Gary Disher the author, is South Australian born. His account of pre and post First World War times in Australia is horrible and shocking. A scrap-man tries to make a living but he is a womanizer and a drunk, who frequents pubs and is violent. The reader welcomes his death and hopes that his assistant, a child, purchased for 9 shillings and sixpence will survive, despite not being able to read or write. A chilling tale.