Publisher's synopsis

On the shores of Botany Bay lies an oil refinery where workers are free to come and go – but they are also part of an unrelenting, alienating economy from which there is no escape. In the first of his three Miles Franklin Award-winning novels, originally published in 1971, David Ireland offers a fiercely brilliant comic portrait of Australia in the grip of a dehumanising labour system.

‘It has been my aim to take apart, then build up piece by piece, this mosaic of one kind of human life . . . to remind my present age of its industrial adolescence.’ – David Ireland


Winner 1971 Miles Franklin Award