'Without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade' Sydney Morning Herald
The bestselling novel that has taken Australia, and the world, by storm. Winner of Book of the Year at the 2019 Indie Book Awards and winner of a record four Australian Book Industry Awards in 2019, including the prestigious Book of the Year Award.
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 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 read all year.
2019 ABIA Book of the Year Award, Winner
2019 Indie Book Award, Winner
2019 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Winner
2019 People's Choice Award, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Winner
MUD Literary Prize 2019, Winner
2019 ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, Winner
2019 ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, Winner
2019 ABIA Audiobook of the Year, Winner
2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Longlisted
2019 Colin Roderick Award, shortlist
'Boy Swallows Universe is a wonderful surprise: sharp as a drawer full of knives in terms of subject matter; unrepentantly joyous in its child's-eye view of the world; the best literary debut in a month of Sundays.' The Australian
'Boy Swallows Universe hypnotizes you with wonder, and then hammers you with heartbreak.' Washington Post
'This thrilling novel' New York Times Book Review
'Marvelously plot-rich ... filled with beautifully lyric prose ...At one point Eli wonders if he is good. The answer is "yes," every bit as good as this exceptional novel.' Booklist
'Dalton's splashy, stellar debut makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison ... This is an outstanding debut.' Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
'Extraordinary and beautiful storytelling' Guardian
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Journalist Trent Dalton’s riotous debut novel evokes the rough side of Australian suburbia in the ‘80s. Cheeky adolescent Eli "Captain Details” Bell and his mute brother, August, are being looked after by an ex-con while his stepdad runs heroin and his mum sits in prison. Just as Brisbane's biggest drug kingpin is threatening to make their lives even worse, Eli goes ahead and falls in love. A coming-of-age tale that made us laugh out loud (when it wasn’t breaking our hearts), Boy Swallows Universe just might be the next great Australian novel.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Great Australian Novel
This is a fantastic book, The great Australian Novel, and is to Aussie what To Kill A Mockingbird is to the US.
It beautiful, it’s brilliantly written, and will make you cry. More than once.
It is so thoughtfully put together and detailed that you are transported into the Universe with the author.
Please, make this the next book you read.
My favourite book ever!
Wonderful, heart-warming, heart-breaking, honest, and beautifully written.
Written in a way that makes you feel the emotions of his family. A story well told and only one who has lived this world could write.