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Boy Swallows Universe
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
An utterly wonderful 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 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. 'Trent Dalton is the most extraordinary writer - a rare talent. A major new voice on the Australian literary scene has arrived.' Nikki Gemmell 'An astonishing achievement. Dalton is a breath of fresh air - raw, honest, funny, moving, he has created a novel of the most surprising and addictive nature. Unputdownable.' David Wenham 'I couldn't stop reading from the moment I started, and I still can barely speak for the beauty of it. Trent Dalton has done something very special here, writing with grace, from his own broken heart.' Caroline Overington 'Enthralling - a moving account of sibling solidarity and the dogged pursuit of love.' Geoffrey Robertson QC 'Stunning. My favourite novel for decades. Left me devastated but looking to the heavens.' Tim Rogers
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scowler1
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Great cover, great book about two brothers growing up in Australia with drug dealers for parents.

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Missusb
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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My ‘grown up‘ book club is in 6 hours. How much can I read? Obviously the most popular 🇦🇺 book in the past 2 years. Suppose I should read it. #currentlyreading #bookclub #notya Also the Matildas 🦘 just lost to Norway 🇳🇴 in the football World Cup so I am devastated. 💔💔

BookwormM I loved this book 4d
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bedandabook
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Five solid stars for this superb, touching coming-of-age story about Eli, a boy born to drug dealer parents. His best friend is a notorious pensioner ex-con, he has an older brother who never speaks and he gets told off for swearing and littering. It should be a recipe for a depressing tale but this was a glorious and moving depiction of a remarkable child surviving despite his circumstances. #netgalley #boyswallowsuniverse

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bedandabook
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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It‘s raining cats and dogs out there and it‘s set to last all day, so I‘ve declared this a reading day. I‘m curled up all cosy with this touching coming of age story about a teenaged boy living with drug-dealing parents. Heart-warming and moving. #netgalley #boyswallowsuniverse

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Allietaylor16
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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I‘m halfway through this book and loving it so far! Eli Bell is such a unique character!

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JennyM
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Set in my home town of Brisbane, this was about as Aussie you can get. After a slow start, I enjoyed it. However, I don‘t quite get all the hype (it‘s HUGE in Aus). And I also wonder how this would be for someone not from Australia, particularly in print.

TrishB Have stacked 👍🏻 has good ratings on amazon too but currently expensive so will await a deal!! (edited) 1mo
LapReader I got a copy signed for my partner Stew as he grew up in Bris Vegas in the 80‘s. Our neighbour has read it and loved it. Apparently it‘s going to be a TV series. 1mo
Cinfhen I‘m curious #stacked 1mo
See All 19 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm Checking this out. Sounds good! 1mo
Freespirit It‘s next in my list to read 1mo
LeeRHarry I am not sure I want to read this, not sure it is my thing, and yes that hype! 😏 1mo
JennyM @TrishB @Cinfhen @erzascarletbookgasm I think you will either love it, or hate it. I‘ll be curious how you find all the local references - there are a lot! You will certainly know Brisbane after reading it 😊 1mo
JennyM @LapReader it‘s jam packed full of local references, so I think he will love it. And I can see it being a series - it has a kind of Underbelly feel, but with a gorgeous main child character. 1mo
JennyM @Freespirit @leeRHarry I put off reading it because of all the hype. I nearly bailed 1/4 way in, then there was an ah-ha, and it got better for me. It‘s a bit of a bonkers story though. 1mo
CarolynM I didn't like it. I found it really hard to believe in the characters and the story was pretty far fetched too. I don't know Brisbane at all so that didn't help. I have heard a lot of people rave about the writing - I thought it was good, but nothing special. Sorry I'm being so negative - I must have missed something - I know I'm in a serious minority here. 1mo
JennyM @CarolynM I hear you. I‘m confused with all the hype and wasn‘t enjoying it at all for the first part. It was very far fetched, and got a bit daft at the end. But I did feel connected to Eli Bell. So, for me, it was ok, but not arm-flappy brilliant. 1mo
MrsMalaprop This one‘s being chosen for our book club next month. I‘ve been putting off reading it until then. 4w
JennyM @MrsMalaprop I‘ll be so curious to hear what you think! 4w
CarolynM @TrishB I put my copy in the mail to you this morning🙂 4w
TrishB @CarolynM thank you, that‘s so cool! 😊 after all these comments I‘m very curious now! 4w
JennyM @TrishB @CarolynM such a lovely thing to do, Carolyn. Can‘t wait to hear what you think Trish! 4w
BooknerdsLife IKR! This book is Everywhere! I‘m tempted & got it on my kindle, but also don‘t want to be disappointed by all these hypes so I might wait awhile before reading it 🙈😅 4w
JennyM @BooknerdsLife I have put it off till now because of the exact reason. I wonder how I would feel about it without the hype. I think I might have enjoyed it more -instead I was looking for the brilliance that I didn‘t quite see (edited) 4w
BooknerdsLife @JennyM IKR! Sometimes the high expectations can ruin it for us...😔 3w
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BookwormM
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
Pickpick

#Netgalley #ARC #BoySwallowsUniverse

Prepare to fall in love.

