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The Pit: A Story Of Chicago
by Frank Norris
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1905. The overriding theme in Norris' fiction is the impact of industrialization on peaceful agricultural communities and the consequent chaos in the lives of people who lived in these communities. Norris's cautionary tale about the addictiveness of speculating on the Chicago wheat market and the power that it has over the rest of the world, The Pit is a a historical/romance book featuring Laura Dearborn who has moved to Chicago from Boston. Almost immediately, she is beset by a variety of suitors. However, she is most taken by Curtis Jadwin, a sophisticated businessman who is influential on the Chicago Board of Trade. After marrying Laura, the conservative speculator, makes a nice profit on the wheat market, but then becomes obsessive over controlling it. As the story unfolds, his wealth grows in a short period of time and for a while he captures the market. Ultimately, though, the market corrects itself and he must save his fortune as well as his wife, Laura, whose love begins to flee from lack of attention from Jadwin. Overall this is a good read whose themes transcend to current times. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
But Laura, preoccupied with looking for the Cresslers, hardly listened. Aunt Wess', whose count was confused by all these figures murmured just behind her, began over again, her lips silently forming the words, "sixty-one, sixty-two, and two is sixty-four." Behind them the voice continued....
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