The Pit

A Story of Chicago

Cover image for

Download


Author: Frank Norris
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 124,667 / 357 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 65.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,470
mnybks.net#: 5321
Origin: gutenberg.org

This powerful novel is the fictitious narrative of a deal in the Chicago wheat pit and holds the reader from the beginning. In a masterly way the author has grasped the essential spirit of the great city by the lakes. The social existence, the gambling in stocks and produce, the characteristic life in Chicago, form a background for an exceedingly vigorous and human tale of modern life and love.

Show Excerpt

nger sister Page, and their aunt--Aunt Wess'--were still waiting for the rest of the theatre-party to appear. A great, slow-moving press of men and women in evening dress filled the vestibule from one wall to another. A confused murmur of talk and the shuffling of many feet arose on all sides, while from time to time, when the outside and inside doors of the entrance chanced to be open simultaneously, a sudden draught of air gushed in, damp, glacial, and edged with the penetrating keenness of a Chicago evening at the end of February.

The Italian Grand Opera Company gave one of the most popular pieces of its repertoire on that particular night, and the Cresslers had invited the two sisters and their aunt to share their box with them. It had been arranged that the party should assemble in the Auditorium vestibule at a quarter of eight; but by now the quarter was gone and the Cresslers still failed to arrive.

"I don't see," murmured Laura anxiously for the last time, "what can be keeping them. Are you sure

Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
2008.08.20
Leah A. Zeldes
****.

This absorbing novel follows Laura Dearborn, a well-to-do young woman recently come to Chicago, as she commences wedded life against a background of wheat speculating at the Board of Trade.

"The Pit" is the second saga in Norris' unfinished "Trilogy of The Epic of the Wheat." The cycle begins with "The Octopus," an otherwise unrelated novel that covers disputes between wheat growers and a railway trust in California. (Norris died before he started the third book, which was to cover wheat as bread relieving famine in Europe.)

Laura Dearborn is a rather tiresome, stupid woman, but Norris describes her world enthrallingly, and his business scenes -- loosely based on the young Chicago tycoon Joseph Leiter's 1890s corner on the wheat market -- make the clashes between Bulls and Bears surprisingly thrilling.

While some legal and technical changes in trading have occured since the turn of the 20th century and the CBOT's historic trading floor has been demolished, the basics remain the same today as in Norris' day, a hundred years ago:

"Think of it, the food of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people just at the mercy of a few men down there on the Board of Trade. They make the price. They say just how much the peasant shall pay for his loaf of bread. If he can't pay the price he simply starves. And as for the farmer, why it's ludicrous. If I build a house and offer it for sale, I put my own price on it, and if the price offered don't suit me I don't sell. But if I go out here in Iowa and raise a crop of wheat, I've got to sell it, whether I want to or not, at the figure named by some fellows in Chicago. And to make themselves rich, they may make me sell it at a price that bankrupts me."


SUBSCRIBE TO MANYBOOKS 

FREE EBOOKS 

Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover

2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER

"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Chausiku

Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for The Pit by Frank Norris - Free eBook

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

Analyzing Character
by Katherine M.H. Blackford
Acres of Diamonds
by Russell H. Conwell
The Age of Big Business
by Burton J. Hendrick
The Banker and the Bear
by Henry Kitchell Webster
The Trained Memory
by Warren Hilton
How to Invest Money
by George Henry

See more popular titles from this genre.