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Summary

Here is the dramatic exposé of the Chicago meatpacking industry at the turn of the century that prompted an investigation by Theodore Roosevelt, which culminated in the pure-food legislation of 1906.

The Jungle is the story of Jurgis Rudkus, a Slavic immigrant who marries frail Ona Lukoszaite and seeks security and happiness as a workman in the Chicago stockyards. Once there, he is abused by foremen, his meager savings are filched by real-estate sharks, and at every turn he is plagued by the misfortunes arising from poverty, poor working conditions, and disease. Finally, in accordance with Sinclair’s own creed, Rudkus turns to socialism as a way out.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

“The most famous, influential, and enduring of all muckraking novels." ( Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature)

What listeners say about The Jungle

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  • Holly
  • 17-09-15

Real. Revolutionary. Powerful.

Even though Upton Sinclair wrote this book primarily to improve the poor man's working conditions, it mostly changed the food industry of America, and bills were passed after its publication to regulate cleaner practices of preparing food in mass quantities. Though the characters of this story are fictional, they are based on the lives of real people, and the treacherous Packing Town did commit the horrors Sinclair writes about. This story is a beautiful, tragic story that no one should take lightly, for it has deeply impacted the health of all U.S. citizens.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Luthi
  • 23-03-13

Simply a Great Listen

The Jungle is simply a classic that everyone needs to listen to! The story of this family coming to America with a heart full of dreams only to see their dreams taken away from them by the unfairness and cruelty of the world.

Although I don't particularly agree with the blatant socialist agenda of the author, I did really enjoy the book. It is well narrated and extremely well written. Its simply one of those books that makes you feel like the author is implanting images directly into your head, giving you a vivid picture of the entire setting.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 22-08-18

It's a classic, but man this was rough

It's definitely a reminder of all the struggles that immigrants have faced, especially in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was just tough to get through this book. Felt like one tragedy after another, broke my heart.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 16-03-14

Public Domain Version

"The Jungle" is my favorite 20th century novel of all time. I enjoyed this book when I first listen to it and enjoyed it more for the second time. Upton Sinclair was a very wicked man. Maybe he didn't like Russians or maybe he was trying to make a statement that the American Dream wasn't for all. Whatever the reasons for this book, it is the most powerful story that I have ever heard.

Many immigrants that comes to America for a better life, but they struggle to make it day by day. They might not be working at the meat packing industry is hard condition like in the book, but we have day labors, trying to feed their family by hanging out at Home Depot in hope to find work for the day. And what about the field workers that picks our crops for pennies by the piece, how are they any different from Jurgis, pan handling or getting odd end jobs?.

Many readers focus too much on the meat packing section in the book, but there is a social statement that is being left behind. Much like today, in the Western society, it is very difficult for someone without wealth to make it. Unless they are highly educated or have a wealthy uncle back in their country, they will always be struggling and falling behind.

As for multiple copies on Audible with different performers reading this classic, there is no one better than Grover Gardner's version. I've listened to this version twice. Once from the public library and because I wanted to listen to it again, I bought the same version from Audible. Skip the rest and get the public domain version of The Jungle. Why would you mess a perfectly recorded classic?

39 people found this helpful

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  • lynn
  • 10-10-15

One of the best.

I don't know how I missed this book in every lit class but one day I noticed it in my wish list. A voracious audiobook junkie, I'm always searching for the next, best story. This is one of the best stories and best audiobooks in my 400 titles. God help me, I love good writing and performance!
'nough said.

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  • Derek
  • 27-11-18

I get it, just not for me

I understand the importance of this book. I will even concede that it made me think about our current industry practices. That being said I didn't necessarily enjoy this book. I thought it dry and dull most of the time. There was a repetitive nature that wasn't enjoyable. The plot also didn't seem to go anywhere. The historical importance of this book is the only reason I finished it.

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  • Trina Bradford
  • 20-03-21

a classic

if you've never read it...do yourself a favor and step back in time with it...

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  • Amanda
  • 11-03-21

Timeless

I wish this work was not as prescient as it is but society and America has barely progressed since the book was written. Anyone who has ever worked should hear this message. Anyone who has never worked doubly so.

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  • toni
  • 05-03-21

A classic that is as relevant today as in 1906

Further study of this period exposes just why we needed an FDA, OSHA and other governmental agencies to regulate the big companies in this country.

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  • Tadd R Flowers
  • 06-07-20

An excellently written novel....

But, quite possibly the most depressing book I've ever slogged through. You find yourself rooting so hard for the characters and they just get screwed at every turn. I realize that is the point, but please don't read this if you are in a depressed state.

1 person found this helpful