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The Jungle Paperback – February 21, 2014
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The appeal of home ownership quickly becomes their undoing. They invest their life savings as the downpayment and due to unplanned costs of homeownership (interest, taxes, repairs, etc), they quickly fall behind in their finances. This requires all family members to seek employment, which allows them to hold their heads above water. Unfortunately, the seasonal swings of work, ill health and brutal Chicago winters lead to further financial struggles.
A variety of further circumstances such as death, illness and infidelity lead to choices that continue to test the morals of the characters. Each struggle with the choices necessary for their survival. All are changed forever by the "evils" of the system.
The story details the horrific working conditions of the Stockyards laborers, the deplorable practices followed by the meat packing industry itself and the corruption associated with a capitalistic system. Yes, socialism is an underlying theme in this novel that becomes more evident at novel end.
Overall a very well written novel that provides a glimpse into the despicable conditions endured by the labor force of the Stockyards. No issues with the Kindle edition.
The repeated sufferings of Jurgis and his family are akin to an overwhelming symphony of sorrowful songs. As his family is driven deeper into debt, his body worn down, and his life's zeal and love slowly strangled, Jurgis' desperation becomes palpable, and if you can't sympathize with his feelings at the loss of his family's home--a structure they worked so hard for--check your pulse. You might be dead.
The book contains some of the most horrific depictions in all of literature, including a mercifully oblique reference to a child's death by being eaten alive by rats. Although the novel focuses on Jurgis primarily, it is the children--the laboring little people--who elicit the most sympathy in this reader's view. Struggling to support their family, escaping extremely dangerous situations (one little girl is nearly dragged into an alley and raped), sleeping on the street, and begging desperately for food--the appalling conditions being visited upon children as described in "The Jungle" still have the power to arouse strong anger and outrage, over a century after its initial publication.Read more ›
"The Jungle" begins with one of the better Prologues of a Cussler novel in some time. Set in Eastern China, 1281 A.D. We are eyewitnesses to the battle tactics of General Khenbish, who is in the employ of the great Khan. We learn the history of the three tents that precede each battle; and the first known uses of lasers and dynamite on the battlefield. A walled village is obliterated because its leader dared to provoke the wrath of Khan. It is the independent observer who accompanies Khenbish that is the real surprise at the end of the opening chapter.
The story leaps from the past into the present, just four months ago. The tendrils that connect the two begin to reveal themselves; and the adventure begins.
The summary of "The Jungle" alludes to their many types: real, imagined, physical, and politcal. Readers will enjoy finding their way through all of them. It's easy to see why the "Oregon" files have eclipsed the Dirk Pitt series. The writing here is far superior to what the two Cusslers are generating together. A hat tip to Upton Sinclair, whose book inspired the title.
Sinclair widely utilized the metaphor of the jungle (survival of the fittest, etc.) throughout this book to reflect how the vulnerable worker is at the mercy of the powerful packers and politicians. Mother Nature is represented as a machine who destroys the weak and protects the elite powerful. To illustrate his sentiments Sinclair wrote of family of Jurgis and Ona who immigrated to Chicago from Lithuania in search of the American dream. They arrive in all innocence and believe that hard work would result in a stable income and security. But they soon realize that all the forces are against them. During the subsequent years Jurgis tries to hold on what he has but he is fighting a losing battle. It is not until he stumbles upon a political meeting that his eyes upon the evils of capitalism and the sacredness of socialism.
If one is to read THE JUNGLE, then they should do themselves a favor and seek out this version. It is the original, uncensored version that Sinclair originally intended to publish.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have purposely not picked up a Cussler book, just because I thought he was a simple main stream, run of the mill, pop culture writer. Well...not so. I really enjoyed this book. Read morePublished 1 day ago by R. B. Snoddy
Not the best Cussler and Co book I have read. Too many improbable physical recoveries and nonsense technical statements. I remain a fan.Published 1 day ago by magoo
Sinclair is a dry read. Expounds on his socialistic ideals! Was a must read for class!!! He did, from his writings help begin clean up of the meat production industry.Published 3 days ago by William Graham
From studying American History years ago, I knew there were many dangerous practices in the preparation of meat products with little or no govt oversight. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Dan Jantsch
It's a classic. Be ready for some gritty descriptions of meat packing plants, unsanitary, unsafe, and grueling work, spoiled meat shipped to soldiers.Published 7 days ago by Yvonne Evans
Takes you from the bottom to the top of Human Experience wonderfully
Words pregnant with meaning create a delicious reality in this classic