out on a book that was worth the effort. However, with a character list that includes a large walking, talking black cat, several slightly odd Soviet writers and Satan.
I gathered there are several plot lines running, including commentary on life in Russia under the Stalin regime and a reworking of the stories of
Pontius Pilate and Faust.
The discussion of the book, especially the Pontius Pilate (or Pilot as I always thought he was named) was nicely timed at our near Easter event. Pontius Pilate was the judge who authorized the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. At one point he 'washed his hands' to show he wasn't responsible for the execution of Jesus, but still sent him to his death. In The Master & Margarita he is living with his conscience in a never ending state of penance.
Of our readers who (mostly) finished the book, the reviews were that it was worth the effort. I walked away from our discussion with a renewed interest to give it a second try. It is now on the night stand atop the other book that I didn't read that they loved... War and Peace. I'll get right on it.