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This is a very entertaining selection of surprisingly well-written (by pulp standards) jungle tales. No jungle superheroes here. Rather, each story is told from the point-of-view of two rubber-plantation workers focusing on the folly of some evil-doer(s) leading to their well-deserved punishment; this does result in a certain sameness one story to the next, but this is mitigated by the author's flowing writing style, keen descriptive abilities, and the absence of Hollywood jungle movie cliches (keeping in mind these are set in the jungles of South America, not Africa). I lack the expertise to say whether these tales actually ARE more realistic than others of their ilk, but they certainly SEEM to be (due, no doubt, to a combination of Friel's firsthand Amazon jungle experience, creative imagination, and writing talent). There are occasionally SOME exaggerated plot elements; this is, afterall, pulp fiction, but overall there is a subdued and subtle, understated tone to these tales which adds to their crediblity. To conclude, this is an enjoyable collection that I would recommend to discriminating fans of the genre.
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