Mr. Norris conceived the ambitious idea of writing a trilogy of novels which, taken together, shall symbolize American life as a whole, with all its hopes and aspirations and its tendencies, throughout the length and breadth of the continent. And for the central symbol he has taken wheat, as being quite literally the ultimate source of American power and prosperity. The Octopus is a story of wheat raising and railroad greed in California. It immediately made a place for itself.It is full of enthusiasm and poetry and conscious strength. One cannot read it without a responsive thrill of sympathy for the earnestness, the breadth of purpose, the verbal power of the man.