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y separately published work icon Boy Swallows Universe single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Boy Swallows Universe
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'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.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Adaptations

Boy Swallows Universe Tim McGarry , 2020 single work drama

'Eli Bell’s childhood in the outer Brisbane suburbs is far from the idyllic 1980s haze some kids would remember. His alcoholic dad has shot through, his ex-druggie mum is in jail, his stepfather’s dealing heroin, his brother Gus is a mute who swirls cryptic messages in the air with his finger, and his babysitter Slim is a convicted killer and infamous escapee from Boggo Road Gaol.

'Beset by chaos on all sides, a run-in with the local crime king and his henchman sets the 13 year old with the old soul on a journey to find out what kind of a man he is going to be.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teachers' notes via publisher's website.

Notes

  • Dedication: For Mum and Dad. For Joel, Ben and Jesse.

  • In May 2019, it was announced that Joel Edgerton would be producing an adaptation of Boy Swallows Universe for Anonymous Content, Chapter One, and Hopscotch Features (Source: https://deadline.com/2019/05/joel-edgerton-boy-swallows-universe-anonymous-content-chapter-one-hopscotch-tv-drama-1202620608/).

    On 28 May 2019, it was announced that Queensland Theatre acquired the stage adaptation rights to Boy Swallows Universe and will be produced in partnership with the Brisbane Festival for a premiere in September 2020. (Books + Publishing News)

  • Boy Swallows Universe was fourteenth in the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards - Best Debut Novel with 4,607 votes.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney South, South Sydney area, Sydney Southern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Fourth Estate , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 3449346093974487058.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 488p.p.
      Reprinted: 18 Mar 2019
      Note/s:
      • Published 18 June 2018.

      • Cover design by Darren Holt. 
      ISBN: 9781460753897, 1460753895
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      HarperCollins (United States) ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 898073719982955234.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 452 p.p.
      Edition info: 1st US Ed.
      Note/s:
      • Published 2 April 2019.

      ISBN: 0062898108, 9780062898104 (pbk)
    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Fourth Estate , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 5669105210311238391.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 480p.p.
      Limited edition info: Limited hardback gift edition
      Note/s:
      • Published 21 October 2019.

      ISBN: 9781460758366, 1460758366
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      The Borough Press ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 2367511984757372246.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 496p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 16 May 2019.
      ISBN: 9780008319250 (hbk)
Alternative title: El chico que se comió el universo
Language: Spanish

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.
  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.

Works about this Work

What I’m Reading Catherine McKinnon , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
Boyhood Amelia Lester , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 12 May 2019; (p. 12)

— Review of Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton , 2018 single work novel

'Hidden behind a sliding-glass door in a built-in wardrobe of Trent Dalton’s childhood home was a secret room, and a red phone. Dalton was 6 when the space was revealed to him by one of his three brothers. Many years later, he realized this was his family’s escape room.' (Introduction)

Five Emerging Australian Authors Talk about Writing Their Breakthrough Novels Sarah L'Estrange , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , January 2019;

'Some of Australia's best known authors managed to reach literary fame with their debut novels: Kate Grenville with Lilian's Story, which won the Vogel Literary Award in 1984; Richard Flanagan with Death of a River Guide, which won several awards, including the National Fiction Award in 1996; and Andrew McGahan with Praise, which won the Vogel in 1991.' (Introduction)

What I’m Reading Moreno Giovannoni , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2018;
Trent Dalton : Boy Swallows Universe Chris Maher , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , August 2018;

'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.' (Introduction)

Boyhood Amelia Lester , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 12 May 2019; (p. 12)

— Review of Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton , 2018 single work novel

'Hidden behind a sliding-glass door in a built-in wardrobe of Trent Dalton’s childhood home was a secret room, and a red phone. Dalton was 6 when the space was revealed to him by one of his three brothers. Many years later, he realized this was his family’s escape room.' (Introduction)

Trent Dalton : Boy Swallows Universe Chris Maher , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , August 2018;

'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.' (Introduction)

Five Emerging Australian Authors Talk about Writing Their Breakthrough Novels Sarah L'Estrange , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , January 2019;

'Some of Australia's best known authors managed to reach literary fame with their debut novels: Kate Grenville with Lilian's Story, which won the Vogel Literary Award in 1984; Richard Flanagan with Death of a River Guide, which won several awards, including the National Fiction Award in 1996; and Andrew McGahan with Praise, which won the Vogel in 1991.' (Introduction)

What I’m Reading Moreno Giovannoni , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2018;
What I’m Reading Catherine McKinnon , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
Last amended 22 Jan 2021 08:08:04
Settings:
  • Brisbane, Queensland,
  • 1983
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