Boy Swallows Universe
The bestselling novel that has taken Australia, and the world, by storm. Winner of Book of the Year at the 2019 Indie Book Awards.
‘Without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade’ Sydney Morning Herald
The winner of the 2019 Indie Book Award, winner of the MUD Literary Prize 2019, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
‘This book will light up the dimmest days’ Sydney Morning Herald
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim 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 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 read all year.
‘Boy Swallows Universe is 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 Australian
‘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 marvelous.’ Washington Post
‘Marvelously plot-rich … filled with beautifully lyric prose … the characterization, too, is universally memorable, especially that of Eli and August. At one point Eli wonders if he is good. The answer is “yes,” every bit as good as this exceptional novel.’ Booklist
‘Dalton’s splashy, stellar debut makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison … This is an outstanding debut.’ Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
‘Boy Swallows Universe is one of those stories that defies expectations, shatters genre boundaries and beguiles from start to finish’ Good Reading
‘I cannot recommend this novel highly enough and I can’t wait to read what Dalton produces next’ NZ Herald
‘Trent Dalton is the most extraordinary writer – a rare talent. A major new voice on the Australian literary scene has arrived.’ 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
‘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
‘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