Under the Volcano

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9780060153670: Under the Volcano

The Consul staggers from bar to bar hoping to find salvation. The dissolute life suits him until his former wife Yvonne returns with Hugh, the Consul's half-brother. As the trio enjoys a local Mexican festival, they discover the dead body of a peasant, thus beginning a series of events that will decide the Consul's fate. In the course of one day an entire life is chronicled.

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From the Back Cover:

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.

About the Author:

 Malcolm Lowry was born in 1909 in New Brighton and died in England in 1957. He was educated at the Leys School, Cambridge, and St. Catherine’s College. Between school and university he went to sea, working as a deckhand and trimmer for about six months. His first novel, Ultramarine, was accepted for publication in 1932 but the typescript was stolen and it had to be rewritten from the penultimate version. It was finally published in 1933. He went to Paris and married his first wife in 1934, and wrote several short stories in Paris and Chartres before going to New York. Here he started a new novel, In Ballast to the White Sea, which he completed in 1936. He then left for Mexico. His first marriage broke up in 1938, and by 1940 he had remarried and settled in British Columbia. During 1941–4, when he was living in Dollarton, he worked on the final version of Under the Volcano. In 1954 he finally returned to England. During half his writing life he lived in a squatter’s shack, built largely by himself, near Vancouver. His Selected Letters, edited by H. Breit and Margerie Lowry, appeared in 1967 and Lunar Caustic, part of a large, uncompleted work, appeared in 1968. Margerie Bonner Lowry and Douglas Day completed, from Lowry’s notes, the novel Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid and October Ferry to Gabriola.

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Malcolm Lowry
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