Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
I was initially quite disconcerted by the novel's style. Narration freely mixed with stream-of-consciousness, leaps in time, shifting points of view -- all this I quickly adjusted to, but what took me longer was the highly literary artifice of the language, the erudite vocabulary and diction, the omnipresent allusions and symbolism.

This comes to the fore most strongly when Geoffrey Firmin is the center of the narration. Each point-of-view character has a distinct style; it’s no wonder that Geoffrey’s chapters are rather incomprehensible, since they reflect his garbled state of mind. It’s a good thing he doesn’t monopolize the narration or I’d have suspected it was the author who was confused. Hugh (unfortunate Hugh, somehow Geoffrey always got there before and wasted every one of Hugh’s opportunities, not content with marrying his true love, even usurped his glorious death) and Yvonne provide a more approachable entry point to the world of the novel.

One man’s personal catastrophe is interwoven with the Spanish civil war, with the potential rise of fascism in Mexico, with the looming world war. This, along with the violently beautiful descriptions of the location, contribute a lot to the unsettling nature of this novel.