Boy Swallows Universe – Must Read

I just finished Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton and this book is a must read. A story so beautifully written it will stay with you long after you've put the book down.

The late Andrew McGahan's book Praise introduced us to the gritty inner burbs of Brisbane Trent Dalton's Boy Swallows Universe takes us to the desert like outer burbs where survival is a day to day struggle.

This from Helen Davidson of the Guardian....

Boy Swallows Universe launched with an extraordinary amount of hype, and I approached it with scepticism. I was wrong – this is one of the best Australian novels I’ve ever read.

It is extraordinary and beautiful storytelling by journalist Trent Dalton, about the unusually intense childhood of a young boy in a dodgy bit of Brisbane, with a fair bit of magic and adventure thrown in for good measure. Drug dealers, addicts, crooks and crims, reporters, bikies and young gangsters in the making – the characters in Dalton’s book are human and complex and clearly loved deeply by the author. The writing is fast-paced and heartfelt, and every sentence is surprising.

Through the eyes of 13-year-old Eli, the reader sees how full of love he and his family are for each other, driven to protect at all costs while often not being kind to themselves. It’s a mix of suburban nightmare, magical realism, film noir and coming of age. It’s a love letter to Dalton’s mum and a treatise on the importance of family and truth and holding your own in a world that doesn’t think much of you or your mates.

This book will stay with me for a long time.


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