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Sinclair Upton : Jungle (Sc) [Mass Market Paperback]

Upton Sinclair
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1960 Signet classics
Upton Sinclair Jr. (1878-1968), was a prolific American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres and was widely considered to be one of the best investigators advocating socialist views and supporting anarchist causes. He achieved considerable popularity in the first half of the 20th century. He gained particular fame for his 1906 novel The Jungle, which dealt with conditions in the U. S. meat packing industry and caused a public uproar that partly contributed to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. An early success was the Civil War novel Manassas, written in 1903 and published a year later. Originally projected as the opening book of a trilogy, the success of The Jungle caused him to drop his plans. Sinclair created a socialist commune, named Helicon Hall Colony, in 1906 with proceeds from his novel The Jungle.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Originally published in 1991 as part of a short-lived revival of the Classics Illustrated line, this adaptation of Sinclair's muckraking socialist novel succeeds because of its powerful images. When Kuper initially drew it, he was already a well-known left-wing comics artist. His unenviable task is condensing a 400-page novel into a mere 48 pages, and, inevitably, much of the narrative drama is lost. Kuper replaces it, however, with unmatched pictorial drama. The story follows Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkis and his family as they are eaten up and spit out by capitalism (represented by Chicago's packing houses). Kuper uses an innovative full-color stencil technique with the immediacy of graffiti to give Sinclair's story new life. When Jurgis is jailed for beating the rich rapist Connor, a series of panels suffused with a dull, red glow draw readers closer and closer to Jurgis's face, until they see that the glint in his eye is fire. Jurgis, briefly prosperous as a strong-arm man for the Democratic machine, smokes a cigar; the smoke forms an image of his dead son and evicted family. Perhaps most visually dazzling is the cubist riot as strikers battle police amid escaping cattle. Kuper infuses this 1906 novel with the energy of 1980s-era street art and with his own profoundly original graphic innovation, making it a classic in its own right.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–In 1906, Sinclair published The Jungle, a realistic and scathing portrayal of the life of an immigrant worker. Kuper's revised adaptation focuses solely on its hero, Jurgis Rudkus. Readers follow him from his emigration from Lithuania to downtown Chicago, eager to find the American Dream he's heard so much about. But the harsh world of Chi-town quickly shatters his hopes; forced to take a job at a slaughterhouse, he performs the most menial and vile tasks. An injury pushes him to unemployment and, unable to provide for them, he leaves his family in shame. Rudkus transforms from a starry-eyed dreamer into a cynical but valiant man who fights for workers' rights. Kuper's artwork effectively mimics some of the major art movements of the day. The book opens in a Chagall-inflected form of cubism, lending a folksy, dreamy, and hopeful quality to the early pages. Then, the visuals become increasingly jagged and frenetic until they reach the Futurist-inspired panels that illustrate the story's climax. Well-plotted and beautifully illustrated, Kuper's adaptation breathes new life into this classic American story.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Hope
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Upton Sinclair transports us into a realm beyond our imagination. "The Jungle", which takes place in the Chicago stockyards in the early 1900s, adequatley shows the cruel treatment of immigrants and poor working and living conditions of proletariat in that era. Descriptive passages on the preparation and lack thereof of meat in the stockyards will undoubtably make your stomach churn (I didn't even want to eat meat for days). The novel made me laugh and cry, and it is indeed a great classic to be enjoyed and reflected upon for decades to come.
The true beauty of this novel is in the subtle style in which Sinclair implanted his Socialist political views. After being gently set up throughout the text of the novel, Sinclair drives home Socialist views in the last two chapters. Later books, such as George Orwell's "1984", highlights the dangers of a Socialist government that ultimatley discredits Sinclair's opinions. Though I disagree with Socialist principles, the style in which they were presented in "The Jungle" is incomparable.
I recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a good read. This is one book that can go as deep as you want it to, whether you're reading it for pleasure or for English class. It will always be one of my personal favorites, and will hopefully become one of your's as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good History, Good Story Feb. 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So I had to read Sinclair's The Jungle for my history class, and through lack of a physical book I ended up reading most of it in one night and on my computer, since it's in the public domain now.
The book itself is pretty good. Rather easy to read in terms of language, and it draws you into the story of a family of Lithuanian immigrants and their struggles to survive in the early 1900's in Chicago. It tells of how the common worker is screwed at every corner, with scams of buying a house, losing his jobs at a moments notice, having to buy substandard, nutritionless food, and the dangers of working in factories with no concern for their safety or well-being. It was far too easy to get into an accident and lose a hand or get crushed it seems.
Jurgis, the main character, moves to America with the family of his love, Ona, to make their way in a new world. Having lost most of their prospects in their country, they decide to try and make it in America, a land rumored to be full of opportunity; there Ona and Jurgis could finally get married. Unfortunately, they didn't realize that most of the opportunities in America were not granted to honest workers. The book tells the entirely tragic story of the family as it is brought to its knees and torn apart, all the while exposing the treacheries of the industries in Chicago, mainly the meat packing business.
