Customer Reviews for

The Jungle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Average Rating 4
( 318 )
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(133)

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2 Star

(18)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

My favorite book of all time

I read this book back when I was in middle school and to this day (starting graduate school soon) it still remains my favorite book of all time. Even though I am a Laissez-faire Capitalist and am not too fond of the last chapter, I am a vegetarian and someone who is goi...
I read this book back when I was in middle school and to this day (starting graduate school soon) it still remains my favorite book of all time. Even though I am a Laissez-faire Capitalist and am not too fond of the last chapter, I am a vegetarian and someone who is going into public service. I still find it interesting that Sinclair's book had to be toned down because if he had described the situation even more accurately, readers wouldn't have been able to keep down their lunches. I love how he tells the story of this immigrant family. The first chapter is a little slow, but it really helps the reader to understand how difficult it can be to blend two cultures.. and it is also symbolic because the tail end of the wedding celebration foreshadows the family's hardships that are later to come. If you have never read this book.. please do so ASAP.

posted by AggieFencer on March 27, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

....

Seriously dude!! How do you expect Glimmer to like you when all you do is go on and on about how much you hate her? Great tactics man!! Seriously! That is not the way to win someone's heart, and going on about how much you love them isn't going to help either.

posted by Anonymous on February 5, 2013

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    just o.k.

    i don't feel like there was good resolution to the main charcter.

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  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Must Buy!!!

    I had to read this for history class and I'm GLAD I DID! This book is so much fun to read and worth buying. Great book!

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Ugh

    This was a terrible book. It was too long and just nasty. Do not read if you are not a vegitarian! Had to read this in my American History class in high school.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Eh, I'm glad it was free....

    I really wanted this book to be good. It gives a vivid description of "worker" life at the turn of the century, yet the ending leaves something untold. The book is filled with atrocities that leave the reader wanting to know what happens to it's characters, however the reader is left with socialist propaganda to ponder...Like I said, I'm glad the download was free.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Not the best...

    I had to read this book for English, and right away, there was something about the beginning that made me NOT want to read it. I wasn't lazy or anything, it's just a very unappealing book. The events are unrealistic and the message of socialism is basically shouted at you towards the end of the novel. Definitely not one of my favorites. :/

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    A sad tale

    This is the book that drove Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act. It is more of a tale of immigrants finding their way than a description of the meatpacking industry. The plot follows a Lithuanian immigrant named Jurgis Rudkus, whose family falls apart as time progresses. His wife dies, his son drowns in a street, his immediate family is torn apart. Jurgis even becomes a cog in the graft machine. The tale may be a bit exaggerated; Jurgis is a combination of the experiences many immigrants at the time were having.
    The descriptions of the way meat was treated are disgusting. The only annoying part of the book was the last 1/4 or so basically being a socialist manifesto. It was moving given the character's condition.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    THE JUNGLE GONE WILD

    Taylor Deats

    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair, was published in 1965. "The Jungle" is a fiction book. I picked thus book because we learned about Upton Sinclair in Social Studies, and his book looked interesting.
    "The Jungle" is about health issues in the late 1800's. The main character in this book is a boy named Jurgis. The book takes place in a meat packing factory in Chicago. During the time this book came out Theodore Roosevelt was president and he read the book. Theodore said after reading this book every factory must pass with an inspection.
    The book is very interseting. I would suggest you to read it, the reason why you shouldn't read it is because it takes for ever to get to the excitement and the story. I would rate this book 3 stars out of 5 because of the beginning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    Tragic

    This was a tragic account of a Lithuanian man and his family who came to America seeking freedom, but only found more hardships than they had in Lithuania. It was upsetting to see Jurgis, the protagonist, and his family fall apart in a society that was unrealistically cruel to the proletariat. The description of the harsh working conditions and the poor wages made the story even more depressing. However, there was a good ending when the idea of Socialism came into play. I was very much affected by this story and was almost sad when it was over. There were parts that I thought were great. On the other hand, there were parts that had a lot of detail which I had trouble understanding. A valuable book.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    is jungle appropiate for younger teens or older pre-teens

    i mean is it appropiate for ages 12-18?can anyone tell me?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Propaganda with a Purpose

