Under the Volcano

Under the Volcano

Book - 2000
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Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. Here the consul's debilitating malaise is drinking, and activity that has overshadowed his life. Under the Volcano is set during the most fateful day of the consul's life--the Day of the Dead, 1938. His wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac to rescue him and their failing marriage, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationship to the brink of collapse. Yvonne's mission is to save the consul is further complicated by the presence of Hugh, the consul's half-brother, and Jacques, a childhood friend. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.

Under the Volcano remains one of the most powerful and lyrical statements on the human condition and one man's constant struggle against the elemental forces that threaten to destroy him.

Publisher: New York : Perennial Classics, 2000.
Edition: 1st Perennial Classics ed.
ISBN: 9780060955229
Branch Call Number: FICTION Lowry Malcolm
Characteristics: xxvi, 397 p. ;,21 cm.


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JCLMattC Aug 10, 2016

This one was a tough go in more ways than one. The language is rich and detailed, tricky and unpredictable like the story it conveys. What I found myself reading was a tragedy of a man's very last day on earth. It's unreal the conviction with which Lowry writes. I pitied the main character an... Read More »

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Jan 20, 2018

A very difficult book to read. I had to stop after 100 pages because I wasn't giving it the time and attention it needs. I will come back to it soon enough, but if you wish to take up the challenge be forewarned this is one of those books you must take notes on, study, and re-read if you are really wanting to grasp all the dense and intricate information it holds.

Jun 15, 2015

This a book written on many levels. There are many many references to history, mythology, cabala, and literature. Some are only a single word! It is a dense book. I did not know that Faustus was written by Christopher Marlowe until I read Lowry.

A single day in the life of a alcoholic who has left the world for another plane of life, shortly before he physically leaves it. Makes Hemingway look like a social drinker.

Jun 08, 2015

A bit of a struggle for most readers not majoring in English. But, see the film (available on YouTube) by the same title first and get a feel for the subject. This book has been rated as one of the most important works of the 20th Century, along with James Joyce and the like. Note, too, Lowry's almost forgotten link to Vancouver where he spent considerable time drinking.

multcolib_central Jul 24, 2014

An incredible feat of writing. With the force of a dark undertow, it is the protagonists urge to self destruction that makes the novel so real and powerful. With masterful command of the written word Lowry creates a touching yet disturbing portrait.


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