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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

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Al
  • 01-07-2018

Exceptional

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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Girl swallows audiobook!

This was amazing!
I simply couldn’t stop listening. Definitely worth the listen. 5 stars all round!

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Highly recommended

This book reflected growing up in Australia through the eyes of beautifully complex characters & relationships. It is a great story that at times has you wondering where it is headed. The narrator was superb too...one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to listen too.

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loved every minute

a wonderfully written and told story. i loved the few little things said that gave me a giggle. so proper aussie

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Insight into suburban Australian crime

Interesting concept and believable unique characters.
Slightly slow story pace at times but still a good listen.

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Enchanting and enthralling

I absolutely loved this book. It is a great story and read amazingly. I laughed out loud so many times!

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Fabulous

Stig read this fabulously written book with so much heart I was there with every word. Thank you Trent thank you Stig.

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loved it

first couple of chapter's were a bit slow but what an amazing book! didn't want it to end

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Aussie magic.

A poetic yet raw and powerful journey through Brisbane. The unique yet oddly relatable story takes you into a world that weaves intrigue, blood, and the magic of the universe. The delivery of the book is great too, you’ll enjoy the journey and feel part of the family.

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  • marlene
  • 12-11-2018

Most devastatingly heart wrenching story ever.

This has to be the most devastating and beautiful story I've ever heard. It had me cheeringcheckout loud and it had me sobbing my heart out. I loved it entirely.

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  • J
  • 12-09-2018

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.