The Jungle

Written by:
Upton Sinclair
Narrated by:
Tom Weiss

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2016
16 hours 4 minutes
It is the end of the 19th century. Like thousands of others, the Rudkus family has emigrated from Lithuania to America in search of a better life. As they settle into the Packingtown neighborhood of Chicago, they find their dreams are unlikely to be realized. In fact, just the opposite is quite likely to occur. Jurgis, the main character of the novel, has brought his father Antanas, his fiancée Ona, her stepmother Teta Elzbieta, Teta Elzbieta's brother Jonas and her six children, and Ona's cousin Marija Berczynskas along. The family, naïve to the ways of Chicago, quickly falls prey to con men and makes a series of bad decisions that lead them into wretched poverty and terrible living conditions. All are forced to find jobs in dismal working conditions for their very survival. Jurgis, broken and discouraged, eventually finds solace in the American Socialist movement.

This novel was written during a period in American history when "Trusts" were formed by multiple corporations to establish monopolies that stifled competition and fixed prices. Unthinkable working conditions and unfair business practices were the norm. The Jungle's author, Upton Sinclair, was an ardent Socialist of the time. Sinclair was commissioned by the "Appeal To Reason", a Socialist journal of the period, to write a fictional expose on the working conditions of the immigrant laborers in the meat packing industry in Chicago. Going undercover, Sinclair spent seven weeks inside the meatpacking plants gathering details for his novel.

The Reader wishes to gratefully acknowledge the assistance, and patience, of Professor Giedrius Subacius (University of Illinois) and the folks at Lituanus for their invaluable support as I struggled with Lithuanian pronunciations. Truly, this audio book would have been far more difficult, and far less authentic, without their help.

And now, feel free to wander into The Jungle....... (Summary by Tom Weiss)
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A book that should be heard. The narrator took a few chapters to get used to or appreciate but overall it works with the tone of the book.

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A classic. Could have been read better

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Matthew Hornbaker

This book takes a riveting journey of a Lithuanian man named Jurgis as he tries to make due in early 20th century Chicago. I truly believe that much of what Sinclair talks about in his book can be said true for what our world looks like today. I felt the story line flowed nicely, and the narrator read it well. I truly recommend this book to anyone who wants a glimpse of a time when America did not look so hot for "blue collar" workers.

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Cris Sayago

Great book, however it felt like Sinclair couldn’t have given Jurgis a proper ending so he crammed in a communist propaganda pamphlet and called it good. The narrator sounded like he was giving a college lecture instead of reading the book and a bit too monotone for my liking.

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Narrator was great easy to listen Good story shows how nothing much has changed the few becoming rich on the backs of the many

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Matt H.

Should have known it was going to turn into some bolshevik propaganda piece near the end. Otherwise was good.

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