Low Expectations | A Book by Stuart Everly Wilson

Low Expectations

Published: February 2021
ISBN: 9781922330154

The coming-of-age story you didn’t know you’d been waiting for. It’s gritty, real and raw…[Devon Destri] has been called Western Sydney’s very own Holden Caulfield but this anti-hero is funnier, more likeable and more relatable than Holden ever was…Heartbreaking and hilarious.


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Meet Australian literature’s new anti-hero in this blackly humorous debut novel for fans of Boy Swallows Universe and Jasper Jones

I begin to record the history of it all, because if I don’t I will explode, leaving nothing to tell of me but a pile of ash. In this history I will try to leave nothing out, but I will also be careful not to incorporate any extraneous unnecessary shit. Like objectivity. Objectivity is for those who don’t have a point to make, or a side to take. There is only one side to this story and that’s mine.

1970s, Western Sydney. A boy and his mum living in a street where neighbours keep an eye on everyone else’s business. A detested bully. And a family secret, barely hidden.

Devon Destri flies under the radar. He doesn’t talk to anyone, calls himself hard of speaking, and doesn’t correct anyone’s assumptions of his low intelligence. If no one knows otherwise, no one will expect anything of him, and maybe he won’t need to expect anything of himself-that is, beyond running a highly lucrative porn-magazine racket. Only his fiercely loyal friend Tammy and old Krenek the Hungarian refugee know that Great Expectations is his favourite book, or that he can read at all. But when Devon starts to piece together his mother’s secret, his intellect and charm are put to startling and devastating use.

Stuart Everly-Wilson’s Low Expectations is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of resilience, revenge and love that captures the complexity of vulnerability and bravado. Devon Destri, with his sharp wit and gift for one-liners, is a character you’ll never forget.

Wild and uninhibited…with an unforgettable cast of characters whom I Immediately started to miss when I closed the book.

Jock Serong

The power of this book, comes from its uncompromising first-person descriptions of what it is like to be different and highly intelligent in a world filled with ignorance, prejudices about disability—and everything else—and the small noxious worlds people create for themselves and others.

The Herald Sun

Starts out in the Holden Caulfield vein, but Devon is both funnier and more interesting as he explores the forces that have shaped his life.

Sydney Morning Herald, Pick of the Week

The artfulness of Devon and business partner Tammy will have you cheering for them from the sidelines…Eye-wateringly funny.

Otago Daily Times, NZ

Stuart Everly-Wilson has created one of the most unforgettable characters I have been introduced to in a long time. For me, the thing that sets this novel apart is the genuine care I developed as a reader for Devon. A brilliant debut.

Good Reading

Stuart Everly-Wilson reads from Low Expectations