Cover art for Boy Swallows Universe
Fourth Estate, June 2018
23.5cm × 15.4cm × 3.5cm

Boy Swallows Universe

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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 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 if 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.

Reviewed by Barb Sampson

Barb takes care of the web orders here at Boffins, and is your contact for book club enquiries. She spends all her spare time curled up on the couch reading and for the last several years has reviewed books on the Afternoon Program on ABC radio Perth.

There was a lot of pre-publication hype for this book, which always makes me a bit nervous. You never know if there is actually going to be any substance under all the froth, but luckily in this instance the reality lives up to the promise. Though a novel, the story has its basis in Dalton’s own 1980s Brisbane childhood, when for a short period he was babysat by a notorious convicted criminal. Now an award-winning journalist, he has taken his somewhat chaotic childhood  and turned it into a hilarious and poignant novel. Full to the brim with larger than life characters, some good, some bad, most a mix of both, Boy Swallows Universe is a coming of age story to be relished. 


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