A rare 5 star read for me. Magical, heartbreaking, hilarious, foul mouthed and full of heart and soul.

Full review here https://thereadersroom.org/2019/05/25/boy-swallows-universe-by-trent-dalton/

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mountainsandlace
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Freespirit
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Feeling a bit shocked and sad after our elections on the weekend. It doesn‘t always go the way you think it will. Just hoping for a fairer society and some action on climate change 🙏🏼! On a positive note I‘ve read some excellent Australian fiction over the past few months! From mystery‘s set in the outback to the building of the Opera House. All great reads😍

CarolynM Yes, me too. Unfortunately I think we're just going to stumble on the way we have been. ☹️ Great stack, though.🙂 1mo
Emilymdxn Sending love from England 💖💖💖 definitely know what it‘s like to hope a vote will go well and then have to deal with it... I guess that‘s the story of everywhere right now! 1mo
Freespirit @CarolynM I think your right...stumble along with much of the same....I'm trying to stay positive and hope the future is bright for my children🤗 1mo
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Freespirit Thanks @Emilymdxn it does seem like there is a recurring theme....sad because the world needs good leaders and positive action.😘😘 1mo
KellyHunsakerReads Yeah, and in America we are the laughing stock of the world... 1mo
Freespirit @Hunsakermountain at least we have books and places like Litsy to enjoy. 😍😍 1mo
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ReadingEnvy
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Another thing about this book....#jacaranda

readordierachel You can't escape it. 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Boy Swallows Universe is about Eli Bell, a boy growing up in the poorer outskirts of Brisbane, Australia. I was interested in it because I spent a month in the suburbs of Brisbane in 1994 and thought I might find familiar landscape.
⤵️

ReadingEnvy At first it seems like maybe this is a typical coming of age novel, until you realize Eli's brother only speaks by drawing words with his finger, and that the parental figures the brothers live with (Mom and boyfriend) deal heroin. At that point the novel takes a turn toward Vietnamese drug wars, machetes and missing limbs, mysterious rooms, crime reporters, and estranged fathers.⤵️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy The style of writing made me question everything - is Gus alive, does the room exist, is time linear, does everything that happened have an upside down calculator word - but after I finished it I wasn't clear the author intended to deter me in that way. But there is a level of surreality to it that felt confusing when you read the afterword, where the author says he basically wanted to write about his childhood and this is it. 2mo
ReadingEnvy I didn't know about heroin in Australia, but did some reading about it after finishing the book. (Last night was a late night.) It felt like a different sort of crisis in that it happened in daylight, in suburbia, and to family members and neighbors, not just sequestered to inner cities. 2mo
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BlameJennyJane
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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“The crack in Slim‘s windscreen looks like a tall and armless stickman bowing to royalty. The crack in Slim‘s windscreen looks like Slim. His windscreen wipers have smeared a rainbow of old dirt over to my passenger side.”

Opting for a cup of green tea at the end of a stressful day instead of a vodka-water (or two) means I can really read and appreciate beauty in lines like these.

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Jeg
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Wow!!Just finished this morning. Words escape me. I just loved it. My 13th Aussie book for the year. @MrsMalaprop

MrsMalaprop I have it because the lovely @Rissreads gave me a copy, but I haven‘t read it yet. I think someone was thinking of choosing it for book club, so have held off reading it. 2mo
Jeg @MrsMalaprop you are right someone has. But you know me I‘ll need a second read! 😊 2mo
Freespirit It sounds so good. I must read it! 2mo
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YeezyTaughtMe
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Some really good books to be getting on with. Started a new book collection since ditching the Kindle.

Areader2 Good for you I could never give my kindle, or kindle app up ! Welcome 2mo
YeezyTaughtMe It‘s strange but I needed to physically turn the page. 2mo
BookwormAHN Welcome to Litsy 😺 2mo
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UwannaPublishme Welcome to Litsy! Get ready for your TBRs to soar! 😁📚📚📚 2mo
sudi Hi 🙋 Welcome To Litsy 😊 2mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗 2mo
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BlameJennyJane
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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As a recovering cynic, I love this quote from the author of the tagged book in an interview he did with Goodreads. ❤️

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JPeterson
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Thank you, NetGalley! One of the best emails to get. I‘m super excited to read this. 😍

