Read Calumet K by Samuel Merwin Online

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Title : Calumet K
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781446095676
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 364 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Calumet K Reviews

  • Leonard Gaya
    2018-11-24 11:04

    I have to suppose that Ayn Rand (the author of the most acclaimed "Atlas Shrugged" brick-book) wrote these lines in a jest: “the very best I’ve ever read, my favorite thing in all world literature (and that includes all the heavy classics) is a novelette called Calumet “K” by Merwin-Webster.”This marvelous light-weight novelette, about the construction of a grain elevator in some dump of the Mid-West, did indeed immerse me in utter boredom. So much so that I could not help myself not finishing it!

  • Catalina
    2018-11-18 16:57

    It was a little bit rough to get into this story. First because of the language, a little bit difficult the unpolished american English of the beginning of the 20th century for a nonnative and second cause of the subject: a dry technical story about the construction of a silo. But after a while I was sucked in it, I become quite curious how Bannon will overcome all the difficulties put in his way by competitors, weather, his laborers, love. I understand and agree why Ayn Rand loved this story, Bannon is the perfect image of a leader, the most efficient man I've encounter in literature. He knows how to guide the people, how to motivate them and made them efficient; how to find solutions to apparently impossible problems, he sees creative solutions where no one else can and he can do the work of a titan in order to finish in time his projects. But he is quite emotional in front of love, which shows he is actually a human being and not just a highly efficient working machine.

  • serprex
    2018-11-16 09:59

    So good. Forgot the title of this until tonight. Doesn't drag on. Don't really get what drives the protagonist on. I always inwardly chuckle when I remember this piece, how the protagonist loses his cap. Whoops spoiler

  • Brian
    2018-11-24 10:54

    It has been three decades or so since I read this book, so I've taken a star off for the distance of this review in my memory.As a young man, I found this book to be riveting and direct. It reminded me of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead", but without the polemic.The protagonist is a doer, who comes to work to move the project forward against seemingly insurmountable odds. A great entrepreneur always has to overcome substantial odds, and this fellow is not the owner, but the project manager, if I remember correctly.It is a quick read, so the author is not verbose, but Merwin still manages to communicate clear imagery and moral dilemmas.I was so inspired after reading this book, that I went out and purchased a series of books by Frank Spearman about railroad life - also great, but not as memorable as Calumet "K".

  • J
    2018-11-26 10:06

    If you told me that a story about construction delays on a grain elevator would be this exciting, I would have laughed in your face. But it really is a gripping read, as Charlie Bannon faces one problem after another as the boss of the ambitious construction project, from a material shortage to a blackmailing union representative, to try and get everything finished by the end of the year.Really, it's an inspiring story of what a skilled leader can do when he uses his ingenuity.

  • Natalie
    2018-12-02 13:08

    worth the read for me simply to compare the characters bannon & Peterson to some of shute's protagonists - a few keywords to gnaw on that separate the worlds of these hardworking, problem solving men: The revolver, vacation, & Christmas (yes, this is a Christmas book in the same sorta way Citizen Kane has a one word reveal).

  • Shelley
    2018-11-21 14:15

    I had a similar reading experience when I tried to read a book called Penelope. The difference is I stopped that book after 20 pages bc I knew it wouldn't get better, this should've suffered that same fate

  • Chi Laskowsavich
    2018-11-17 12:05

    Good, short book. A bit of lingo I wasn't familiar with. The main character forms the archetype for Ayn Rand's "Get shit done" characters. The difference is that in Calumet K, the character is romanticized, but possible.

  • Marie
    2018-11-22 16:12

    This is where Ayn Rand got her inspiration. Or the story she ripped off - you decide.

  • Nathan
    2018-12-02 10:09

    Inspiring story that celebrates hard work, respect, and strong character in the face of nature and crooks.

  • Peter
    2018-12-01 17:55

    5/10"It's the small fry that make the trouble. Guess that's true 'most everywhere."In Calumet K, the foreman Charlie Bannon steers a Great Project to its completion, cleverly overcoming obstacles in his path like accidents, weather, industrial competition, and crafty union reps. In this industrial-capitalistic adventure, achievement is the goal.Webster describes the project, a massive grain elevator, as a marvel of engineering, and the reader sees through Bannon's eyes, admiring the monument for its aesthetic beauty as well. As a manager, Bannon tolerates no nonsense, but he is consistently reasonable, driven, and very smart. I enjoyed seeing how he could maneuver his way out of scrape after scrape.Any gripes?This novel's (limited) fame nowadays comes from its status as Ayn Rand's favorite book, and as the quote above illustrates, the story has an obvious slant. The story takes careful steps to differentiate Bannon from cruel or greedy industrialists, and the reader naturally roots for him as he remains firm but virtuous. The labor union representative consistently blackmails, schemes, and makes unreasonable demands, seeking power rather than a better life for the workers. The laborers themselves are not evil; they're just sheep. This dismissive perception of the common laborer is not only implicit in the fact that all are willing to follow the corrupt union rep, it is reiterated explicitly in several passages. I won't get into historical accuracy on one side or the other, but basically, Calumet K oversimplifies the labor issue in service of the story.

  • Anna Sollanna
    2018-11-16 12:59

    I expected more from this book. I started to read it because I had learned Ayn Rand liked it, but I didn't notice that "benevolent universe" Ayn supposedly saw there. (I expected it to be not about struggle with trade unions and tycoons, but against forced of Nature - only this struggle I thought to be possible in the universe with all the philosophical problems solved.)The plot itself, though having some interesting moments, lacks drama sense. And the love line (that, I need to say, I didn't expect at all of such a male novel) was culminated rather awkwardly and not clear enough IMHO. But we should remember that this book was written more than a century ago, and that time literature standards differed from our a lot.Fortunately, later there were a lot of interesting books written. I wonder whether Ayn Rand might have liked books of Arthur Hailey or Michael Crichton? To me they remind her much talked-about benevolent universe much more, than Calumet K.

  • Charles
    2018-11-15 14:09

    I had never heard of this book when I grabbed it blindly off the library shelf, but I agree with the reviewers who compare it to Ayn Rand. It has the same sort of indefatigable protagonist who never seems to make a mistake. Without the preachy philosophy of Rand, the plot moves quickly, and you almost feel as if you have to rush through reading the book to help the characters meet their deadline.

  • George
    2018-11-19 13:57

    QUICK AND ENTERTAINING.An interesting look at the attitudes of business/labor at the end of the 19th century. Recommendation: Good for a casual browse; especially since it's a 'free-to-the-reader' Google digital book.[Nook eBook #12:] (232 pages, Google digital edition from Barnes & Noble)

  • Sylvia Sarno
    2018-12-06 12:52

    This book is really a thriller. And it's about the building of a grain elevator! Fast paced and benevolent, I didn't want it to end.