The novel can be read simply as a story which you can skip if you want. It can be read as a story you will get more out of if you don't skip. It can be regarded as a kind of symphony, or in another way as a kind of opera--or even a horse opera. It is hot music, a poem, a song, a comedy, a farce, and so forth. It is superficial, profound, entertaining, and boring, according to taste. It is a prophecy, a political warning, a cryptogram, a preposterous movie.
- Malcolm Lowry to his publisher Jonathan Cape, January 2, 1946
This site is dedicated to promoting the reputation of Malcolm Lowry's novel Under the Volcano. We hope it will provide a source of information and ideas about the novel and the author for both new readers and old aficionados.
Finding your way around the site: Clicking on the highlighted title, Under the Volcano will take you to a brief history of the novel as well as character sketches and chapter summaries. You may also go directly to the chapter summaries. There is a partial bibliography of other works by Lowry as well as a select bibliography of criticism of Under the Volcano. This section includes biographical resources. For an outline of Lowry's life, see the timeline.
The multimedia link will take you to a description of Donald Brittain's award-winning documentary, Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry, to John Huston's feature film of the novel, Michael Mercer's play, Goodnight Disgrace, and other "stuff."
Throughout the site, you will find many links to images and explanatory notes. We have also provided a list of the offsite links that appear throughout this site. Finally, to put everything into perspective, there is an Under the Volcano trivia quiz for late nights or those who have nobody them with.
We invite comments, criticism, and suggestions to improve the web site's usefulness and effectiveness. Write to us at
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Updated 31 August 2001