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Oil! by Upton Sinclair
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Oil! (1927)

by Upton Sinclair

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1,0021813,002 (3.56)50
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is not as good as The Jungle, but it is nevertheless a worthwhile read. He certainly exposes the political machinations of the leaders of the oil industry, with all its graft and bribery, and he clearly shows the tendency of capitalistic enterprises to exploit workers. Although the book shows support for socialism and unionism (collectivism), he does so in a restrained way, as if he saw not only the potential of collective bargaining for improving pay and working conditions, but also saw some of its weaknesses. He definitely showed the inherent dangers of infighting within the worker movements and how those problems made unions and organizing less effective than might have been possible. All in all a good book, albeit a little long. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
I'm pretty sure that Sinclair was a human being but he doesn't seem to write with any human insight whatsoever. All of his characters are one-dimensional and boring shells of the petty ideals and characteristics the author is trying to elucidate. I have learned my lesson about wasting time with books by this author and I won't make that mistake again.

Upton Sinclair is the polar opposite of Ayn Rand (only he's a moderately better writer). Both try to push their extremist views into their literature (and I'm using the term loosely). No more will I waste time on Sinclair trite propoganda and third -rate novels! ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
German Edition / Büchergilde ( )
  CaptainHaddock | Dec 26, 2013 |
I picked this book up (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this) because of the movie There Will Be Blood. And so my temptation is to write about the book in relation to the movie. I am thwarted in this, however, by the simple fact that there is no relation between book and movie.

Yes, there's a father and a son and a lot of oil and a charlatan preacher, but that's it. Like the Jason Bourne books and movies, there only connection is a very faint resemblance of character and setting that dissolves upon closer inspection. Strangely, I'm more fascinated than ever in how, exactly, the book became the movie.

But, the book. Frankly, it's tiring. Sinclair throws just about every social issue imaginable into the book, from the dangers of heavy petting to the dangers of socialism, and after a while it becomes more than a little overwhelming. It doesn't help that the main characters are hopelessly naive blank slates, so that they can be the reader's window into multiple sides of every issue.

I don't know why I didn't expect this, since Sinclair is pretty much famous for writing books with specific social agendas, but it's frustrating to read a book where plot and character are so subservient to the author's ulterior social motives.

The movie is better. ( )
1 vote jawalter | Nov 18, 2012 |
Interesting as well as entertaining. About the life of a man from boyhood through adulthood as the child of an oil baron. Great example of money is power. Also how a child that is given whatever is asked for, money no object, can become an adult with no strong sense of purpose.
  33racoonie | Aug 16, 2011 |
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The road ran, smooth and flawless, precisely fourteen feet wide, the edges trimmed as if by shears, a ribbon of grey concrete, rolled out over the valley by a giant hand.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This work was written by Upton Sinclair, not Sinclair Lewis.  If this is your copy, you might want to correct the author to have it associate correctly with the other copies of this work.  Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143112260, Paperback)

There Will Be Blood wins a 2008 Golden Globes Award. Read about it here.

There Will Be Blood wins two 2008 Academy Awards. Read about it here.

Penguin Books is proud to now be the sole publisher of Oil!, the classic 1927 novel by Upton Sinclair. After writing The Jungle, his scathing indictment of the meatpacking industry, Sinclair turned his sights on the early days of the California oil industry in a highly entertaining story featuring a cavalcade of characters including senators, oil magnets, Hollywood film starlets, and a crusading evangelist.

This lively and panoramic book, which was recently cited by David Denby in the New Yorker as being Sinclair’s “most readable” novel, is now the inspiration for the Paramount Vantage major motion picture, There Will Be Blood. It is the long-awaited film from Paul Thomas Anderson, one of the most admired filmmakers working today whose previous movies, Boogie Nights and Magnolia were both multiple Academy Award nominees. The movie stars Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York, My Left Foot) and Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine).

Paramount Vantage will be releasing the film in New York and Los Angeles on December 26, 2007 and go nationwide in January. This is the same company responsible for Babel and A Mighty Heart and the current releases, Into the Wild, Margot at the Wedding, and The Kite Runner.

As wars rage on in the oil region and as anxiety over natural resources rise, the subject of this book, which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2007, is more timely than ever.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After writing The Jungle, his scathing indictment of the meatpacking industry, Sinclair turned his sights on the early days of the California oil industry in a highly entertaining story featuring a cavalcade of characters including senators, oil magnates, Hollywood film starlets, and a crusading evangelist. This lively and panoramic book, which was recently cited by David Denby in the New Yorker as being Sinclair's "most readable" novel, is now the inspiration for the Paramount Vantage major motion picture, There Will Be Blood.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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