I don't want to give away too many details, so I won't go into specifics about the story of all that befalls poor Jurgis, but I do want to talk about the end a little bit. No worries, it has little to do with the story line. In the end, he discovers socialism through a town meeting, and the last portion of the book is devoted to a discussion of socialism, and how it will be America's saving grace.
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By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Having read this as a high school freshman, I decided to take a new look at "The Jungle". "The Jungle", a model of the propongandistic novel, is the tale of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant to the Packing house district of Chicago. Written in 1905, it tells the story of Jurgis' working class family which had come to America in search of a better life.
Arriving full of hope, Jurgis sought advancement through a home with the family, the Lithuanian Community, the Church, the industrial machine and politics. Time after time, the naive workman was taken by those whom Upton Sinclair regarded as the oppressors of the people. Every time Jurgis thought that he was a cog in the machine, he ended up being discarded when he was no longer useful to those in whom Jurgis had placed his trust.
Upton Sinclair was disappointed with the results of his book. Intended to win converts to socialism, it was his description of conditions in the packing houses which aided in the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
"The Jungle" can be appreciated on a number of levels. The action is well paced and holds the reader's interest. As a work of propaganda, it is a model specimen. As an historical insight, it lets the reader into the mind of an early Twentieth Century Socialist reformer. As a report of the life of the early industrial worker, it is entertaining, even if its details are exaggerated for effect. As a political statement, "The Jungle" is in the eyes of the reader. For the true believer, it conveys the truth. For the modern conservative, it is an antiquated and flawed view of the world, which, as time has shown, proposed a remedy which was never right. Which ever camp you fall into, or somewhere in between, "The Jungle" is worth a first, or a second, reading.
Was this review helpful to you?
By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read this as a high school freshman, I decided to take a new look at "The Jungle". "The Jungle", a model of the propongandistic novel, is the tale of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant to the Packing house district of Chicago. Written in 1905, it tells the story of Jurgis' working class family which had come to America in search of a better life.
Arriving full of hope, Jurgis sought advancement through a home with the family, the Lithuanian Community, the Church, the industrial machine and politics. Time after time, the naive workman was taken by those whom Upton Sinclair regarded as the oppressors of the people. Every time Jurgis thought that he was a cog in the machine, he ended up being discarded when he was no longer useful to those in whom Jurgis had placed his trust.
Upton Sinclair was disappointed with the results of his book. Intended to win converts to socialism, it was his description of conditions in the packing houses which aided in the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
"The Jungle" can be appreciated on a number of levels. The action is well paced and holds the reader's interest. As a work of propaganda, it is a model specimen. As an historical insight, it lets the reader into the mind of an early Twentieth Century Socialist reformer. As a report of the life of the early industrial worker, it is entertaining, even if its details are exaggerated for effect. As a political statement, "The Jungle" is in the eyes of the reader. For the true believer, it conveys the truth. For the modern conservative, it is an antiquated and flawed view of the world, which, as time has shown, proposed a remedy which was never right. Which ever camp you fall into, or somewhere in between, "The Jungle" is worth a first, or a second, reading.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exaggerated symbolism is not meant to mirror realism....
I am quite amused when I read the personal reviews of this book by people who struggle with whether or not Upton Sinclair was truthful or not about the conditions in the Chicago... Read more
Published on March 20 2012 by Ronald W. Maron
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book, annoying voice.
I got this audiobook to listen to in the car after listening to "Oil!" and was very excited to get into it, but, the man reading drove me crazy. Read more
Published on March 28 2011 by E. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...A masterpiece
This novel has so many meanings...Not only is it the story of a man that goes to America in search of a better life- it's the harsh critique of the reality of the American society. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by Maria E. More
5.0 out of 5 stars Book that must be read!
This is one of the best books of the 20th century. Read it. You will enjoy it. !
Published on May 20 2004 by John Doe
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinclair's Shocking Novel
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is the most shocking piece of literature that I have ever read. This almost compares with literature I have read about the Holocaust death camps,... Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by Trudy Schneider
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and accurate historical portrayal of immigrants.
This book is a wonderful look into the lives of an immigrant family in the early 1900's. Upton Sinclair was assigned to do an expose on the meatpacking industry in Chicago. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by "stoner67767"
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall
The Jungle was a powerful tale about an immigrating family with high hopes and dreams that come crashing down on them. Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2003 by cori@waterville-valley.sau48.k12.nh.us
4.0 out of 5 stars Cow Tastes Good
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a great book. It focuses on the hardships and despair of a family of Lithuanian immigrants, although in the end you're not quite sure what his focus... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003 by keith
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Factual Account; Mediocre Novel
Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," a tale of poverty and politics in early 1900's Chicago has many good and bad facets to it. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Dominic
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