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Boy Swallows Universe

Narrated by: Stig Wemyss
Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (615 ratings)
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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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not for me, sadly

I’m sure this book deserves all the accolades it has received but I found the audio and characters very difficult to warm to, the narrators tone and the books descriptive obscurities inhibited my ability to picture the characters and setting. It felt like a literary task rather than an enjoyable escape and I found myself avoiding it to listen to others. Perhaps a book better read by oneself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great read but too long

This was a great listen. So well written however I think the author just laboured too much on over-descriptive text. It got a bit much as the book went on - too "colourful" at times (to quote the book). It took me about 10 chapters to fully get into it, then the bulk of the book was gripping, but then then the last 10 chapters or so really let the book down. Just too far-fetched and not in line with the main story in the rest of the book. For me the ending was disappointing and was in contrast to the high calibre of the rest of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Finally - A great Lit Fic from my own home town!

Set in Brisbane, it follows a very interesting tale of a special pair of brothers who navigate the 80s world of struggle street Brisvegas.

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Spell binding

Sorry this is finished, I was looking forward to every session during my work commute and miss it now It's done. Spell binding story, beautifully performed and thoroughly entertaining. My book of 2019 (so far). I hope Trent Dalton is working on another!

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Story? Check. ✔ Word Quota? Check ✔

and odiously we need more words. there is such a thing as to much information

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Brilliant, funny, sad, real

I love this book - so well written and the audible version is read with a style that fits the writing perfectly. A must for anyone who grew up in Australia especially around that time (born in 60's)

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Incredible

I loved this book. Funny, imaginative, incredible characters. Dark themes told so beautifully and funny

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Readers Devour Story

Quirky story spins a web which ends where it starts. Drugs bent cops and things not quite as they seem. Loved it.

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  • Susan Myers
  • 04-01-2019

Brilliant!

I loved this book - an enthralling story written with wit and style. And with the added bonus of one of the best narrations I’ve heard on Audible. Stig’s accents and intonations of the different voices were perfect.

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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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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.