CarolynM I'll be interested to see what you think of it 4mo
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MandaChittles
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Captivating throughout. Australian poverty, drugs, prison, literature, mystery, addressing big questions like “What makes a good man?” And a splash of fantasy (although I don‘t think fantasy is a good enough descriptor).... all set in my neighbouring suburbs so very familiar. I‘ll be recommending this one to everyone and reading Dalton‘s newspaper columns.
#bookstagram #aussiebooks #aussieliterature #read #readinglife #aussiesrule2019

Blaire Where in Australia? My uncle lives in Melbourne. Going to recommend this to him. 5mo
MandaChittles @Blaire - south Western suburbs of Brisbane. 5mo
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Cathy_J
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Wow this book was quite different to the other books I have read lately. It really brought to life what it was like growing up in Australia in the 80s, I loved all the little details and feeling of nostalgia. A great story, funny, interesting and surprising! 🌟🌟🌟🌟

jenniferajanes Welcome to Litsy! 5mo
tpixie Great cover! 5mo
Freespirit Welcome to Litsy. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I was to read this book 5mo
AnneFindsJoy Wow gorgeous cover and book sounds interesting! 5mo
Tex2Flo Intrigued by the title AND the lovely cover! Stacked. Welcome to the world of Littens. 5mo
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Sue
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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I‘ve been listening to this one and really enjoying it. Just to demonstrate how small Brisbane is - I mentioned the work colleague that I sit next to that I was reading it - she knows the author as their kids are at school together.

#aussiesrule2019

JennyM Indeed it is...scarily so sometimes. For some reason I thought he worked at Avid - but I think that was Craig Silvey a few years ago. 6mo
Sue @JennyM So many authors work at Avid! (You may have been thinking of Trent Jamieson) And I‘ve recently seen Bri Lee popping up on their social media accounts. And Krissy Kneen of course. 6mo
JennyM @Sue makes you realise how much talent we have in Brissie 👏🏼 6mo
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Redheadrambles
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

First book for 2019.
This was a fun and frenetic novel that was a joy to read. It‘s is kind of messy and hyperactive but in a loveable way. This book might struggle to land with readers unfamiliar with Queensland as it feels like a quite a personal homage to the authors childhood there. A tighter edit and more clarity about what kind of novel it wanted to be would help. Also I wish the bad guys were not cartoonishly evil.

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Eva2
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Great book! A real page turner that made me laugh and want to cry at the same time,

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Eva2
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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My latest read matches my Christmas tree! 😀

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Tashreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

4.5 stars. I loved this book. A coming of age story, set in my hometown, in the 80's with a sprinkle of magical realism (and that cover!). What is not to love?

Well, 2 things actually. 1)the pacing felt a bit off. 2) I felt that the author tried too hard to include as many Brisbane landmarks and 80's references as possible. We get it, it is set in Brisbane in the 80's. But those are minor gripes and the only reason this wasn't a five star read.

Freespirit I‘ve heard good reviews..put it on my TBR📚😊 7mo
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Tashreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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#currentlyreading this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. Don‘t know why it took so long for me to pick it up. I think I feel nervous that it won‘t live up to my expectations. Does that happen to anyone else? #bookwormproblems #predicted5starread

Sue Most definitely! 7mo
madamereadsalot1 I totally understand! I still haven't read The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee because I'm afraid I won't love it as much as The Gentleman's Guide. 7mo
CarolynM I wonder what you will think of this one. I look forward to seeing your review. 7mo
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CarolynM
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Mehso-so

I'm torn about how to rate this book. I found the first half of it very dull indeed and would have bailed if I hadn't been reading it for my book group. The story picked up in the later part of the book and by the end I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I never really believed in the story or felt any connection with the characters. Because of its approach to its subject matter I predict it will be nominated for a few prizes.

Centique That sounds very so-so indeed! It‘s hard sometimes to weigh up and come down on one side or the other. 8mo
gradcat Nice review! 8mo
CarolynM @Centique For most of it I was sure it was going to be a pan but by the time I finished I didn't totally hate it. I know a lot of people think it's really good so maybe I'm just being contrary in not liking it. 8mo
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CarolynM @gradcat Thanks🙂 8mo
Sue I started reading it but bailed - it didn‘t draw me in and then the library wanted it back. I will pick it up again at some point. It‘s good to know you didn‘t hate it. 8mo
JennyM I‘ve only seen RAVE reviews for this before, but for some reason I‘ve not tried to pick it up. I think I might just keep on with my TBR and get to it when it happens 8mo
Rissreads @CarolynM @Sue I‘m the opposite! I was hooked by page 9 but I felt the ending let it down because it got a bit silly. But overall I loved it. (edited) 8mo
gradcat @CarolynM You‘re so very welcome 😊🙏🎈 8mo
BooknerdsLife I've seen all the hypes about this book but somehow I'm not too drawn by it ...Yet...Maybe I'll pick it up when I'm in t/e right mood for it. Will definitely want to know if it lives up to its hype! But I love your honest review 🤗💖 8mo
CarolynM @Rissreads Was it the romance or the horror element you found silly at the end? 8mo
CarolynM @BooknerdsLife @JennyM I'm always suspicious of things that receive a lot of hype, but sometimes it's deserved. In this case I'm not really sure what people are responding to. If I was from Brisbane, though, I would like it just because of all the local references.🙂 (edited) 8mo
CarolynM Forgot to add the #ozfiction tag☺️ 8mo
Rissreads It wasn‘t either of those things it was the actual storyline with the Baddie following them and turning up at the presentation night. 8mo
Rissreads I initially responded to the writing descriptions and the characters. I also loved all the 80‘s nostalgia 💚 8mo
CarolynM @Rissreads I found it all a bit unbelievable so the end didn't seem out of place to me. 8mo
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CarolynM
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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106 pages in and I'm just not that interested. If not for the fact I'm reading it for my book group I think I'd bail.

