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.
"Excellent...but not for everyone"
The horrors of alcoholism have never been so vividly, so comprehensively, or so sympathetically described as they are in Under the Volcano. Equally vivid is the picture of alcohol's attractions: the blessed painlessness that beckons from within the bottle. Against a backcloth, brilliantly described, of the magnificent, uncaring Mexican mountains, the Consul examines his disastrous life.
Beneath the twin shadows of Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl in Mexico, the Consul is drunk. He staggers from bar to bar hoping to find salvation staining the bottom of the next glass. His lonely existence is disrupted when his former wife, Yvonne, returns with, Hugh, the Consul's half-brother. But the reunion turns sour when a local peasant turns up dead, beginning a series of events that will decide the Consul's fate. In the course of one day an entire life is chronicled, set against the backdrop of Europe during the Spanish Civil War.