How hard is it to kill, as a hunter on a Kangaroo cull, as a worker in an abattoir, as an executioner in a prison, as a soldier at war?
Ninety years after World War I, police in a Victorian country town uncover the mummified head of a Turkish soldier, a bullet-ridden souvenir brought home from Gallipoli by a returning ANZAC. The macabre discovery sets Jeff Sparrow on a quest to understand the nature of deadly violence. How do ordinary people—whether in today's wars or in 1915—learn to take a human life? How do they live with the aftermath?
These questions lead Sparrow through history and across Australia and the USA, talking to veterans and slaughtermen, executioners and writers about one of the last remaining taboos. Compassionate, engaged and political, Killing takes us up close to the ways society kills today, meditating on what violence means, not just for perpetrators, but for all of us.