The story of the extermination of the Tasmanian aborigines is almost unbearably sad. Its telling can be relieved only by a certain ironic attitude. The hero-villain of the book, George Augustus Robinson, is partly a resourceful knave, partly an admirable adventurer, partly even a figure of fun. The doomed Tasmanians are not all tarred with the same brush either: Trukanini has to decide whether to cooperate in the capture of her fellow Aborigines and be spared the worst herself. Other blacks are persuaded that a short removal from their ancestral land will save them from slaughter by the whites; they do not suspect the fate that awaits them.
Much more is to be found in the story Paradise Stolen.