(The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

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FREE READ ↠ The Octopus A Story of California This is a turn of the century epic of California wheat farmers struggling against the rapacity of the Pacific and Southwestern Railroad which will stop at nothing to exte. This was my third time reading this book I first read it for an American Lit survey course in college and something about Norris tenacious and unwavering passion for truth on a grand scale pulled my 20 something idealism in a new direction In particular there s a thread of social justice that elevates this book from being a good story to a poignant social statementThe story revolves around the growth of the railroad industry At a time when the expansion of the railroads was being heralded as the vehicle for progress Frank Norris was telling the rest of the story the real story as it hit the lives of people who were subjugated and oppressed by the sprawling railroads We follow the lives of farmers and aspiring business folk who are crushed by the untethered demands of the railroads and we watch with heartbreak as their lives are ruined by the greed of this new industryAnd something should be said about that title The railroads stretched their tentacles across the land like an octopus pulling all profit and entrepreneurialism into the cutting and crushing bit of its hardened beak The octopus seeks to dominate absolutely and so the railroads didAnd Norris told that storyThis book as all of Norris works are is an example of the Naturalist movement in American Literature Naturalism among other things sought to apply the discoveries of science to literature scientific order in the world random occurrences and most of all the indifference of the universe Contrary to the concept of a loving and benevolent God maintaining the order of all things Naturalist writers portrayed the universe as a cold indifferent machine that could and would crush anything that is in the wrong place at the wrong timeThe Octopus captures Naturalism as well or better than any other example of Naturalism Stephen Crane and Theodore Dreiser are the names usually at the top of the list of Naturalism but for me the number one spot is occupied by Frank NorrisNeedless to say I highly recommend this book for many reasons

FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of CaliforniaThe Octopus A Story of California

FREE READ ↠ The Octopus A Story of California Tative on the state rate fixing commission An unremitting tale of greed and betrayal originally intended as one third of Norris' never completed Epic of the Wheat trilogy. Based on a true story of a violent conflict between the railroad and California wheat ranchers in the San Joauin valley The Octopus is a big baggy amalgam of naturalism regionalism sentimental novel political novel and historical dramatization Just because you may have heard of it being associated with naturalism don t be fooled This turn of the 20th century book has in common with Dickens or Stowe than for instance Richard Wright or even Stephen Crane It s really striking how some passages of this book feel so modern they could ve been written in the 1950s while others feel so old fashioned they could ve been written in the 1850s Although dated in significant ways eg straight up racism religious sentimentality it s still a fascinating document of its time and intriguing artistic effort OK I do have to comment on one style tic that is unintentionally hilarious Norris is kind of addicted to repeating certain descriptive stock phrases when characters or situations reappear in his narrative A charitable interpretation is that he thinks these word for word repetitions are leitmotifs or Homeric epithets something but they in fact are just plain corny and good occasions to skip a page The Octopus length and baggy episodic structure would have been for its time a feature and not a bug It s a reminder that novels of this time were analogous to seasons long TV serials rather than tightly paced feature films I recall HL Mencken half jokingly commenting that the prodigious length of Dreiser novels from roughly this same period were selling points book for your bang to pass a long winter In short I m giving this four stars because there are genuinely interesting and well done parts mixed in with the not so well done parts and because it s a pretty significant though fictionalized California historical account To enjoy it it helps to be a little detached and intellectualizing to think of it as an artifact somewhat rather than expecting oneself to be Frank Norris target reader

