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The Octopus: A Story of California is a 1901 novel by Frank Norris and was the first part of an uncompleted trilogy, The Epic of the Wheat. It describes the wheat industry in California, and the conflicts between wheat growers and a railway company. Norris was inspired to write the novel by the Mussel Slough Tragedy involving the Southern Pacific Railroad. In the novel he depicts the tensions between the railroad, the ranchers and the ranchers' League.