This was a last minute decision made by my book club and, at first, it was impossible to find – in the end I bought it as a Kindle. Impossible to find because it was sold out everywhere. I am always a bit nervous about very popular books (and I have to say the title and the cover art weren’t helping)
Here’s the blurb …
A novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working class suburban fringe – from one of Australia’s most exciting new writers.
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 if 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.
I love it – found it compelling. The writing is beautiful and the characters are fabulous and sympathetically (and generously) written. I also enjoyed all of the Australian cultural references (sometimes it’s nice to read something that feels familiar).
Trent Dalton is coming to the Perth Writers Festival and I am looking forward to his session (just how much is autobiographical, did the red telephone ring?)
Below is an article about the writing of Boy Swallows Universe.