The internationally bestselling debut novel from Trent Dalton hailed as “thrilling” by the New York Times Book Review and “marvelous” by the Washington Post, now in paperback.
“A splashy, profane, and witty debut.”—USA Today
An utterly wonderful debut novel of love, crime, magic, fate, and a boy’s coming-of-age, set in 1980s Australia…
Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is lost, his mother is in jail, and his stepdad is a heroin dealer. The most steadfast adult in Eli’s life is Slim—a notorious felon and national record-holder for successful prison escapes—who watches over Eli and August, Eli’s silent genius of an older brother.
Exiled far from the rest of the world in Darra, a neglected suburb of Brisbane, this twelve-year-old boy with an old soul and an adult mind is just trying to follow his heart, learn what it takes to be a good man, and train for a glamorous career in journalism. Life, however, insists on throwing obstacles in Eli’s path—most notably Tytus Broz, Queensland’s legendary drug dealer. But the real trouble lies ahead. Eli is about to fall in love, face off against truly bad guys, and fight to save his mother from certain doom—all before starting high school.
A story of brotherhood, true love, family, and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe is the tale of an adolescent boy on the cusp of discovering the man he will be. Powerful, kinetic, and infused with originality, charm, pathos, and heart to spare, Trent Dalton’s debut is sure to be one of the most exhilarating novels you will experience.