Boy Swallows Universe

Mamamia Book Club

Mamamia Podcasts

Boy Swallows Universe

Trent Dalton's Boy Swallows Universe has been labelled one of the must-read books of the year so what better way to kick off this summer season of Book Club.  And joining Jessie Stephens to discuss it is writer and self-confessed Trent Dalton fangirl, Holly Wainwright.

So did this book live up to all the hype? Did the fantasy element make or break it? Can a book so heavy with drugs and abuse really be all about love? And how important is the title?

Let's find out...

Remember, this is a Book Club, so we're assuming if you're listening you've read the book too.  That means there will be spoilers, so if you haven't read it, grab a copy, get reading and join us after you've turned the last page.  We'll be right here waiting for you!

About the Book

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.

End Credits...

You can buy Trent Dalton's book Boy Swallows Universe here or on Apple Books at

Your host is Jessie Stephens. 

With thanks to great insight from Holly Wainwright.

Elissa Ratliff is the producer of Mamamia Book Club. 

You can call Jessie and Lize on 02 8999 9386. 

Head to to get this and all our pods delivered straight to your inbox.