Drama, Historical fiction

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Book is still available to request on NetGalley as of Posting this review

One of the perks of trying out new books is the chance to find the latest styles of narrative, and times and places that one would never encounter otherwise. This is one such book. The splash of colour on the cover, the ambiguous (sort of) title does not necessarily give a particularly clear picture of the content. It was one of a kind content. If there was a lot less swearing, I would have liked it enough to give it a full five stars. For those people who find it easy to ignore or even enjoy swearing, this should not be a problem. Given the story itself, I do understand why that might be part of the whole picture.

The entire story is set in 1980s Australia. The harsh situations that people find themselves in and the way that they hold themselves above water paints a bleak picture. Within this bleak picture, our main man/boy Eli and his mostly mute brother Gus make their own special way. They hobnob with gangsters, drugs, negligent parent figures, convicts, all the while they pick and choose what they learn from each of these people who play a varying degree of prominent roles in their lives.  It is a fast-paced story with a lot of heart-rending moments that are not focused upon, we just move on to the next incident, and the people deal with it, they are that tough.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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