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About the Author: Frank Norris

Benjamin Franklin Norris, Jr. was an American novelist, during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A California Story (1901), and The Pit (1903). Although he did not openly support socialism as a political system, his work nevertheless evinces a socialist mentality and influenced socialist/progressive writers such as Upton Sinclair. Like many of his contemporaries, he was profoundly influenced by the advent of Darwinism, and Thomas Henry Huxley's philosophical defense of it. Norris was particularly influenced by an optimistic strand of Darwinist philosophy taught by Joseph LeConte, whom Norris studied under while at the University of California, Berkeley. Through many of his novels, notably McTeague, runs a preoccupation with the notion of the civilized man overcoming the inner "brute," his animalistic tendencies. His peculiar, and often confused, brand of Social Darwinism also bears the influence of the early criminologist Cesare Lombroso and the French naturalist Emile Zola.


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Goodreads rating: 3.79

Paperback, Published in Jul 2008 by Book Jungle

ISBN10: 1605979872 | ISBN13: 9781605979878

Page count: 488

The Octopus: A Story of California is a novel written by author Frank Norris. The Octopus is about wheat growers who are in conflict with a railroad company during late 19th century California. The railroad company, controlling the local newspaper, state legislature and the land prove to be a tough force for the local wheat growers to fight against. The Octopus is highly recommended for those who are interested in novels taking place in early California and also those who enjoy the writings of author Frank Norris.

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