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The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck | [Upton Sinclair]

The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck

A Signature Performance: Oscar nominee and passionate vegan Casey Affleck highlights the more-relevant-than-ever issues of business ethics and food production in Upton Sinclair’s meatpacking industry bombshell.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Originally best known as Ben Affleck's little brother, Casey Affleck has firmly established himself as a talented actor in his own right. Roles in the Ocean's Eleven trilogy and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award), have made their critical mark in Hollywood. In his Signature Performance of Upton Sinclair's classic The Jungle, Affleck's diverse family ancestry (English, Irish, French, Swedish, German, and Scottish) is on display in his command of the multifarious languages of immigrants in early-1900s Chicago. In his distinctive boyish timbre, he even pronounces Lithuanian like a native.

Publisher's Summary

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is a visceral and tragic story of immigrants trying to scratch out a living in the meatpacking plants of Chicago. The resulting public outcry led directly to the US government enacting changes in food and workplace safety practices still in place today.

With food production, business ethics, and immigration back in the news, Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) taps into the emotion behind these issues to breathe life back into the struggling inhabitants of Packingtown. Affleck, a committed vegan and animal rights spokesman, delivers a moving performance that connects with the book’s enduring legacy.

The Jungle revolves around the life and family of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant whose dreams of a better life are crushed by punishing work in gruesome stockyards and an unforgiving city. Brilliantly written and vividly described, it provides a poignant and incredibly detailed snapshot of a striking point in American history.

Listen to more Audible Signature Classics.

Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (280 )
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3.9 (214 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David from Lancaster 04-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book, so-so narration."
    What did you love best about The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck?

    It brought back many fond memories, as it was required reading in high school. Sorry I didn't put more effort into the actual story back then.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The insight into the meat packing industry was interesting, as were the struggles of the workers and the corruption angles.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Not really. The narrator was somewhat monotone at times, and seemed to struggle with pronunciation.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Nothing really stands out. The book was really good though and I would definitely recommend it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Casuto San Diego, CA 04-17-14
    Loren Casuto San Diego, CA 04-17-14 Member Since 2013

    I am made by my choices and that which I read, or listen to in the car on my long commute

    ratings
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    71
    6
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    "Story: Expected, Performance: Horrid"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not having Casey Afflect read this!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Upton Sinclair? Why or why not?

    Too heavy handed with propaganda but a classic to read regardless


    What didn’t you like about Casey Affleck’s performance?

    So monotone it hurt!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sorry but did anyone bother to test out or listen to Casey Afflect read a damn book? He's monotone through the entire book; from the happy wedding to start the book to the final battle cry at the end there's literally no waiver in his voice. I've heard more emotion from military history readers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Corona, CA, United States 03-27-14
    Jennifer Corona, CA, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    12
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    "A brutal portrayal of the working class"
    Where does The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The story is an eye-opening look at what many working class individuals suffered in the early 1900s America. It is not on my list of favorites due to the graphic nature of the story. Although it is not a light-hearted story, I find it valuable from a historical fiction perspective.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The perspective of how difficult the life was for so many at that time.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Casey Affleck?

    Absolutely not. I almost stopped listening several times in the beginning of the book because I found his voice annoying and his reading flat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I had to stop at certain points because it was so graphic.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Carrier Mills, IL, United States 08-27-12
    Julie Carrier Mills, IL, United States 08-27-12

    Ima Bee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good listen !"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck to be better than the print version?

    Never read it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they learned how they were cheated when buying their house.


    Any additional comments?

    More than a little depressing but a great listen, still.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kosina 09-13-11
    Kosina 09-13-11
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    "American socialism in context"

    Riveting story in a larger socio-political backdrop that Tea Party fans should listen to at some point.

    That said, I did not like Affleck's narration too much. His tone is almost dis-interested at the beginning, with a lazy pronunciation of sorts. However, it somehow gets better (or I just got used to him) later on and the distraction is not enough to ultimately get in the way of this classic.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-27-11
    03-27-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "uninspiring and humourless"

    I only persevered to the end as I wanted to know how wretched and how low the characters in the novel would become! The narrator started the story in a style that I thought any moment he would fall asleep. His mono-syllabic tones nearly put me to sleep quite often and I wanted to give him a virtual nudge him so that he would remain on task! However he finished (probably no fault of his own but the author's), ended the oration with a loud shouting tone of someone on a soap-box. Someone who did not take a breath and was an absolute unionist zealot with a pinch of Lutheran/Methodist fervor thrown in!! Had a 'downer' for days after!! Did not enjoy this book at all as it was very disjointed, depressing, and bible-bashing.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 08-16-13
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 08-16-13 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really liked this book until the ending."

