One hundred and fifty years after the establishment of land-based whaling in Australia, its last outpost is Angelus, a small town already struggling for survival. Long-dormant passions are awakened by the arrival of the conservationists, who threaten the town's livelihood and disturb the fragile peace under which its inhabitants live. "Full of strikingly described action ...an imaginative reconstruction of primitive whaling and the personal suffering involved ...Tim Winton, in this admirable novel, deals with pride, loneliness, longing for love and the struggle between nostalgic heroes and the heroism of compassion". ("The Times"). "All this is dazzling, dazzling. It makes the heart pound". ("Los Angeles Times"). "A moving and powerful elegy ...Winton writes vividly, and with courage, about serious matters in a cynical world. ("Observer"). "A major work by anyone's standards ...mysterious, painful and beautiful". ("Washington Post").