Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Rex Brandon #02 - Jungle Allies

The second installment of the jungle adventurer Rex Brandon series by Denis Hughes (1917-2008) has been reprinted by Bold Venture Press. It’s called Jungle Allies and it was originally published in 1951 under the pseudonym Marco Garon.

Rex Brandon is a world-famous geologist and big-game hunter who runs expeditions into the deepest part of Africa’s great Congo basin. In this adventure, the Belgians have engaged him to survey the jungle for mineral resources. He began his journey with 19 African “bearers” carrying Rex’s shit through the jungle, but he’s now down to a mere 15 due to accidents and whatnot with more carnage to follow.

One night while setting up camp along the fetid banks of a muddy river, Brandon happens upon a stumbling and exhausted white man along the river’s crocodile-infested shore. Brandon assists him back to camp and learns that he is an American named Jeff Lambert who was part of an archaeological expedition.

Lambert explains that his entire crew of academic archeologists was killed, and a female journalist named Naomi was captured by a fierce lost race of deep-jungle Africans. Fun Fact: The ferocious tribe holding the white chick is guarded by trained killer gorillas. With a challenge like that and a caucasian chick in-peril, it doesn’t take much convincing to send Rex on a rescue mission.

Along the way, they encounter a rogue elephant, a Pygmy tribe, hungry crocodiles, an attack-hippo, spear-chucking hostiles and a gang of pissed-off gorillas. There’s a lot of fun action spread throughout this economical 115-page novel. The series order is also irrelevant. You can safely start with this installment, if so inclined.

Jungle Allies is an exciting and fun African adventure book. However, you’ll need to set aside all of your modern sensibilities and remind yourself that this novel was written in 1951 when the idea of a “white savior” among savage Africans didn’t raise eyebrows. But if you enjoy an inventive and fun Indiana Jones-ish pulpy adventure, you’re sure to have a good time here. Recommended. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE.


  1. Okay, okay, "white saviour" I can deal with, "savage natives", sure, kidnapping a white woman, why not, employing "servants" to carry heavy loads, yeah, yeah ... but how dare you refer to a geologist's tools as "shit"!