Appreciation of the book: While I cannot say that I had an easy time reading Under the Volcano, I can say that it was an enjoyable experience. The book is laid out in 12 chapters of similar length that progress the story in a pleasant fashion. I very much enjoyed the character development and their interactions with each other. It was easy to care about the characters and their issues. The way Lowry depicts Mexico truly emphasizes the sense of despair and darkness that surrounds this novel. While Mexico is usually a sunny and festive place, it is not quite the case of this novel. If I had a critique on the book, it would be the heavy use of Spanish in the dialogues. I cannot read Spanish and while it is possible to make out some of the meaning of the conversation due to the resemblances of French, English and Spanish, it is still annoying not being able to know what exactly the characters are saying. I also found a few chapters being a bit bland and uneventful like Chapter 6 where we get an inside view on Hugh’s past which I did not particularly care for. Aside from this, I found the novel being very engaging. The Downfall of a Man: One cannot live without love.
Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano is an impressive novel in every sense of the term. Be it by its unique writing style or by the towering amount of cultural references included in every line of text, this book demands the full attention of its reader. Throughout this complex piece of literature, Lowry has been able to depict a simple event: the downfall of a man into the depths of hell. In contrast to the past two books we have read; A portrait of the Artist and The Waves, Lowry’s book takes place in less than a day. However, we are presented with years of different events that put into context the predicament in which the Consul finds himself in. The first flashback introduces us with the Consul’s past as a naval lieutenant and the events of the First World War in which he captured and destroyed a...
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