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Publisher's Summary

An utterly wonderful novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane's violent working class suburban fringe - 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, a legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol 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 listen to all year.

"Enthralling - a moving account of sibling solidarity and the dogged pursuit of love." (Geoffrey Robertson QC)

"Stunning. My favourite novel for decades. Left me devastated but looking to the heavens." (Tim Rogers)

©2018 HarperCollins Publishers Australia pty Ltd (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Australia pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"I couldn't stop reading from the moment I started, and I still can barely speak for the beauty of it. Trent Dalton has done something very special here, writing with grace, from his own broken heart." (Caroline Overington)

"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)

"I couldn't stop reading from the moment I started, and I still can barely speak for the beauty of it. Trent Dalton has done something very special here, writing with grace, from his own broken heart." (Caroline Overington)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • J
  • 09-12-18

Entertaining but needs an editor

Dalton’s use of metaphor was excellent at times, stretched at others. I can wear that, and I get that he’s aiming at an Australian audience, hence the many references to so many Australian consumer products. I did feel though that the manuscript needed a good edit. (‘he said inquiringly, she said cautiously....etc.). There was also a fair bit of repetition, there are only so many ways to say the same thing. I made it almost halfway before the authors use of adverbs drove me nuts and I couldn’t go on. Plenty of gems in this book, overall 2 stars.

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  • Al
  • 07-01-18

Exceptional

I selected this book without much thought but can't recommend it highly enough. The performance by the reader was perfect too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-08-18

Hard to press stop!

This was a wonderfully written and read. It brought Queensland in 80's to life. Highly recommend this title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-21-18

Great Australian story

nostalgic, mysterious, engaging storyline which pulls you in with it's plot and touches on some great themes through the eyes of a really loveable main character. Narrators performance is fantastic

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  • Deborah Davis
  • 10-20-18

An extraordinary tale

An exquisitely told story about growing up and making sense of extraordinary events that take place in Brisbane of the 1970s and 1980s. A place that was deceptively ordinary and socially conservative on it's surface but seething with darkness and corruption. Dalton's portrayal of his childhood landscape is very recognisable to anyone growing up in South East Queensland during this time. The author deals with the darker side of Brisbane with the magical thinking required for this place and time to make sense.

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  • Philip
  • 10-17-18

A most unusual and original book

Although this novel is seen through the eyes of a young boy, it is not a teenage but an adult book; also in the genre of a black comedy. There is an element of literary alongside the profane and streetwise. Importantly, the narrator is very much part of this book and he makes you think it is his book. SW is remarkable mimic, with a sense of irony and he jumps from character to character, across genders separating each personas with ease. The characters are vivid. I really enjoyed this book. Quite unique.

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  • Gary Atkins
  • 10-15-18

A gripping and nostalgic read

Loved every word. Explicitly painted pictures of characters and culture from another era. Well narrated to cover many different accents and emotions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-14-18

I love the narration

The amazing narration brought this fantastic story to life. It was a gripping read and throughly enjoyed during my drive to and from work

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-18

Worth pursuing

Very solid story with great storytelling. It took a while to get into the swing of things but worth persisting. Great novel.

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  • Pania
  • 10-10-18

Beautiful

Worth it ! I was touched by this story and performance - laughed, cried, the whole shabang

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  • jessica Wright
  • 10-05-18

Loved this book

Really enjoyed this book, laughed out loud moments. Also enjoyed learning about the place I'm currently living. Stig Wemyss great performance, big fans of the tree house book.