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Boy Swallows Universe
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Boy Swallows Universe (2018)

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4531839,444 (4.17)33
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.… (more)
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Work details

Boy Swallows Universe: A Novel by Trent Dalton (2018)

Recently added bygiovannuccia, private library, GreatAuntCharlotte, JayneCM, Arina40, lynnarnold, liveacts, sshift3
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English (16)  Dutch (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
An enjoyable romp that will make for a great TV series. Not sure it will stick with me for long but was good while it lasted. A decent summer read. ( )
  alexrichman | Sep 10, 2020 |
Started twice. Gave up at 145 pages (one fifth of the book) the second time. Something about the writing style really irritated me and reading this felt like such a chore. I just don’t get all the hype. At least I have enjoyed reading the other 1 star reviews. I feel better now. ( )
  Mercef | Jul 3, 2020 |
Loved
- really warmed to the positive characters: Eli, Gus, Slim, Lyle and Caitlyn Spies
- really loved to hate the negative characters: Tytus Broz, Dustin Vang, hitman
- loved the bizarreness and humor of Broz prosthetic limb research, Dustin Vang’s teenage bravado,
- Gus and Eli’s brotherly interactions
- group hug
- stories about Boggo Road prison and Eli’s Christmas break in
- Eli’s struggle to contain his tears
- Eli’s love for Caitlan Spies
- the positive male characterizations and role models in Slim and Lyle even if they are imperfect
- your end is a dead blue wren
- the final reveal under the red silk
- the high paced thrilling ending

Didn’t love
- the meandering pace for some of the book
- the voice (I found it a bit self aware) ( )
  toby.neal | Jan 30, 2020 |
Very readable (indeed, read it in a day , New Year’s Eve)

Butt with all the hype, was a Lille underwhelmed.

Having lived in Brisbane most of my life, and roughly the same period, I of course enjoyed the many allusions to real and imagined Brisbane sights, scenes and stories.

My favourite was the story of climbing the clock tower of the clock tower at Brisbane city hall. Remember doing that ( paying 5 cents) as a kid, sometime between 9 and 12 years old. The sound the emenated when the main bell rang out immediately above your head.

My elder daughter loved it however.

Will be interesting how his next piece of fiction is received, due 2020 L understand

Big Ship
31 December 2019 ( )
  bigship | Dec 31, 2019 |
Very well written, really evokes the Australia of the era (early '80s). But I found its really hard to get into, worth it once I did, just a bit of a slog. ( )
  devilish2 | Nov 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Boy Swallows Universe is a first novel rich in adventure, description and plot.

Mark Twain famously said that truth is stranger than fiction, and the parts of Boy Swallows Universe that draw on Trent Dalton’s actual boyhood are as intriguing as the fictional plot involving drug czars, prison break-ins and prescient siblings.

The novel is seen through the 13-year-old eyes of Dalton’s alter ego, Eli Bell, as he navigates his way through Brisbane’s squalid 1980s housing commission suburbs, peopled by hardened criminals, junkies, Vietnamese gangs, and drug lords masquerading as bastions of society.

The earth-bound, kitchen-sink wretchedness, tinged with hope and love, is a solid, confident foundation for the novel.
 
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Voor mama en papa.
Voor Joel, Ben en Jesse.
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Je einde is een dood ornaatelfje.
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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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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.

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.
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