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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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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.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 03-16-14

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?

31 of 39 people found this review helpful

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the ending was just preechy dialogue

yo I loved the first 3/4ths of the book. It was beautifully written, it was emotional, and it told the story in a matter-of-fact way that still left room for prose. But the end part was just guys talking about socialism. And it didn't even give an end to Jurgis's plot, which was what I was invested in. It's like Sinclair decided halfway through that he wanted to preech instead of tell a story and that pisses me off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Start, Propaganda Ending

This book started with a compelling story that was interesting, moving, and engaging. I liked the characters.

It was pretty predictable because whenever things started to look up, you would get a phrase like "but then." And everything would go down hill.

The end devolves into a socialist lecture reminiscent of Ayn Rand's page after page of preaching at the reader. That was lazy story telling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good until Socialist manifesto

Upton Sinclair is a socialist. The last few chapters are a pamphlet. Bad ending to the main story. Incredible history of Chicago. The novel itself has historical significance as it brought about major changes in the meat packing industry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I read this book 30 years ago. Powerful book.

Highschool English 1983. I remember hating the beginning of the book but was hooked within a few chapters. This is a worthwhile audio book weather you read the text or not. Great performance!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lynn
  • louisville, Cayman Islands
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really good

never heard of this author and book. a wonderful surprise and now I'm looking forward to reading "Oil"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome audiobook!

Of all the audiobooks of the jungle, this is the best one yet! It goes at a little faster pace so you can finish it faster.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Jarrad
  • 01-31-18

couldn't stop listening to this

a compelling tale from beginning to end, coupled with a masterful narrator make this an essential listen.

as relevant now as it was at the time of writing.