Gushing

USA Today (“tomorrow the world!” as my favorite piece of newsrack graffiti added) notes that Upton Sinclair‘s 1927 novel, Oil!, is enjoying a nice sales boost as a tie-in to the film There Will Be Blood:

There Will Be Blood is a multiple Oscar nominee, and the movie’s success has rubbed off on the 1927 novel that inspired it, Upton Sinclair’s Oil! Since December, Penguin has gone back to press five times for the movie tie-in paperback with 136,000 copies in print. Anthony Arthur, author of the 2006 Sinclair biography Radical Innocent, has mixed feelings about the movie. “The first 60 minutes were pretty good,” he says, “particularly with the way it shows the technology of bringing in the well.” But then the movie diverges from the novel into “a wild revenge drama.” A socialist, Sinclair wanted his fiction, which included The Jungle, his 1906 novel about Chicago’s slaughterhouses, to influence readers politically. “People who read the book are going to be surprised,” Arthur says.

Project Gutenberg has a large stash of Sinclair’s novels available for free–including his most famous book, The Jungle–but Oil! is not among them.

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