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Publisher's Summary

On the Day of the Dead, in 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic and ruined man, is fatefully living out his last day, drowning himself in mescal while his former wife and half-brother look on, powerless to help him. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.
©1947 Peter Matson; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The book obviously belongs with the most original and creative novels of our time." (Alfred Kazin)
"One of the towering novels of [the twentieth] century." (New York Times)
"[Lowry's] masterpiece...has a claim to being regarded as one of the ten most consequential works of fiction produced in this century...." (Los Angeles Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Melinda on 12-07-10

Excellent...but not for everyone

I loved this story of a day-long drunken binge told from 3 different viewpoints, but I know that not everyone liked it (ask my book club)...but I thought it was classic. It gets tough in some places, but I found Under the Volcano to be a wonderful tale in a vast desert of somewhat underwhelming books. 5 stars for writing and 5 stars for narration.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

By Adam Aseraf on 01-17-15


I'm sure this book is a classic but it sure didn't feel like one when listening to it. The narration was droopy, inarticulate and lacked variety between the characters. The storytelling itself is best absorbed when reading the novel.

It was very apparent one chapter into this book that it was going to be confusing, troubling and overall not that enjoyable.

Save yourself the listen. Buy the book instead.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By T on 02-20-14

brilliant book, but beware of the narration

Often voted one of the greatest books of the 20th Century, this book should not disappoint. Unfortunately in my case, it did somewhat because John Lee's narration was so very poor when reading the many places and phrases in Spanish/Mexican. John has a great voice and his style suits sci-fi particularly well, but he desperately needed coaching before taking this one on.

That said, please do what you can to ignore the pronunciation issue because the story itself is very rewarding. Under The Volcano is cleverly constructed, rich in symbolism and literary references - which is why I had put off reading the book, as it sounded intimidating! Thankfully this is not the case and it can be enjoyed simply as an extraordinary tragedy, lightened with great humour and wit. And I'll listen again and hope to get more of the literary stuff!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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