Tsiolkas is good at nuancing the psychology of sexual exploitation and its associated violence; racism directed at Aborigines and the conflict of traditional cultures with modern Australian society. In these stories he uses different narrated settings to show how shockingly selfish and inhuman our nature remains in spite of politically correct veneers, and what tragedy inheres our best attempts at relationships. Hard-hitting and provocative.
His voice drops. 'I hate them. Every last fucking one of them. I work my arse off to feed and clothe my family, drive these bloody trucks across the continent three, four times a month, and then have to pay most of it back to the government so it can waste it on these ugly bastards who won't work, can't make anything, have never been good for anything.' The hate in his voice is hot. It blows hard into my face. 'I reckon we need to kill each and every one of them. The women and children too ...'