A novel that has remained controversial since its writing, The Jungle is a brutal and unflinching look at the struggles of a turn-of-the-century immigrant family. The book is best remembered for its horrifying depiction of the meat-packing industry, but the book offers more than just those stomach-churning details. It is a heartbreaking view of life on the bottom of the industrial ladder, and a sensational warning against the worst abuses of industry run rampant.
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.
This book describes the horrors of capitalism in vivid and descriptive details. It is quite an interesting read.
Made me appreciate all I have
From the start to the very end my eyes were opened to all the wonder in my life from the basic safety and comfort of my home to my every self indulgence. Every page made me happier and reminded me to how blessed I am.
This book affected me like none other
I highly recommend it. It's a ferocious read