Boy Swallows Universe

Boy Swallows Universe

4.44 (22,915 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'The most extraordinary writer - a rare talent' Nikki Gemmell

An utterly wonderful novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age from one of Australia's most exciting new writers.

Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary drug dealer.

But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And he has to break into prison on Christmas Day, to save his mum.

A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 159 x 240 x 44mm | 730g
  • The Borough Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0008319251
  • 9780008319250
  • 1,633

Review quote

'Extraordinary ... you will want this' Joanna Cannon

'Many coming-of-age novels set in the 1980s are little more than a roll-call of pop songs, retro snack foods and chopper bikes. Not this one. This is a proper literary novel about addiction, poverty, parenting and the power of love ... Dalton has created an electric novel out of a troubled childhood ... it's a lively, funny affirmation of the human instinct for survival in a hostile environment' The Times

'Chock full of magic and what it really means to be a good person. The Bell brothers will stay with me for a very long time' Rachael Brown, Guardian

'Thrilling' New York Times

'Stellar ... makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison ...This is an outstanding debut' Publishers Weekly

'Boy Swallows Universe hypnotizes you with wonder, and then hammers you with heartbreak. The events of Eli's life are often fatal and tragic, but fate and tragedy do not overpower the story. Eli's remarkably poetic voice and his astonishingly open heart take the day. They enable him to carve out the best of what's possible from the worst of what is, which is the miracle that makes this novel marvellous' Washington Post

'Marvellous ... filled with beautifully lyric prose ... exceptional' Booklist (Starred Review)

'The best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade' Sydney Morning Herald

'The most extraordinary writer - a rare talent' Nikki Gemmell

'Unsuspectedly joyous... sad, warm, witty' The Australian
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About Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton is a staff writer for The Weekend Australian Magazine and a former assistant editor of The Courier-Mail. He's a two-time winner of a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, a three-time winner of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in NSW Journalism and a four-time winner of the national News Awards Feature Journalist of the Year. Boy Swallows Universe is his first book.
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Rating details

22,915 ratings
4.44 out of 5 stars
5 60% (13,722)
4 29% (6,572)
3 8% (1,902)
2 2% (469)
1 1% (250)
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