2022 Longlist

Low Expectations



1975, Western Sydney. A street where neighbours keep an eye on everyone else’s business.

A boy and his mum—and a family secret, barely hidden.

Devon Destri flies under the radar. He doesn’t talk—calls himself ‘hard of speaking’—and does nothing to correct any assumptions of his low intelligence. If no one knows otherwise, no one will expect anything of him, and maybe he won’t need to expect anything of himself. Only his fiercely loyal friend, Big Tammy, and his neighbour, Krenek, know that Great Expectations is his favourite book, or that he can read at all.

But when the chilling revelation of his mother’s past unexpectedly blows open his view of himself, and of her, Devon realises he can have great expectations after all.

First, though, he has a score to settle.




Stuart Everly-Wilson lives in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales with his partner and their dog, Aspro. Low Expectations is his first novel.

Stuart Everly-Wilson lives in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales with his partner and their dog, Aspro. Low Expectations is his first novel.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find any translators matching your search. Please try using different keywords or check back later as we regularly update our collection.


My expectations for this book were initially neither high nor low, but “expect the unexpected” as they used to say during the Inquisition. Despite being set in a bleak semi-industrial suburb of Sydney, the story and characters are mostly warm and endearing. But best of all, the tale also sets a high bar in black humour, thanks to the exploits and crazy schemes of remedial student Devon and his neighbourhood acquaintances, friends and antagonists. Beautifully written and captures the heart and soul of the suburbs in the 1970s.

State Library of South Australia, Australia


Date published
Original Language
Text Publishing


Audio June 11 2024

All About Books: Katy Conneely, Dublin City FM on the 2024 Dublin Literary Award Ceremony

In her 'All About Books' podcast Katy Conneely attends the Winning Ceremony of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award on 23rd May 2024 and provides some highlights of the ceremony
Video June 5 2024

2024 Dublin Literary Award Winners Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter In Conversation

Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter, winners of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award take an in-depth look at the winning title, Solenoid with Alex Clarke as part of International Literature Festival Dublin.
Video May 31 2024

Dublin Literary Award 2024 Winner Announcements Highlights

Romanian author Mircea Cărtărescu and translator Sean Cotter have been announced as winners of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award on Thursday 23rd of May, for the novel Solenoid.
Video May 8 2024

Alexis Wright – Praiseworthy Q&A

Q&A with Alexis Wright, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award in which she discusses her passion for libraries and explores the influences behind her novel Praiseworthy


Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.