A little background on Oil
Oil! has been described as one of the great novels of Southern California
and Sinclair’s most artful and effective work. Published in 1927, it gave fictional life to the frenzy that followed the discovery of oil
in Signal Hill, Huntington Beach and Santa Fe Springs in the early 1920s. In a foreword to a 1997 paperback re-issue, Jules Tygiel wrote that Oil! was more than a portrait of ‘20’s life in Southern California. "[It] ultimately spread far beyond the boundaries of Southern California, encompassing World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Teapot Dome and Elk Hills bribery scandals, the fractious battles of the American left, the morality of youth in the roaring twenties
, and a broad spectrum of other issues. Yet, Oil! remains at its core what literary critic Lawrence Clark Powell has called, ‘a novel of high California octane…the largest scale of all California novels.’[/list:u]
I wonder if this would be a period piece...