    The Jungle / 978-1-411-43387-8 Propaganda is, by its very nature, always the least subtle of art forms. Make no mistake about it, The Jungle is propaganda. But it is propaganda with a root and a purpose, and Sinclair does not disappoint. He tells the harrowing tale of immigrants to America who find, slowly, painfully, that their sweet, naive natures make them easy pickings for the vultures who have gathered to feast on them. Workers work long hours for little pay, under hazardous conditions, with nothing but a "Bad luck, Chuck" and a pat on the back if maimed or killed at the workplace. Leases for housing and furniture are written in incomprehensible legalese and the lawyers hired to protect them are in league with the owners seeking to cheat them. Even a staple like food works against them, as they unwittingly drink milk colored with white paint to cut prices and boost sales. The food they eat kills them, the house they live in consumes them, the work they do destroys them. By the time they realize that the only "real" way to get along in this cold world would have been to become wolves themselves (if only the women had been hooking all this time, one woman laments tearfully), it is too late - their children are cold and dead, their lives are ruined. This book is a stunning reminder to each of us the sheer amount of trust we place in the world around us. We trust that the food we eat will not poison us, despite knowing that the regulatory agencies that 'care' for us are deeply politically and financially tied to those who we are supposed to be protected from. We trust that the contracts we sign will be honored, that the mortgages we contract will be legitimate. We trust that if the worst happens at our workplace, we and our family will be cared for. Sinclair reminds us that life is not always so simple, and is never so simple for the poorest of us. ~ Ana Mardoll

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Book That Effects Everyones Lives Today

    Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" is a Forest Gump like romp through life in early twentith century life in and around Chicago's meat packing district. Originally published as a serial published by a Socialist newsletter. Sinclair was later able to self publish full version himself about a year later. The book, which meant to spotlight the difficult and unfair working conditions in the stockyards managed to change instead the way we eat. The main character is a Lithuanian immigrant who finds himself examinine society, culture, labor and politics from many different points of view through the story. Never have I read a story that packed so much tragedy upon one man within the span of one novel. The man suffers physically, mentally and economically in so many different ways. Yet it is somehow completely believeable and not overboard as it could easily have been. Though the book is a work of fiction, it is very much like reading the story of real lives from the past. I'm sure this life is not uncommon for the times. In fact, despite being over 100 year old, this story could easily be mistaken for something that takes place in recent times. The only disappointment I had in the book was the political soap boxing that take place at the end. Some classics are known for the markets they leave on their genre or literature and the written word. This is a classic for the mark it left on our culture.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    Chicago at It's Worst!

    Imagine a period of time when there where meat packing plants that produced us products made from tubercular beef, cholera infested pork and even humans after they accidentally fell in lard rendering vats.

    It's a horrible thought but it happened in the Chicago meat packing plants during the early 1900's.

    Follow the story of Jurgis and his family as they struggle through slave wages, unfair housing, prostitution, crime, sickness and death as they try to assimilate into American culture.

    I don't recommend reading this on a weak stomach.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    An Interesting and Informative Read

    The Jungle is an investigative narrative based off the author Upton Sinclair's own experiences in the Chicago stockyards. While famous for detailed descriptions of foul meat (which led to the creation of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906), for me the novel had the most impact in connecting the reader with the characters. I felt personally inserted into the struggles of Jurgis Rudkis and his immigrant family. Every downward turn in their lives made me read on to see a sign of light in their future. Unfortunately, the family is constantly bombarded by tragedy after tragedy: this was one of the few negative aspects of the novel. Though definitely not for the faint of heart, I recommend Upton Sinclair's The Jungle to everyone and anyone.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic exposure of capitalism

    This great novel exposes the appalling, brutal exploitation of American workers. Upton Sinclair shows how the employer uses unemployment to keep wages low and conditions vile.

