Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Volcano by Shūsaku Endō

Volcano (1959)

by Shūsaku Endō

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
963125,712 (3.27)1 / 43



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 3 of 3
Volcano does a very good job conveying the inner turmoil a person encounters when they are forced to doubt that which they believe in the most. In this case, the protagonist has spent 20+ years monitoring a volcano in southern Japan. He has collected reams and reams of data and has come to the conclusion that the volcano has become dormant and will never erupt again. Based on his conclusions, people have started building at the base of the mountain. And then he retires. And then he starts to see (hallucinate?) signs that the volcano might not actually be dormant...

For the rest of this review, you can click on this link, if you want to --> http://andrewhideo.com/2014/01/21/a-book-review-volcano-by-shusaku-endo/ ( )
  andrewreads | Jan 21, 2014 |
Volcano was originally published in 1959, and is set the town of Kagoshima on Kyushu Island, which is situated at the edge of a dormant volcano, Akadaké. Suda Kun has just retired after a long career as the Section Chief of the Surveillance Section of the regional Weather Bureau. He was called the "Akadaké Demon", as he claimed to know more about the volcano than anyone else on the island, despite his lack of a formal education. He wishes to publish a book about his research in order to cement his reputation, and agrees to help Aiba, a local city councilman, in a profit making scheme in exchange for financial support of his book.

Father Sato is the popular leader of a small but growing Catholic church in town, who has replaced Father Durand, a Frenchman who was removed for committing apostasy. Durand, embittered by his fall, receives frequent visits by Sato, but he belittles his former assistant and his plans to build a sanctuary for his followers on the side of the volcano.

Suda and Durand are felled by serious illness, and are faced with their own mortality. At the same time Akadaké is showing signs of renewed life after decades of dormancy, which threaten the plans of Aiba and Father Sato. Suda, who has proclaimed that the volcano is permanently dormant, chooses to ignore clues which indicate that it is becoming active. Durand actively tries to undermine Sato's position and the faith of the people he formerly ministered to. Both men face their own mortality and guilt about their past behavior, while the smoking volcano towers over them ominously, as if in judgment of them.

Volcano is a superbly written and dark yet hopeful novel, whose two main characters experience torment and guilt in the face of imminent death. Suda's lack of compassion toward his wife and sons and Durand's lack of belief in the faith of his parishioners lead directly to the fall of each man, as the volcano serves as a metaphor for both good and evil, and as a symbol of the unchanging power of Nature and God. ( )
6 vote kidzdoc | Jan 8, 2012 |
2068 Volcano: A Novel, by Shusaku Endo translated from the Japanese by Richard A. Schuchert (read 25 Mar 1987) This is a 1957 novel but only translated into English in 1978. It tells of a volcanologist, who has retired, and of a Catholic community and its troubles with a fallen-away priest. Stark, gloomy, it really did not turn me on. It was in a way repellant. But it seems very Japanese, and the mention of Japanese ways were of course authentic and very different. Worth reading, but whether I will read more by him I don't know. [I did on 10 Jan 2002.] ( )
  Schmerguls | Jul 29, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Two men - one a Japanese volcanologist, the other an unfrocked Catholic priest - both become obsessed with Akadake, a quiescent volcano either in its death throes or taking on renewed life.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 wanted2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.27)
2 3
3 6
3.5 1
4 3
4.5 1
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,521,831 books! | Top bar: Always visible