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.
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.
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What a wonderful book. Rich language, endearing protagonist. Who knew that meat packing and deplorable working conditions could be so captivating? The book flies by and is very enjoyable despite being incredibly depressing. It is also a great reminder of the failures of laissez faire capitalism in the face of consolidated market power. Regulation is not always the enemy!
That said, this narration is truly awful. Casey Affleck doing national accents is a joke, very distracting, and frankly an insult to audio books (and most ethnicities represented in the book). I don't mind his sheepish, mumble delivery - indeed, a quite like it - but these accents (when he chooses to use them) are a travesty. Also it sounds like he is sounding out words in places - not even a look over before recording. Thankfully, as the third party narrator, he dies not attempt accents. But much of the dialogue is difficult to endure.
There is another narration available on audible - please do not buy this one!
I had to read this book for class but it is such an incredible story that has really made me think and made me emotional thinking about the hardships of Jurgis and his family. it's amazing to see how far America has come in 104 years. definitely a must read!!!!!!
Nobody had ever told me that this is a story about a family of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in the Midwest. That theme rather completes the thread of our history depicted by Willa Cather. The novel is not so many scenes in a meat factory as represented. As for Affleck's narration, I got used to it, he gets better, and it may not be totally inappropriate.
I recall struggling through reading The Jungle in high school. I enjoyed the story but found the thickness of the names and language difficult as a teenager. Casey Affleck's narration of this story is truly spectacular. He brings life to the flow of the text as well as each character. Fantastic. Made me love this story in a way I wasn't able to years ago but wanted to.
I recently joined Audible to listen on my commute. I am sorely lacking in the "classic" literature that I've read so I decided to start mainly with the classics. I already bought the Kindle edition of this book, so got the audio version for a deep discount.
I was amazed at the talent that Upton Sinclair possessed. His writing paints a picture in my mind like no other author is able. I could see the killing floor of the plant. I could clearly see the house. I was amazed with the telling of this story. It's an incredible piece of literature and I can see why it's a classic. At least until the last chapter or so. At that point it turns into a lecture about the merits of socialism and the failings of capitalism. As long as you can overlook this, it's a wonderful book.
However, Casey Affleck is horrible in this book. There is very little change to the inflection in his voice and it is difficult to tell the difference between various characters. Throughout the book, it sounds like he's on the verge of tears. If not for the fantastic story her was reading, I'd have never finished listening to this book.
I do feel it's well worth the time and money to listen to this story.
Horse trainer by day, super hero by night, book lover all the time.
Such an important work! The narration is beautiful. The picture painted of the poor Chicago families is as beautiful as it appalling but in a balance thats amazing
I liked this until the socialist propaganda begin. I probably would have enjoyed it more with a different narrator. To bad I never got the chance to read it in school.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
Wow, this is a very intense book and a bit rough to get through at points, due to content that one does not like to think about. It seems to me that this is the opposite side of the coin to Rand's work and goes too far in the opposite direction, however one can see why unions where so important in the early 1900s in the U.S. and learn much about how some companies operate.
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