    He also shows how the employer Durham used immigration to undermine the workers. "The Bohemians had come then, and after them the Poles. People said that old man Durham himself was responsible for these immigrations; he had sworn that he would fix the people of Packingtown so that they would never again call a strike on him, and so he had sent his agents into every city and village in Europe to spread the tale of the chances of work and high wages at the stockyards. The people had come in hordes; and old Durham had squeezed them tighter and tighter, speeding them up and grinding them to pieces, and sending for new ones. The Poles, who had come by tens of thousands, had been driven to the wall by the Lithuanians, and now the Lithuanians were giving way to the Slovaks."

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  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Proves the Importance of Organized Labor

    This book accurately depicts how American workers were treated by employers before there were unions and employee rights. It demonstrates why unions are good and necessary, especially in our greedy, capitalistic society.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing Conclusion

    It is no secret that Upton Sinclair was an avowed Socialist and that he wrote his "muckraking masterpiece," The Jungle, primarily as a manifesto for his developing ideology, despite its primary impact being in the production of foodstuffs. I am by no means a Socialist, nor do I espouse even mildly socialistic ideas; I believe that Capitalism best keeps in check the natural imperfections of Man. That said, however, I consider myself a very open-minded person, and I approached Sinclair's novel without any negative preconceptions; but by the time I turned the final page, I felt considerably disappointed, for The Jungle possesses so much potential but ultimately misses the mark.

    The story centers around a large family of Lithuanian immigrants--particularly Jurgis Rudkus--who come to Packingtown (in Chicago) hoping to find the American Dream but ultimately struggling to survive in conditions of unspeakable vice, squalor, and misery. Naturally, in order to achieve his goals, Sinclair must begin the narrative slowly, exposing all of Packingtown's atrocities and paying little attention to his characters. Consequently, the book's opening is merely average and even somewhat slow (and this from someone whose favorite novel is War and Peace). However, towards the middle the narrative comes alive as Sinclair develops Jurgis's character and persona and begins to delve into his psyche as he reacts to tragedy, loss, and oppression. Sinclair continues in this vein for some time, achieving moments of high literary excellence, but in the last 50 pages or so, he drops the character sketch he has begun and hurriedly spouts his clunky Socialist propoganda, largely ruining what might have been a quality conclusion. Now, mind you, I'm not necessarily against propoganda if the author manages to believably weave it into his story, but on this account Sinclair fails. He is certainly not subtle, and he essentially abandons his central story in the end, which I consider very unfortunate. Ultimately, The Jungle is definitely worth your time--both on account of its historical value and literary potential--but, if you are anything like me, I believe you will find yourself sorely disappointed. Give me The Grapes of Wrath any day.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Critical, Historical, Frightening Tale

    Upton Sinclair changed my perspection of business, meat, society, and myself. This book is not particularly easy to read, but it is definitely a MUST READ. The book is known for how it changed the meat packing industry - but it should have also made a difference in how immigrants are treated, but even more importantly, how we treat the poor.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love this classic!

    This book is my all time favorite. My most recent purchase was for a student who was introduced to it by me and then read a section in his English class. He wanted to read the rest of the book, but did not have the money to purchase it or the transportation to get it from the library. The Jungle is a classic unfolding the times of the early Chicago stockyards and the treatment of its employees as well as the conditions in which the food was slaughtered and then canned.

    As a Family and Consumer Science teacher (formerly known as Home Ec) I encourage all of my foods students to read this book. It covers how the laws of food slaughtering and production changed in the late 1800's to early 1900's.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My Favorite Novel

    This is my favorite book. It is the best explanation of the American experience and the beginning of unions. This is why workers unite.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2009

    This Novel Is Not For All Readers

    I had to read this novel for AP U.S. History class. I, like others, understood the immense impact this novel posed on American society and legislature at the time. However, I found this book to be a very boring read; it takes a long time to read a simple chapter, and Sinclair's writing is horrid - the grammar is completely wrong, and semi colons are applied where there should be commas! The story drags on and on, from one tragedy to another, and one may dread having to turn to the next chapter or even the next page. I was assigned to read the novels "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which also had a profound effect on American society, and "A Rise to Rebellion." I enjoyed both of those novels; but as for "The Jungle": two thumbs down. Here's a word of advice to those students that have to read this novel: read about 30 pages a day and no more than that. In other words, read little by little, and plan to spend a little over a week on it. To those that wish to read it for pleasure: good luck.

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