mspixieears he was awful on Q&A - wouldn‘t stop talking about how he was a journalist when the topic was racism :s 8mo
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BooksForEmpathy
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Breakfast spread with some intense light ☀️. Ian felt inspired this week and made the most delicious, salty butter ever. So, we had to make pancakes 🥞 using the buttermilk that came from that process! Also, #bookmail! This sounds unbelievably good and I‘m hopeful it scratches the itch for another The Heart‘s Invisible Furies.

Suet624 Yum! 8mo
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LizzyNanney
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Jimmy Eat World took it up a notch.

Mtroiano 😂 8mo
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JaneLovesBooks
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Beautiful debut novel from award-winning Australian journo. Heavily informed by his own childhood - if you loved it, listen to his interview with Richard Feidler on ABC Conversations, he has quite an incredible story. Highly recommended 😊

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚🎉Hope you enjoy it here. Also check out @LitsyWelcomeWagon to get more connected. There are links to great tips for navigating Litsy in the profile. 9mo
JaneLovesBooks Thanks @debinhawai! I will do that - looking forward to getting involved and picking up lots of fresh reading inspiration 😊 9mo
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 9mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📖💙 9mo
rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!! 📚🎃📚 9mo
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Abailliekaras
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Our latest episode of Books On The Go is up! We discuss Boy Swallows Universe. This has become a word-of-mouth sensation and we can see why - full of heart, unputdownable and witty. Subscribe where podcasts live. 🎧😊🇦🇺

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Abailliekaras
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

This book has so much heart. It‘s generous, touching & at times very funny. Slightly unbelievable but every word rings true. I loved the friendly, engaging tone and narrator Eli - a flawed, sympathetic & bright character. Whilst larger than life, the characters are completely realistic & vividly being to life suburban 1980s Brisbane. It gives a great sense of the culture & people doing it tough in outer suburbs. A great yarn, highly recommended.

Rissreads I loved it too! 10mo
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Abailliekaras
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Night night. 📖😴

Bklover Good night! This is one of the things I love about Litsy. It‘s 9:00 in the morning where I am. Love talking to people all over the world! 🌎 💙 10mo
Reagan-reads I didn‘t even think of that! I just got to work (8:30 am!) 10mo
Abailliekaras @Bklover @Reagan-reads and good morning now (Saturday)! 😉☀️ 10mo
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Rissreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. The author really brings the characters to life and I loved that sometimes the good guys could be not so good and vice a versa. ‘Are you a good man?‘ This question is asked often throughout the book. It‘s fascinating to think that some of the things in this book are actually true. It‘s just a shame the story got a bit silly at the end.
#ozfiction

CarolynM I have a copy of this and I think I will be getting to it soon. 10mo
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Rissreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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OMG, I‘m only 9 pages in and already I‘m loving this book! It‘s going to be one of those reads that consumes every minute I have available!

JennyM I love this cover...and a Brissie book, too. Looking forward to your thoughts. 10mo
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Tashreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Day 18| #AugustIsATrip #Australia

This is a coming of age story set in Brisbane (yay!!) in the 1980‘s. It is high on my #tbr and I‘ve heard it is all kinds of wonderful 😍😍 and that cover ... ❣️

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Gorgeous cover!! #coverlover 💗 10mo
CarolynM I've got a copy waiting for me too. Next month hopefully.🙂 10mo
vkois88 It really is a beautiful cover! 10mo
erzascarletbookgasm What s great photo! 💙❤️ 10mo
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awonderinglife
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

Just superb - my fave book of the year so far without a doubt ❤️❤️

Victoriahoperose I have to have this now. I am intrigued. 11mo
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Tashreads
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Day 8| #ReadingResolutions #mostanticipated

This is a debut from a home grown Brisbane author. It will be released in Aus later this month. Although there are only 43 ratings on Goodreads, it currently sits at an average rating of 4.74!! I‘ve heard very good things.

JennyM Thanks Tash. Stacked x 13mo
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