Customer Reviews for

Oil!

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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5 Star

(10)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A fine novel from the author of The Jungle

    Sinclair is best know for his novel The Jungle, a staple in American history and literature classes that shows the horrors of the immigrant experience in the meat packing industry of Chicago. Oil! is a novel that needs to be placed next to The Jungle in importance- the film There Will Be Blood will help with this. Sinclair follows his familiar formula: well drawn characters drawn in by the lure of riches. He sets a clear purpose by digging into the turn of the century oil industry and all of the manipulation and graft involved in it. He has excellent passages that describe the oil drilling process and some of the pitfalls involved. Yes, Sinclair jumps on his socialist soapbox and shows the exploitation of the workers and the need for unionization - no surprise. As much as The Jungle is known for the disgusting horrors of the meat packing plants, many forget the stronger message of the mistreatment and abuse of the working poor -same thing in Oil! The focus shifts to Bunny, Ross's son who could easily inherent his father's oil fields and millions of dollars. Instead he sympathizes with the workers who are underpaid but run the entire operations. He turns his back on the elite (even a Hollywood starlet) and dives into the world of protest and fighting American business. This is a strong novel written in a fashion that in no way hides Sinclair's intent. His intent is unabashedly obvious - to defend the working class - a socialist, yes, but solid writing. He offers logical (for the time) arguments that reflect a timely struggle that may yet exist. The film There Will Be Blood is loosely adapted from the novel. It takes a different focus in ignoring the socialist angle and focusing instead on the conflict with Eli's evangelical hypocrisy. Both the novel and film are must reads (views) but are, in essence, different pieces of literature.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Exactly as Predicted

    Once again we discover what a wonderul writer Upton Sinclair was. But without the movie we would never have Oil! out there to read again. It seems The Jungle is about all one can find in the bookstores. Bring back the Lanny Budd books!! That is some of the best World War II stuff around. Anyone remember DRAGON'S TEETH, the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winner?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2002

    Oil! is to Southern California what East Of Eden is to Northern California

    Remember the first 10 pages of East Of Eden where you can feel the wind and smell the grass of the Salinas Valley? Reading Oil! will take you to Southern California and will drive you through the same feeling of being there. An amazing story about nature, politic, human behaviour... Tells you a lot about what America was in the 20's and still is today: the power of money, the corruption in politic, the lights of Hollywood. Oil! is a classic American novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Danny

    Here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Great piece of historical fiction

    Not much has changed in America or the world. Corruption is the lubricant of government. Should we accept it?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Big Money

    This is the story of Mr. Ross Jr., a.k.a "Bunny", the son of a successful oil tycoon. Bunny is an impressionable idealist who, as a young man, falls under the spell of Paul Watkins. Paul is a mountain boy, not much older than Bunny. When Paul returns from Siberia, with horror stories of how the US Army was used to protect the interests of bankers, rather than protect freedom and liberty, Bunny's view of the World takes a wild swing to the Left. It's ironic that Bunny uses his father's oil money throughout the book to publish Socialist newspapers and bail organized workers out of jail. What I loved about this book is the realization that Big Money has been starting wars, raping foreign lands, exploiting blue collar workers, and just being professional thugs and thieves for as long as there's been currency and/or some form of money.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Oil!: Sinclair's look at the horrors of corruption

    A massive work of prolific proportions, Upton Sinclair's Oil! is a captivating read with surprises and shock-value not undermined by its length. The book is a handful - but that only increases your satisfaction when you are done. This is an important work for people to read, and I think that it is one which the history of American Literature has sold short and overlooked. Do not be daunted by the size of this book or its subject matter - both only serve to increase the value of the read.

    You will find that this book was the inspiration of the Oscar-winning picture There Will Be Blood. However, do not pick up this book with the movie in mind. They are very different, and the director has admitted to only including events from the first 150 of over 500 pages from the book. However, this book has its own value, and should not be tackled under the film's shadow. The characters are brilliant - some you will love and support the whole way despite their view points and opinions and actions . . . and some you will loathe till the very last page despite any "acts of kindness".

    This is a heavy book. It is about business and politics, corruption and the fight for innocence, labor and war. The journey of the main character and all of the other colorful people he interacts with is brilliantly told by Sinclair's mastery of language and voice. Sinclair sold this book. He was the reason I picked up the book in the first place, and he was what kept me reading it. Make no mistake: this is a major literary accomplishment. The length is not unnecessary. Sinclair uses every page to add to the book's drama and purpose. The book was very effective. If the whole of the book doesn't hit you hard enough, at least the very last chapter will more than assert the fact that human corruption and greed are truly the roots of all evil.

    If you like to feel accomplished when you finish reading a book, pick up Oil!, a forgotten American epic with a message that the whole world needs to hear. Five stars for Sinclair!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2008

    Great story

    This is different from the movie. It's also a lot better than the movie. If you love great prose and a great story, you'll love this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    Do not read

    If you want to read a book by someone who seems to have a cynical view of every aspect of society, especially capitalism, and want to read endless pages of boring narrative about socialism and Bolsheviks, and want a book with an ending where no one lives happily ever after, this is your book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Superior to the movie

    I was drawn to the book, after seeing the movie trailer for 'There will be blood.' I originally read 'The Jungle' years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I decided to give this book a try, and was very impressed. Although I consider myself extremely conservative politically, I can cut throught the socialist propaganda in Sinclair's novels and still enjoy the well-written plots and memorable characters he is known for. The movie adaptation, on the other hand, is supremely disappointing, as it in no way follows the storyline of the novel 'Oil.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is such a great book. Upton Sinclair, who was a great writer, is most famous for two books: 'The Jungle' and 'Oil.' This is a great book about greed, among other things.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    As expected

    If you`re looking to flesh out the back story of milkshake drinker extraordinare Daniel Plainview then dont bother with this one. Typical Sinclair socialist rhetoric. Those readers who came to this title after seeing the film might be better served to check out The Dark Side of Fortune by M. L. Davis. The subject of said book is one Ed. Doheny whose early life was the partial basis for P. T. Anderson's embodiment of the bowling pin slinging third revelation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2008

    one of the best books i've read in a long time

    Simply outstanding! A good book to read on the subject of greed and oil.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    OUTSTANDING&MOREOVER

    Years ago I read this book. The writer's perception on materialism and idealism in the daily life is gorgeous. The complexity of the things is given very simply. The only thing is to be taken to the consideration the age of the writer, that times were the severe period of the conflict between CCCP and Capitalism which is paused for a while.

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    Posted July 30, 2013

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    Posted April 16, 2009

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    Posted December 29, 2012

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    Posted March 21, 2011

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    Posted March 26, 2011

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    Posted April 14, 2009

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