Read The Metropolis by Upton Sinclair by Upton Sinclair, Fiction, Classics, Literary by Upton Sinclair Free Online
Book Title: The Metropolis by Upton Sinclair by Upton Sinclair, Fiction, Classics, Literary|
The author of the book: Upton Sinclair
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2244 times
Reader ratings: 7.6
Date of issue: January 1st 2007
ISBN 13: 9781603120388
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 21.52 MB
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Now before I begin, let me preface my review by saying that I loved "The Jungle". There was so many things to enjoy about that novel, aside from what it did for the meat packing industry. There was a real story there, characters you could relate with, or, at the very least, feel sorry for and hope the best for. And of course, who could forget the nasty (and true) details that Sinclair worked so hard to weave into that incendiary story?
With that in mind, I found myself drawn back to another classic after a 2 month gap. "The Metropolis" definitely seemed compelling enough. One, it was written by Sinclair (who as I just said is a master of the detail) and two, it appeared to be almost a "Great Gatsby"-esque kind of story (yet another classic that I found immensely more powerful after a second read through). What could possibly go wrong with both of those characteristics?
Well, the answer, unfortunately, is a lot. I'm not going to say that "The Metropolis" is a bad story. It's actually fairly compelling and if what Sinclair writes is true (and I have little doubt it is), the early 1900's must have been an insanely crazy, carefree, never ending party, kind of lifestyle. It's in these details that we see the immense fortunes and the seemingly infinite amounts of money those "In Society" would spend to stay relevant. Even now the boatloads of cash that these folks forked over is almost unbelievable. And the way they lived their lives mirrors almost modern-day celebrities.
The problem is that "The Metropolis" can get rather boring at times and the descriptions tend to ramble on far too often. What worked in "The Jungle" doesn't really have the same impact here. I don't know if Sinclair was attempting to give readers the same kind of grossed out feeling about high society as he was about the disgusting conditions of the Chicago stockyards, but for me, at least, it didn't work. Instead of make me hate the society of 1900 New York, it fascinated me, and, more often than not, bored me. Yes, at first, I couldn't put the book down as each described party was more over the top than the last, but after awhile, I didn't need to know the cost of every single flower, and the crab legs, and millions of dollars worth of diamonds in attendance.
And speaking of problems, it's the general plot. You can read the synopsis to see what this book is really about, but let's just say that doesn't come into play until just past the half-way point, and even then, it's wrapped up so quickly, you wonder if it was just a secondary idea to move Sinclair's lavish descriptions along.
That's not to say that the book doesn't work. In some parts, it's actually pretty good and moves right along. Montague's relationship with Mrs. Winnie grows and grows until it reaches a very believable climax and the tension Montague and his brother feel during their insider trading is palpable and tense. Even in the rather brief car scene is pretty entertaining. It's just that these parts are a little far and few between and rarely justify the large gaps of rather mundane material separating them.
I think that 3 stars is a fair enough rating for this one. It's not so boring that it's impossible to read, and there are some good parts in it, but when comparing this to better works of fiction, it just doesn't stack up. Can't say I regret reading it though.
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Read information about the authorUpton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). To gather information for the novel, Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover working in the meat packing plants of Chicago. These direct experiences exposed the horrific conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The Jungle has remained continuously in print since its initial publication. In 1919, he published The Brass Check, a muckraking exposé of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the “free press” in the United States. Four years after the initial publication of The Brass Check, the first code of ethics for journalists was created. Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence." In 1943, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Sinclair also ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Socialist, and was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1934, though his highly progressive campaign was defeated.