Heralded by the English press as an Australian Grapes of Wrath, this book seems to us to lack the sparkle, the vitality of Steinbeck, while having somewhat the same sociological theme, the same accuracy of detail and reflection of spirit. A story of life ""on the track"" in Australia's Middle West, of vagrants (known as bagmen) on the dole or wandering from town to town, collecting their hand-outs, brawling, pilfering, occasionally working. A robust job -- done in the argot of the itinerants. Episodic, lacking momentum and failing to engage one's sympathy with individuals, though some of them emerge with a good deal of sharpness. Well done, but somewhat monotonous.