is not The Jungle
, but it's damn close. In keeping with the politically-minded storyteller's way of using a fictional narrative to drive home a point, Sinclair has this time chosen a California oil baron and his idealistic son as the vehicles with which to air his own beliefs about corporate corruption and greed. Being a dutiful journalist, Sinclair does his best to show both sides of the story, giving examples of how big business doesn't only rape the land, but also keeps the common man employed, etc. He even spends a good deal of time displaying, in a very Fitzgerald-esque way, the carefree lifestyle led by the foppish son and daughter heirs to oil fortune. But make no mistake about it, Sinclair was always on the working man's side...
The movie There Will Be Blood is based on this book, but the two are quite different. I love Daniel Day Lewis' maniacal tyrant, but he's a murderous loon compared to the character from Oil!
. The book is politics and people. The movie is about a person...one crazy-ass person.