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Media Release: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows Universe
Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows UniverseBoy Swallows Universe is a captivating coming-of-age story set in Brisbane’s violent working-class suburban fringe, inspired by the real-life events of journalist Trent Dalton’s complicated youth.

Dalton’s debut novel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Eli Bell who finds comfort in his extraordinary imagination as a means of escaping from his complicated life with a mute brother, a mother in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter.

Surrounded by chaos and with very little moral guidance from the adults around him, Eli sets out on an ambitious suburban odyssey that sees him break into Boggo Road Gaol to rescue his mum, meet the father he doesn’t remember, come face-to-face with the criminals who tore his world apart, and fall in love with the girl of his dreams.   

At its core, Boy Swallows Universe is a story of brotherhood and the spark of young love; it’s also the unlikely true story of the formative friendship Dalton shared with Arthur ‘Slim’ Halliday, the greatest escape artist ever confined to Brisbane’s Boggo Road Gaol.

A surprising, funny and tender novel that captures both the light and shade of Australian suburbia and reminds us that, with a little imagination, even lost souls can change their fate.

Boy Swallows Universe will be published globally through HaperCollins countries across all major English and translation markets.


Trent Dalton is a staff writer for The Weekend Australian Magazine and a former assistant editor of The Courier Mail. He’s a two-time winner of a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, a three-time winner of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in NSW Journalism and a four-time winner of the national News Awards Features Journalist of the Year. Boy Swallows Universe is his first book.

For further information or to request a review copy or interview, please contact:

Alice Wood, Campaign Manager

E: [email protected] or T: 02 9952 5439

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Published: 18 June 2018

Imprint: Fourth Estate

Format: Trade paperback | RRP: $32.99 | ISBN: 9781460753897 | eBook available


November 9, 2018


Media Release: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton


Alice Wood

02 9952 5439

[email protected]