Boy Swallows Universe: the book that enraptured a nation

by |August 16, 2019
Boy Swallows Universe - Header

I’m thinking about early 2018.

It was such a short time ago, but it already feels a world away. I can’t remember what song was on the radio or who exactly was Prime Minister, but I do remember one thing as clearly as if it happened five minutes ago. I’m sitting at my wobbly-legged dining table, and in front of me is a plain navy blue book (the neon-coloured design with its celebrity endorsements and numerous award badges is yet to come). It’s just an ordinary paperback book with a small blue wren looking across from the front cover.

Boy Swallows Universe – Advanced Reading Copy 55/250.

Boy Swallows Universe - Advanced Copy

The first chapter – the first page of the first chapter – had me convinced that I had something special in front of me. I read on and on and on, and Eli Bell – this odd kid on the wrong side of the tracks in 1980s Brisbane – reached out from the page and kept giving and giving.

Today, my drooling praise has been joined by that of countless others – award-winning writers, journos, musicians, and film stars, as well as dozens of five star reviews from Booktopia customers. Trent Dalton has been compared to Steve Toltz, Craig Silvey, and Tim Winton, and over the past few months he’s either won or been listed for every Aussie literary award I can think of.

If you still don’t believe the hype, HarperCollins have shared the first chapter for you to read today. Read it and you’ll see why Australia fell in love with it.

For this weekend only, Boy Swallows Universe is half price at Booktopia – order your copy here!

Boy Swallows Universeby Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows Universe

by Trent Dalton

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...

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About the Contributor

Ben is Booktopia's dedicated fiction and children's book specialist. He spends his days painstakingly piecing together beautiful catalogue pages and gift guides for the website. At any opportunity, he loves to write warmly of the books that inspire him. If you want to talk books, find him tweeting at @itsbenhunter


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