Why Our Staff Love Boy Swallows Universe:
A colourful mix of narrative true crime and poignant childhood wonder, this fabulous novel is set against the grimy corruption of Bjelke-Peterson’s Queensland, in a semi-squalid Brisbane suburb.
Eli Belli is adrift in a dysfunctional family. Between his drug-dealing step-father, mute brother, addict mother and the ex-convict babysitter, he must find all the guidance he can. The innocent Eli deals with it all like a fantasy novel hero, an adventurer on some quest in a magical realist suburbia full of dangerous threats. Life swirls about him menacingly. Then he finds love…
Boy Swallows Universe is a ripper of a tale, full of many laugh-out-loud moments, but it is also melancholy and poignant, being somehow both heartbreaking and joyful. Based on his own childhood, Dalton’s book carries an authentic honesty, expressed in vivid observation and wonderful prose that will make you want to read more.
This novel became an instant favourite with us, and is one of Angus & Robertson’s leading picks of the year. We urge you to pick it up - you'll love it!
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.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje has won the Golden Man Booker Prize. The winner of this special one-off prize was chosen by the public. All 51 previous winners were considered by a panel of five specially appointed judges, each of whom was asked to read the winning novels from one decade of the prize’s history, before the books faced a month-long public vote on the Man Booker website.
‘The English Patient is that rare novel which gets under your skin and insists you return to it time and again, always yielding a new surprise or delight. It’s intricately (and rewardingly) structured, beautifully written, with great humanity written into every page. Ondaatje’s imagination acknowledges no borders as it moves between Cairo, Italy, India, England, Canada – and between deserts and villas and bomb craters. And through all this, he makes you fall in love with his characters, live their joys and their sorrows. Few novels really deserve the praise: transformative. This one does.’ – Kamila Shamsie, Man Booker Judge and author of Home Fire