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The Octopus

A Story of California

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Author: Frank Norris
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,641
mnybks.net#: 5320
Origin: gutenberg.org

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.

Show Excerpt

by the presence of certain immovable facts. Just what he wanted, Presley hardly knew. On one hand, it was his ambition to portray life as he saw it--directly, frankly, and through no medium of personality or temperament. But, on the other hand, as well, he wished to see everything through a rose-coloured mist--a mist that dulled all harsh outlines, all crude and violent colours. He told himself that, as a part of the people, he loved the people and sympathised with their hopes and fears, and joys and griefs; and yet Hooven, grimy and perspiring, with his perpetual grievance and his contracted horizon, only revolted him. He had set himself the task of giving true, absolutely true, poetical expression to the life of the ranch, and yet, again and again, he brought up against the railroad, that stubborn iron barrier against which his romance shattered itself to froth and disintegrated, flying spume. His heart went out to the people, and his groping hand met that of a slovenly little Dutchman, whom it was impossib

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.3 from 4 reviews: ****
2008.01.31
Kyle
*****

This book was deep.

2006.02.26
Samantha
*****

This book takes knowledge and understanding to get and all of you that thinks it's boring just don't get it and I'm sorry but this is a classic book that will be revered for centuries.

2005.11.27
Anne
*....

horrible book or as this site says, "wretched", doesnt end, put me to sleep, teacher promised that it got better but it never did.

2005.09.21
justin
**...

borrrrriiiinnnnggggg.


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