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.
Just when everything was going so good, Les slips a disc in his back. He can't run, he can't train. He can't do anything much. But he can still drive his car. So it's down to Narooma for the South Coast Blues Festival and a bit of R&R: 30 bands and three days and nights of non-stop rock 'n' roll. Which would have been great, only Les has to have a slight altercation with four fishermen on his first night in town. Now the toughest, meanest, most horrible bloke on the south coast is after his blood. Then Les meets Amazing Grace. Add some magic mushrooms, a dancing bear and Jerry Lee Rat. It all makes for an interesting time at the Blues Festival. Robert G. Barrett's latest Les Norton adventure is set in beautiful Narooma on the New South Wales south coast, and is non-stop action spiced with humour, mystery and romance.