June 20, 2012

Latest Read: The Jungle

Here are the basics ...
Book: The Jungle 
Author: Upton Sinclair
Site: N/A but here's his wikipedia page
Category: Fiction








My thoughts...
Summary: 1906 bestseller shockingly reveals intolerable labor practices and unsanitary working conditions in the Chicago stockyards as it tells the brutally grim story of a Lithuanian family that emigrates to America full of optimism but soon descends into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and despair. A fiercely realistic American classic that will haunt readers long after they've finished the last page. (Taken from Amazon.com)

The good:
I wasn't sure if I could get into this book because it's a complete 180 from what I've been reading over the last year.  But a friend said it was his favorite book and that it should be my 51st read of the year.  Plus he bought it for me so.. can't argue with free! Turns out, I was able to get into it.  Not all of it but the parts pertaining to Jurgis Rudkis, his wife Ona and their family pulled me in.  Their story is a sad one and I'm not going to lie, it's also very depressing.  They all just keep getting hit with  one obstacle after another and you see how their dream of America doesn't match up with reality at all.  They can't catch a break and I think what kept me reading all the way to the end was the hope that they would.

The bad:
Unfortunately too much of the book felt like a history textbook to me.  It's well-written but I'm not really into politics.  I wanted to read more about the family.  Also when I started reading the book, I tweeted a picture of it and one of the responses I got was that I might want to become a vegetarian after.  She wasn't exaggerating and I'm glad I got the warning.  I made sure to skim through those parts. (I like my cheeseburgers thank you very much.)

Do I recommend?:  
Tough call.  Yes it's well-written and a true, sad tale of a family's struggle, not to mention a true story of the working conditions during that time.  If you're into history, this is probably a good book for you.  If not.. you might want to skip on this one.  

Happy reading! 

1 comment:

  1. this book is what caused the government to form the FDA. I had to read this for AP US History class and it probably was best that you skimmed the food parts. I couldn't eat meat for like a week!

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