By Frank Norris
Just like the tentacles of an octopus, the tracks of the railroad reached out throughout California, as though to know every little thing of price within the kingdom in line with a precise, bloody dispute among wheat farmers and the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, The Octopus is a beautiful novel of the waning days of the frontier West. To the tough-minded and self-reliant farmers, the monopolistic, land-grabbing railroad represented every thing they despised: consolidation, association, conformity. yet Norris idealizes nobody during this epic depiction of the unstable state of affairs, for the farmers themselves ruthlessly exploited the land, and of their starvation for greater holdings they resorted to an identical strategies utilized by the railroad: subversion, coercion and outright violence. In his advent, Kevin Starr discusses Norris's debt to Zola for the novel's striking sweep, scale and abundance of characters and info.
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Extra resources for The Octopus: A Story of California: The Epic of Wheat v. 1 (Twentieth Century Classics)
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