donald t wardlow
I was prompted to revisit this old gem because of the recent peanut butter scare. At least, to-day, the perpetrators of that crisis will be dealt with. It wasn't always so, as this book clearly states. This book is a difficult assignment, but the narrator clearly worked long and hard to pronounce the Lithuanian words and proper names. This is a man who brings a book to life--many narrators can't, or won't. This book is not intended for the young, or the faint of heart, as the descriptions of brutality, and the descriptions of conditions under which food was once prepared, are nearly as graphic as Edward R. Murrow's rendering of Buchenwald.
I know this is a fiction but sometimes while I was listening to this audio book I can't help but to think that this is the life of an immigrant back in the 1900's. Very compelling story.
Chicago Poverty Politics
Maybe. The story is well written, but tugs too hard on the empathy of the reader, leaving one feeling dazed and a little used at the end.
The voices! He gives each character a unique and individual voice, and he does the myriad accents in the story so well. I bought this audiobook specifically because he was the one narrating it.
I was grossed out at the descriptions of the meat packing plants, and felt pity for the poor immigrant workers in the story. Then I was whacked upside the head with SOCIALISM!
If you have to read this story for school, get this audiobook instead. Paul Boehmer's reading makes it much more dramatic and interesting. If I had to read it on my own, I never would have finished it.
Opposite of Atlas Shrugged
The misery faced by the main character.
The death of his wife in childbirth
The ending was a disappointment. It was more of a sermon or a lecture.
really great book for anyone who is interested in history or anyone who eats meat. if you think the meat industry has changed much... think again.
Everything the summary says is true: The Jungle is a vivid portrait of life and death in a turn-of-the-century American meat-packing factory. And a very effective one at that. However, one thing that bothered me personally is that the characters and events in the book are basically nothing more than instruments, used by Sinclair to illustrate his points. Working conditions in the meat packing factory were horrifying? Let's have a character go through all the possible positions in the industry to illustrate this. The political system was corrupt? Our character can also witness that first hand. New immigrants fell prey to real estate scams? By all means, let's have that too. And so on. With the exception of the (excellent) first chapter and a handful of moving scenes later in the book, I felt there was no real existence to the characters, other than as illustrations. So, as a piece of social commentary, I would rate this a five-star book, but as a novel much less. It basically depends on what you're looking for: if you're looking for Dickens, this is not the book for you. But for what it is, it's a very good book, superbly read.
My name is Ted and my wife is Sandy. I am a school teacher in Montana. I teach math and History. I live on 40 acres south of Great Falls.
I am a history teacher. The listen is as good as when I read the book 40 years ago. Fantastic, every worker in th US should listen to this book.
Magnificently written!!! So much detailed!!! So real!!!! I had a great time listening to this book. I could not stop it!!! It was very catching!!! Congratulation for the author!!! The narrator was fantastic too!!!
I wanted to like it, even though I knew I disagreed with Upton Sinclair on just about everything. Halfway through the book I was amazed at how much I liked some of the protagonist's actions and beliefs. I was stunned by Sinclair's narrative--others find it unreadable and juvenile, but I really got a kick out of his literary skills. The constant diabolus ex machina (devil in the machine) that put unbelievable circumstances in Jorgis' path so he could fail, time and time again, to make the right choices, became formulaic. Then Deus Ex Machina, as socialism rides in to save the day, and to show Jorgis that salvation is possible despite his lack of accountability.
MAJOR SPOILERS! The ending. I am as pro-capitalist as a man gets, so I was excited at the damage Sinclair did to the socialist cause. The man who resonates the most with the socialist speaker is the man (Jorgis) who consistently makes poor, uninformed decisions (despite the fact he has the capacity and resources around him to educate himself), and does not seem capable to ever admit that those choices might have been a proximal cause of his sorrow. Jorgis is a man sans accountability. He is abusive, physically and emotionally, to his family members, and solves issues with others like a brutish teenager. Additionally, he learns the system well enough to participate in organized crime, but is not smart enough to exploit that system himself, either by rising through the ranks and building a skillset, or by enhancing his roles within the crime syndicate, or by asking the syndicate to help him take care of his interpersonal issues with Connor (which would have kept him from his final trouble).
I liked the performance, but the narrator changed for a couple of chapters. I hate this, as it is hard to get used to another narrator.
Loved the descriptions at the beginning. The level of character development was spot-on (could have used more about Ona). And I am sure the description of Chicago's business realm, where politicians, businessmen, and criminals were incredibly intertwined, had a great grain of truth. But it became too much.
Sinclair had a ton of potential that, in my opinion, he wasted on a really bad ending.
I hate books or philosophies that refer to business owners as idle men who reap the benefits of the working class after doing nothing. Private ownership of the means of production means that a man can own a business; but to keep it and to avoid being overrun by competitors who offer the same service or products at lower prices, the man has to work harder than any man on the killing beds. Jorgis had an immense potential to raise himself up; nothing kept him from this except for his own choices. Honestly, when your buddy says,
"One of the most memorable books ever"
I have always been an avid reader, and with time it gets harder and harder to find books, which would get anywhere near your favourites. 'The Jungle' was a REAL find, and immediately made it into my 'top 25'. It is one of the most deeply touching, powerful and memorable books I've ever read, and could not recommend it more highly.
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