    I had heard that this book made the US look into the meat business and I can certainly see why. However, this book is so much more than just an expose of dirty business dealings. It's a wonderful story of our immigrant ancestors life in the mid west during the late 1890's through about 1910. I have so much respect for all they survived. My family were factory workers in Michigan and had to learn English also. They came from Sweden, Poland, and Holland.

    This book would have gotten a glowing review from me if it wouldn't have included the last 3 chapters, which contained propaganda about socialism. I wouldn't have minded even if they said that the hero found strength in socialism in his later years and left it at that. Instead we have to listen to an entire speech on socialism in the 29th chapter and then Jurgis' new job with a socialist employer and the final chapter another speech leading up to election day and ending with a rallying cry that they would prevail. Oh, brother! The whole tone of the novel changes and is told in this pie in the sky manner that it no longer is believable. Very disappointing.

    Casey Affleck does an adequate job as narrator. Sometimes his inflections were a little off and it was hard for me to get enthused.

    For the most part this book is wonderful especially for genealogists who have found relatives that came to America in this time period. That is why I gave it 4 stars. The last 3 chapters I would give a 1 star.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 02-22-13
    Arthur 02-22-13 Member Since 2011

    Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).

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    "An Anti-Trust Manifesto with Dubious Narration"

    In short: The narration makes this book a "pass" to anyone except those with a real interest in the novel. Those just perusing, looking for a good read, might want to move along.

    In detail: The Jungle tells the story of an immigrant trying to make his way in America during the turn of the 20th century. What follows a fable of how the power struggle between the US Railroad Trust and Meat Packing Trust took its toll on the goods manufactured and the workforce that manufactured the goods. Upton then makes the case for his solution.

    Whether or not you or I agree with this solution, I think Upton does a fantastic job in outlining his concerns with completely unregulated capitalism (and specifically the lack of anti-trust laws).

    If you're interested in the difficulties of immigrants in settling in America, fiscal policy or economic philosophy, this is a great novel for you. In the same vein as Atlas Shrugged (albeit from the exact opposite perspective and a historical instead of futuristic viewpoint), The Jungle is food for thought for those with an open mind and an interest in politics.

    Likewise, if you are interested in a story about humanity at its best and worst, or if you're looking for a story about the struggle of human spirit against soul crushing odds, you can't go wrong with this pick.

    However, if you're looking for a lighthearted or fanciful novel, you'd be better off looking elsewhere. The Jungle is bleak, depressing, and not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach).

    The narration was, at first, pretty bad. Like the reviewer Kosina before me, I am not sure whether he got better or I just got used to it, but there were still times where I found Mr. Affleck's stilted style difficult to endure. I truly hope this book gets a better treatment from another narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. David Pullman, Washington 12-12-12
    D. David Pullman, Washington 12-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Droning On"
    What would have made The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck better?

    A little less monotone.


    Has The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Casey Affleck’s performances?

    Uncertain


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Interesting percept, but contradictory reasoning.


    Any additional comments?

    The Jungle makes salient points about the unsanitary, precarious and corrupt nature of the beginnings of one of America’s industries in one of our most corrupt cities, Chicago. Contradicting itself, The Jungle provides examples of immigrants bringing that same industry to its knees by refusing conditions others seemed compelled to accept.

    The Jungle also makes a good case for governmental regulation, while unintentionally providing many contradictory examples of regulatory corruption. The author’s solution? The endless dictatorial corruption of socialism.

    Exploited, the main character turns to crime and participation in regulatory corruption, and fails to understand the opportunities provided him in the peace and sanity of rural America.

    Anyone can drone on endlessly about the ugliness in any human or human endeavor. It takes a good writer to strike a balanced description of human frailty so the reader wants to turn the page. I got so I did not.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 07-24-11
    Sandra 07-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Production flaw"

    I've downloaded this book to two separate iPods. In each, when I reach a certain point in the narrative, my iPod shuts down. I've reported this to Audible early this year. They didn't seem much interested in correcting the problem. I would not recommend anyone download and try to play this book.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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