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The Real Thing : A Les Norton Novel 2 - Robert G. Barrett

The Real Thing

A Les Norton Novel 2

Paperback

Published: November 1989
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It isn't every day you help murder someone with poison in an illegal casino, whisk his body halfway across town in a Rolls Royce, after robbing him, then bury his body in tonnes of concrete underneath an international airport - all more or less with the co-operation of two detectives. Les Norton is back in town!

Trouble seems to follow Les like a blue heeler after a mob of sheep. Maybe it's his job - being a bouncer at the infamous and illegal Kelly Club in Kings Cross isn't exactly the stuff a quiet life is made of. Maybe it's his friends - like Price Galese, the urbane and well-connected owner of the Kelly Club, or Eddie Salita, the hitman who learned to kill in Vietnam, or Reg Campbell, struggling artist and dope dealer. But then again, maybe Les is just unlucky...

Robert G. Barrett was raised in Bondi where he has worked mainly as a butcher. He has appeared in a number of films and TV commercials but prefers to concentrate on a career as a writer. He is author of 11 other books including You Wouldn't be Dead for Quids and Day of the Gecko.

ISBN: 9780330271646
ISBN-10: 0330271644
Series: A Pan Australia original
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Published: November 1989
Dimensions (cm): 18.2 x 11.5  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.15

Robert G. Barrett

Don't be fooled by his easy-going, unaffected manner, Robert G. (Bob) Barrett is one of Australia's top-selling contemporary writers and one of this country's most popular literary figures. His novels, which regularly sell 80,000 copies on release, are based on his well-loved character Les Norton, his hero that first appeared in You Wouldn't Be Dead For Quids (1984). He is now the author of 11 novels and two works of non-fiction. Barrett has sold over 1,000,000 books in Australia to date. He was formerly a script writer, a columnist on People and Nine To Five magazines, and has written short stories and occasional feature articles for Australian newspapers.

Barrett was born in Bondi, Australia, the son of George and Marguerite Barrett. He left school at 14 to do a few odd jobs before taking on a trade as a butcher around the eastern suburbs of Sydney. He gave up his trade when a hind of beef fell on him and injured his shoulder. While he was on worker's compensation, he completed three writing courses at the WEA (Workers' Educational Association).

When his sickness benefits ran out he worked in various jobs, DJ, barman, or went on the dole. His first writing job was gag writing for disc jockeys on Radio 2SM. He also signed on with a casting agent and started acting in commercials and television series and appeared in what he says are 'two classic A-grade clunkers'; the movies Bullamakanka and The Empty Beach.

In the early 1980s with his compensation pay-out he bought a block of land on the Central Coast, 100 miles north of Sydney - land was cheap then and his family had been associated with the district since 1856. The house he now calls home has stunning ocean views. He moved there with the intention of writing short stories and in 1984 he bought out his first book You Wouldn't Be Dead For Quids, adapted from a short story called Norton's Boots.

In those days it was hard to make it as a writer. Barrett didn't have huge advances or grants for writing and he had to take various positions to make ends meet and try to hang on to his house. He worked as a kitchen hand, cleaned toilets and spent time in gaol for not paying parking fines before going back on the dole.

Then he got what he calls his first break. He got a "phone call from the editor of People magazine asking if he was interested in writing a column for the magazine". The column was called So What Do You Reckon? the same title as his book, published in 1997, which contains the very best and funniest of these pieces. The columns are still as relevant today as they were then.

Barrett admits he deliberately goes out of his way to avoid political correctness and to antagonise the so called literary elite; the establishment. He doesn't write to impress critics, or writers, or the Australia Council. He writes for his readers and likes to put humour into his work. He feels that we should be able to laugh at the world and in particular at ourselves. He quotes George Saintsbury: "Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that humour excites in those who lack it."

Robert G. Barrett is currently working on a new Les Norton adventure.

Visit Robert G. Barrett's Booktopia Author Page