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.
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is one of the most famous and widely read books in America during the 20th century. In addition to being considered a classic, its description of slaughterhouses helped bring about the establishment of FDA regulations for the way meat is processed and handled.
Sinclair hoped his book would spark a social revolution; instead it inspired the Pure Food and Drug Act, and thereby made America's food supply immeasurably safer. "Perhaps you will be surprised to be told that I failed in my purpose....I wished to frighten the country by a picture of what its industrial masters were doing to their victims; entirely by chance I had stumbled on another discovery - what they were doing to the meat-supply of the civilized world. In other words - I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."
An Author's Republic audio production.