Review: Boy Swallows Universe

by Trent Dalton, First USA Edition, Harper 2018

Boy Swallows Universe is a marvelous, gritty coming-of-age novel set in 1980s Australia. Debut novelist Trent Dalton has crafted an alluring account of how two brothers grow up and even thrive despite their parents’ destructive habits. Chapter titles in this substantial (464 page) novel consist of three words: “Boy Writes Words”, “Boy Loses Luck”, “Boy Stirs Monster”, “Boy Steals Ocean”, “Boy Bites Spider”, “Girl Saves Boy”. Energetic, often poetic prose is rendered in first-person by protagonist Eli Bell, Australia's 20th Century counterpart to Huckleberry Finn. Full review on BookBrowse.

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Karen Lewis