Under the Volcano
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, 1938—his wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac, inspired by a vision of... show more
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, 1938—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.
Publish date: April 10th 2007
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Pages no: 402
Edition language: English
IntroductionBibliography--Under The Volcano
I know I once said that I could listen to John Lee read the phone book. Although I'm not saying that listening to his narration of Under the Volcano is the same as listening to a recitation of a directory listing, I think I understood and enjoyed this book about the same amount. The story is the f...
If you want a rich, modernist epic that infuses cinematic forms and mythological references into a day in the life of an anti-hero but don't want to kill yourself with Ulysses, try Under the Volcano. You won't die. You'll just get headaches, in a good way.
I was initially quite disconcerted by the novel's style. Narration freely mixed with stream-of-consciousness, leaps in time, shifting points of view -- all this I quickly adjusted to, but what took me longer was the highly literary artifice of the language, the erudite vocabulary and diction, the om...
After the first 50 pages confused me to the point of almost shelving it, Under the Volcano's spiraling mix of numbing vice and intoxicating prose slowly sucked me in. It reminds me of Nabokov's Lolita. They have the same unbearable depravity; appalling for the degeneracy, appealing for the luxurious...