2020 Longlist

Boy Swallows Universe



2020 Longlist

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, 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 heart-breaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year.

About the Author

Trent Dalton is an award-winning journalist at The Weekend Australian Magazine. His writing includes several short and feature-length film screenplays. Dalton’s debut feature film screenplay, In the Silence, is currently in production.

Librarian’s Comments

‘Boy Swallows Universe’ is an evocative and unexpected novel from a new Australian talent. At turns witty and profound, Boy Swallows Universe’ captures the lives of the ordinary and the corrupt in Brisbane’s suburban fringe With elements of magic, crime, love and fate, this novel is richly drawn and defies expectations. State Library of Queensland, Australia

This story had pretty much of everything, it had imagination, it was well constructed, the characters were developed, the plot was intriguing. I was taken aback at the quality of the writing. For a debut novel, it is a fantastic achievement, and was very difficult to put down. As an adventure story of Brisbane in the 1980’s it was magnificent, but then throw in the family dysfunction, the crime and violence, and then also the emotion and love, and finally, the good qualities that shone through in most of the protagonists. It’s an epic book, but seemed too short. State Library of South Australia



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