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FREE READ ↠ The Octopus A Story of California Nd its domination The company controls the local paper the land the legislature and when the farmers organize to protect themselves even manages to control their represen. News stories about Occupy Wall Street and the 99% have dominated the headlines for the past year These same themes also dominate this century old book which was a bestseller in 1901 Here the Octopus is the Railroad its tentacles suffocating and destroying the lives of hardworking ranchers and their familiesThis book is also personal for me It s based on real events that happened around 1880 in central California only miles away from where I grew up a century later The Southern Pacific leased land to ranchers and then after the land was developed and the lease time was at end the railroad increased the price tenfold and then acted to force the farmers off the land The end result was the Mussel Slough Tragedy a shoot out that killed several men and made the surviving ranchers into local folk heroesNorris used those elements to create his drama of the West He changed many of the facts in his book the incident takes place right before 1900 and the real places of Hanford and Grangeville have been altered to Bonneville and Guadalajara respectively The latter also has a mission in this telling The geography is also strangely different with nearby hills and canyons that provide handy places for his characters to look down upon the valley of promise in reality the hills are some 40 miles awayThere are some classics that age better than others The Octopus is very slow to get going It has a wide cast of characters and changes points of view on a whim The women are stock characters either simpering or overly noble the real protagonists are the men In Victorian fashion the descriptions wax elouent and can go on for pages Very little happens in the first 23 of this 650 page novel Much of it is building up the tension slowly and has a great deal of angst However when the end comes it actually moves along at a steady clip It s a tragedy in a Rocks Fall Everyone Dies sort of way Most of the main cast is annihilated the men dead the women suffering through miscarriage or poverty or prostitution All of this is the fault of the railroad or their own moral failingsThose moral failings are heavy handed in the style of the time but also are not clear black and white The most upstanding of the characters suffer because of their poor choices A character I disliked immensely at the beginning was Annixter he was creepy and anti woman with an angry fixation on his dairymaid However by the end of the book he had transformed and became a redemptive figure because of the love of that very dairymaidThe book is also steeped in the biased attitudes of the time The head of the railroad is Jewish The cast of good guys is very Anglo Saxon The lesser farmhands such as the Portuguese are regarded with disdain which is amazing to me since the valley s Portuguese population is now so large and integral The most blatantly racist line of the book is near the end after a jack rabbit round up The Anglo Saxon spectators round drew back in disgust but the hot degenerated blood of the Portuguese Mexican and mixed Spaniard boiled up in excitement at this wholesale slaughter It makes me wince but the statement is also a reflection of the time period and must be seen in that context Also most of those wincing Anglo Saxons ended up dead but the so called degenerates lived on Perhaps there s a sort of Darwinism in thatIt s not a fun read but I found it fascinating to read a dramatization of events that happened a few miles away from my home and I m glad I finally trudged through the tome Sometimes it s good to read a classic just to be able to say I read that


10 thoughts on “(The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

  1. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris This was my third time reading this book I first read it for an American Lit survey course in college and somethi

  2. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris I read this novel years ago after an undergraduate English professor kept mentioning it in a survey class I took on American literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries It was not an assigned text though it was one that he clearly favored I

  3. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ This book merits three stars based on historical interest alone It's not Norris's best writing by a long shot that honor belonging to McTeague in this writer's never humble opinion and it's further evidence if any was needed

  4. says: FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

    Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California Prior to beginning The Octopus the only thing I knew about Frank Norris was that his novel The Pit inspired Upton Sinclair to write The Jungle I don't know if this is true but the four years between the two books makes it seem plausible Thus I went into The Octopus with a fairly open mindI loved itIt is not an

  5. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris The Octopus A Story of California is a 1901 novel by Frank Norris I loved this book It was the first part of an

  6. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris

    FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris News stories about Occupy Wall Street and the 99% have dominated the headlines for the past year These same themes also dominate this century old book which was a bestseller in 1901 Here the Octopus is the Railroad its tentacles suff

  7. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ

    FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California How long must it go on? How long must we suffer? Where is the end what is the end? How long must the ironhearted monster feed on our life's blood? How long must this terror of steam and steel ride upon our necks? Will you never be satisfied will you never relent you our masters you our kings you our taskmasters you our Pharaohs? Will you never listen to that commandment Let my people go?This book is an epic of Wheat in C

  8. says: (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California The railroad is bad Especially in the 1880s It is the destroyer of souls the devil's most exuisite instrument of torture That's about all I got for getting through this slog It was fine It wasn't offensive But that's about the best compliment I can give it

  9. says: FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California Based on a true story of a violent conflict between the railroad and California wheat ranchers in the San Joauin valley The Octopus is a big baggy amalgam of naturalism regionalism sentimental novel political novel and historical dramatization Just because you may have heard of it being associated with naturalism don't b

  10. says: FREE READ ↠ AKUENTAJUI.CO ô Frank Norris Frank Norris ô 1 FREE READ FREE DOWNLOAD The Octopus A Story of California

    (The Octopus A Story of California) [PDF/EBOOK] Ò Frank Norris The Octopus is mentioned several times in the last book I read The Inventor and the Tycoon Since I was a big fan of Norris' McTeague

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 434
  • The Octopus A Story of California
  • Frank Norris
  • English
  • 10 June 2019
  • null