Upton Sinclair – Oil! – 1929 theatrical adaptation


A scarce copy of the 1929 theatrical adaptation of Oil!, the satirical novel by Upton Sinclair that was first published in 1927.

Sinclair adapted his book into a play, in four acts, hoping to gain interest from Broadway producers and potentially movie studios. He published copies of the play himself, in Pasadena, essentially as a marketing tool. It includes glowing reviews from commentators and writers (including Arthur Conan Doyle and John Masefield), as well as highlighting the book’s impressive sales figures.

“The play will find producers, I am sure; if not in New York, then in Berlin and Vienna, Paris and Brussels, Prague, Moscow and Tokio, in which other plays of mine have been produced.

I have made this little book to send to these far-off places. Also because there are loyal friends all over the world who want to read everything I have written…”

Sadly the play was never performed, although in 2007 it was used loosely as the basis for Paul Thomas Anderson’s film There Will be Blood.

Paperback, overall very good condition. 17x11cm. Stapled. Some tanning and toning. Free from writing and inscriptions. Rare.