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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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  • Story

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 18 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.

24 of 25 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 38 people found this review helpful

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Educational

This is a good read so people can see how a society lives when most of the money and power is in the hands of a few. We are returning to that condition in the US. It came with the introduction of computers. We again hàve many people needing a job that pays enough to support a family without everyone working, while a few have 5 houses and more money than they can spend. .We all need to vote. Maybe it can work, but we need an educated voter to see through media distortion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray
  • West Deptford, NJ, United States
  • 12-15-15

ENGAGING AS EVER

I first read this book when I was in college about fifty years ago. It is especially interesting to re-engage it when Bernie Sanders, a democratic-socialist, is running for President. This book helped usher in the badly needed Progressive Movement. It advocates the need for pure food protection, worker protection and respect and the benefits of Socialism. If propaganda ever has value, this is it. Grover Gardner does an excellent job as narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic for a reason!

If this book doesn't make you think about humanity I don't know what would. It is an amazing and painful story of what the poor immigrants went through before there were laws in place to protect the common worker. I highly recommend this book if you want a glimpse back in time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meat packers

The book was very interesting. The conditions and work hours were horrible. To think that society is serious in accumulating gain for the sake of people lives is horrendous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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awesome book

this was an unusually awesome novel with an exceptional ending. the detailed oriented writing was great top listen to but hard to read, thus the audio book. so glad they had this available.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hits a mark unexpected

This is a classic story written to advance Socialism in the early 20th Century but gave birth to the FDA and raised national awareness about food equality. Opens the window on living conditions of immigrants to Chicago and to Chicago politics. Puts me in touch with what my grandparents might have experienced. I read this once a year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • valgy
  • Long Valley, NJ
  • 10-15-15

Great Listen

Any additional comments?

I was forced to read this book in High School and I hated it. Listening to it 30 years later made me realize exactly why I hated it then and LOVE it now. I was too young to "get it" then and also too young to care. The story is classic, the narrator wonderful, the ending?... meh.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful