Boy Swallows Universe
by Trent Dalton
Pub Date 5 Jul 2018
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'Chock full of magic ... will stay with me for a long time' Rachael Brown, Guardian
An utterly wonderful novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age from one of Australia's most exciting new writers. The Indie Book of the Year 2019.
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.
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.
'Welcome to the weird and wonderful universe of Trent Dalton, whose first work of fiction is, without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade... profound and complex... The book is jam-packed with such witty and profound insights into what's wrong and what's right with Australia and the world... A rollicking ride, rich in philosophy, wit, truth and pathos' Sydney Morning Herald
'A story in thrall to the potential the world holds for lightness, laughter, beauty, forgiveness, redemption, and love... [Dalton] invests this unlikely cast and milieu with considerable energy, wit and charm' The Australian
'Trent Dalton is the most extraordinary writer - a rare talent' Nikki Gemmell
'An astonishing achievement. Dalton is a breath of fresh air - raw, honest, funny, moving, he has created a novel of the most surprising and addictive nature. Unputdownable' David Wenham
'Joyoyous. Simply joyous. I hugged myself as I read it. My heart raced, swelled, burst; my eyes leaked tears; my stomach ached from laughter. Boy Swallows Universe is - I can't think of a word more apt - magical. This vibrant, vital, altogether miraculous coming-of-age novel marks the debut of an exquisitely gifted storyteller... and what's more, it's transformative: After reading Trent Dalton's book, you won't be the same as you were before' A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
'A wonderful surprise: sharp as a drawer full of knives in terms of subject matter; unrepentantly joyous in its child's-eye view of the world; the best literary debut in a month of Sundays' The Weekend Australian
'Dalton's splashy, stellar debut makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison... In less adept hands, these antics might descend into whimsy, but Dalton's broadly observant eye, ability to temper pathos with humor, and thorough understanding of the mechanics of plot prevent the novel from breaking into sparkling pieces... This is an outstanding debut' Publishers Weekly
'A marvelously plot-rich novel, which... is filled with beautifully lyric prose... Exceptional' Booklist