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Summary

The international best seller.  

Australia, 1983.

Life is pretty tough right now for 12-year-old Eli – what with his mute brother, a convicted murderer for a babysitter, a drug-dealing stepfather, an incarcerated mother and a long-lost father – surely it can’t get any worse? 

Think again. 

He’s about to fall in love, break into prison and cross paths with one of the most notorious criminals Brisbane has ever seen. A coming-of-age story like no other, Boy Swallows Universe is the most exhilarating novel you’ll come across this year.

©2019 Trent Dalton (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Electric." (The Times)

"Thrilling." (New York Times)

"Extraordinary." (Joanna Cannon)

What listeners say about Boy Swallows Universe

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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great story

love love loved it!
great characters and language.
felt like I was in Brisbane!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Take a F***ing Polaroid Pamela

.... One of so many great one liners. Dalton’s writing is both expansive and intimate, tragic and hilarious, touching and brutal. He paints a picture of Australia that I think only really Australian’s will be able to truly relate to. I loved this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Compelling and tense yet funny

Really enjoyed this, a brilliant mix of drama and humour plus a compelling tale. The narration suits the story perfectly, and not just because he sounds Australian!

Some moments saw me catch my breath and others prompted me to laugh out loud. One particularly tense moment I read on a dark evening walk and it really made for a scary time!

Definitely recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic reading and story

I loved this book!
Such a fabulous story and reflective themes.

The narrator was very talented too.

Thank you

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Not for me

Just couldn't engage with the story or the characters. Unfortunate as I'd heard such great reviews.

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Superb novel - dark, funny and moving.

If you are thinking of reading this one, do yourself a favour and get started!

This is a fantastic book, beautifully performed by Stig Wemyss and will definitely expand your universe

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absolutely bloody loved this

absolutely bloody loved this! brilliant naration, funny, witty, thought provoking bordering on fantasy in places but gritty and real in others. very well done!

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Crikey its a crock..

I never bought into any of the characters, so I had no empathy for any of them. When the writer did get to the denouement, I felt he missed a trick and left too many ends untied.

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Brilliant Aussie story

Brutal at times, but beautifully written. The narrator really captures the scene and Aussie accents

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Fantastic read

This is my new favourite story. I grew up in Brisbane around the same time as this book is set, so yes, it is a familiar setting stirring many memories. It is also a harrowing story of a childhood that shouldn’t happen but sadly is common across our world. The way it is told though makes it funny, endearing, powerful and strong. Thank you for your amazing story Trent.

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  • Jules
  • 30-07-20

Wonderful

The way two boys desk with childhood trauma. A harsh story but utterly magical writing and delivery by the reader! I was transported.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michele Russell
  • 09-11-19

A snapshot of life in modern day ‘burbs of Oz.

It reads as a delightful insight of underworld in the suburbs of Brisbane but with with wit humor and perspective of a teenage boy. Heavy onAussie isims but a joy to read.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • diane levine
  • 22-06-19

Most suitable for teenage boys.

Too long and becomes drawn out but well written. Narration fairly good but again shows this is a boys adventure story