Under the Volcano is a novel by English writer Malcolm Lowry — published in The novel tells the story of Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic British consul in the small Mexican town of Quauhnahuac , on the Day of the Dead , 1 November The book takes its name from the two volcanoes that overshadow Quauhnahuac and the characters, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. Under the Volcano was Lowry's second and last complete novel. The novel was adapted for radio on Studio One in but had gone out of print by the time Lowry died.
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Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. His debilitating malaise is drinking, an activity that has overshadowed his life. On the most fateful day of the consul's life—the Day of the Dead—his wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationshi Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. On the most fateful day of the consul's life—the Day of the Dead—his wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationship to the brink of collapse.
She is determined to rescue Firmin and their failing marriage, but her mission is further complicated by the presence of Hugh, the consul's half brother, and Jacques, a childhood friend. The events of this one significant day unfold against an unforgettable backdrop of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.
Under the Volcano remains one of literature's most powerful and lyrical statements on the human condition, and a brilliant portrayal of one man's constant struggle against the elemental forces that threaten to destroy him. Get A Copy. Paperback , Perennial Classic , pages.
Published April 26th by Harper Perennial first published More Details Original Title. Quauhnahuac , Mexico Mexico , Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Under the Volcano , please sign up. What type of narrative style is used in Under The Volcano?
I currently want a rest from the stream of consciousness technique. ChroniclesofTania Stream of Consciousness! Does anyone know why Yvonne's letters all ended up at the Farolito rather than at Geoffrey's house? Toby I had the impression that he had stayed there at some point during the separation and simply left them behind. Wasn't there a question of his possibly …more I had the impression that he had stayed there at some point during the separation and simply left them behind. Wasn't there a question of his possibly not having paid his bill last time he was there implying he may have skipped out, leaving the letters behind?
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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Under the Volcano. Jan 10, Ben rated it it was amazing. Purchase a large bottle of tequila and start walking from Ernest Hemingway's house to Vladimir Nabokov's house. As you're walking, take a drink for the sake of squandered love. Then take one for isolation. Take one drink for war, and two for peace. Take one for world-weariness. Take one for betrayal.
Take a big one for fear. Take a bigger one for the allure of death. Take one for a chasm opened between lovers. Take one for connections that span oceans, continents. Take one for filthy, homeless d Purchase a large bottle of tequila and start walking from Ernest Hemingway's house to Vladimir Nabokov's house. Take one for filthy, homeless dogs. And take one long drink, just for the sake of it. If you do this right, you will end up passed out in a ditch somewhere between Hemingway and Nabokov, and you will have a fair idea of what 'Under the Volcano' is like.
View all 18 comments. Oct 09, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. Drink all morning, they said to him, drink all day. This is life! They are but bit players. This is a novel where the main character is liquor and how liquor turns human blood and the nerves of the human nervous system into trillions of tiny colorful skulls, each skull with a mouthful of shinning white teeth chewing up the host human and, in turn, his relations with everything and everybody.
I have lost my familiars, my guardian angels. One must never forget either that alcohol is a food. Every day is the Day of the Dead around the globe for millions of alcoholics drinking under their personal volcano. To conclude on an up note, one of my favorite scenes is when Geoffrey, his former wife Yvonne and his half-brother Hugh attend a bullfight. Hugh jumps in the arena. Leaving his coat behind he had jumped from the scaffolding into the arena and was now running in the direction of the bull from which, perhaps in jest, or because they mistook him for the scheduled rider, the ropes were being whipped as by magic, Yvonne stood up: the Consul came to his feet beside her.
View all 31 comments. Oct 27, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites , spanish-american. Literary Addiction I first read Under the Volcano in At that confused cusp in time between teen aged idealism and adult cynicism, I had travelled to Cuernavaca in pursuit of my first love whose father had moved his family there - I was sure at the time, but mistakenly, in order to ensure his oldest daughter did not succumb to my inept entreaties.
As it turned out I discovered that I liked her family more than I liked her. So the trip turned into a bit of a disaster. So in an attempt at literary therapy I threw myself into Lowry, who satisfied my romantic needs on several levels.
First, he turned the city itself into something of a post-colonial paradise that was insulated from the cares of the world and its physical necessities. And although a problem shared - in this case an immature affair of the heart - may not be a problem halved, it certainly allows for the serotonin-like effects of Schadefreude.
But I also knew he was using them as symbols. These things were more deeply meaningful than they appeared on the surface. And I had to learn about them in order to understand life - at least the life that Lowry described. They pointed elsewhere to hidden meanings, and therefore to my own youthful ignorance and what really did happen in the bunker?
This was liberating since it distracted me entirely from the issue of lost love. In short, Lowry helped me to grow up. Just at the moment I needed some way out of an emotional dead end he showed up with his posse of flawed characters in another-worldly world. I moved, however incrementally, from a state of emotional distress to one of imaginative possibility. Oh well, I suppose there are worse addictions - just as Lowry suggests. View all 51 comments.
View all 23 comments. Dec 19, Ted rated it it was amazing Shelves: lit-british , classics , beach-mixed , have , reviews-most-liked , re-read. The Consul, an inconceivable anguish of horripilating hangover thunderclapping about his skull, and accompanied by a protective screen of demons gnattering in his ears, became aware that in the horrid event of his being observed by his neighbors it could hardly be supposed he was just sauntering down his garden with some innocent horticultural object in view.
Nor even that he was sauntering. The Consul He was also lurching. In vain he tried to check himself
Bajo el volcán
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Under the Volcano