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How much of 10/10 Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe is based on real-life events

How much of 10/10 Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe is based on real-life events

The Australian coming of age drama has resonated well with audiences, and is based on real events

Viewers have been raving about Netflix's latest series, Boy Swallows Universe, with many wondering just how much of the story is actually based on true events.

It's been six years since Trent Dalton's debut novel Boy Swallows Universe was released.

Published to universal acclaim, the Australian story has quickly been turned into Netflix's latest series.

And just like the book, the seven-part series adaptation has instantly become a surefire win with audiences across the globe.

Boy Swallows Universe focuses on Brisbane boy Eli Bell as he navigates his teenage years.

Set in 1985, it follows Eli and his family as they mix with a disturbing underworld plagued by addiction.

His step-dad is a heroin dealer and his mum a drug addict, leading to a brutal experience for the lad.

Felix Cameron stars as Eli, with Zac Burgess and Auden Ryan also playing the Aussie youngster at different ages.

As with any story so personal, one question always comes up - how much is based on real life?

Dalton, who wrote the original work, has been open about how much his own life inspired the work of fiction.

Felix Cameron in Boy Swallows Universe.
Netflix

The 44-year-old's step-dad was a heroin dealer in real life. He also enjoyed periods of his youth with a family friend named Arthur 'Sim' Halliday.

Unbeknownst to Dalton, Slim was a convicted killer, with the journalist describing him as the 'funniest, kindest old bloke' due to his youthful ignorance.

Slim would look after Dalton in his childhood, in a situation very similar to the journey Eli follows.

Speaking of his step-dad, he told the Bulletin: “That man was genuinely the first man that I ever loved and he was probably in many ways my mum’s true love, the love of her life.”

Regarding his mum's own demons, Dalton said the novel 'doesn't say a tenth of what she's been through' while praising her for 'coming out the other side of those things'.

Boy Swallows Universe is based on the 2018 book of the same name.
Netflix

On the HarperCollins’s website, Dalton says his story is about him 'taking all my own secrets this time and turning them as respectfully as possible into a novel'.

He adds: "The key characters all draw on the people I love most in the world.

"The most beautiful and complex people I’ve ever known, and I never even had to walk out the door of my house to find them.

"I just wanted to give the world a story. To turn all these crazy and sad and tragic and beautiful things I’ve seen into a crazy, sad, tragic and beautiful story.

The research was really remembrance. Remembering all those years when the world around my small family crumbled. When people we loved were being taken away.

"When things we thought true were being turned false. Heads were being slammed into fibro walls. Dangerous people were knocking on doors at daytime.

Boy Swallows Universe is streaming on Netflix now.
Netflix

"And when that world of ours crumbled – the world of prisons and small-time suburban crime – and my brothers and I went to live with my father who I never knew, that world we knew was replaced with a new world of a Brisbane Housing Commission cluster swirling with a hundred social issues – alcoholism, unemployment, domestic violence, generational social curses – all of which I would later write about as a journalist."

Boy Swallows Universe is available to stream on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, Australia, TV and Film