Situating the work historically, the introduction explains the sudden advent of the monster machine in the late nineteenth-century naturalist novel, gives an overview of each of the book’s nine chapters, locates the study in relation to existing work on literature and technology, and closes with a discussion of the form of its own narrative. Just as mechanization shapes the novels analyzed in the book, the book is shaped by its archive and can be understood as a kind of machine for reading mechanized fiction: a means of assembling and disassembling the anti-instrumental narratives of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and thus understanding the significance of a tradition fashioned—to a degree hitherto unrecognized—by and against the forces of industrial modernity.