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The Necklace of a Whale is one of the best pieces of writing in recent history, and a novel that has long been hailed as a classic. If you are not familiar with the work of Laird Barron, I’d like to give you a brief introduction into this writer’s eclectic mind.

Born in the deep Nunoo, Barron grew up during the Depression in the nineteen thirties, working in the fields as a farm hand, and living in a leather jacket and sun visor, driving a pick-up truck to visit his ailing father who would often die in his arms, on the day that the man had actually just been released from prison. When I was growing up, I recall him telling stories about losing people close to him. As a writer, Barron is still describing his “Truck and the “Tale” which he drove with the text of one of his favorite poems; the poem “The Wreck of the John Smith” by Ambrose Bierce.

In discussing his work, Barron spoke of a respect for nature. He once said, “I’ve been asked if I believe in God and my answer is yes, but I can’t claim anything except for a partial belief in the idea of a wild God.” While speaking about what he meant by that statement, Barron also speaks of his mother, who was a “wild woman” who, as he puts it, “caught a lot of filthy ninnies on her back, used to think they were all better than she was”. From reading his books, I can understand his sympathy for such a woman.


The writer, Laird Barron grew up during the depression, when the United States was in a recession, and many jobs were lost and remaining ones were scarce. At one point, the author had to cut his class because he was having difficulty paying the bills and eventually ended up doing odd jobs, picking lettuce, slicing onions, and other tasks. Another time, while on a fishing trip, Barron had to wash dishes in a restaurant in order to keep himself fed, and learned the skill of cleaning quickly.

As a result of this change in lifestyle, Barron became a social animal, and at one point, was homeless in New York City. “There was a period where I became homeless, and I ended up in a friend’s basement and worked on a phone-book and in odd jobs to make money, and just to get by. {Sables didn’t sell.”

In talking about his writing career, Barron adds, “Sometimes I feel like I’m not writing about anything, or, if I am, I don’t remember what it is.” While describing how he is able to stay on track with his writing, he also notes that when he was younger, he was unable to recognize his talent, and was afraid to write, telling others that if he did a book, he would be too scared to write it.

Barron’s work includes work in prose, poetry, and short stories. His works are written about his childhood and early years, and include his early mother and father, along with his grandparents. Barron describes his experience as a rural boy, living in a rough part of town, and his feelings of the anger of people who have been the center of attention for so long.

If you are interested in reading one of the best works in the genre of hard-boiled mystery, there is little substitute for Laird Barron’s work. It would be impossible to list all of the stories included in the Necklace of a Whale, but I will offer a brief overview of the most popular of the stories, and will give a synopsis of the main characters involved. The Necklace of a Whale is a book that should be read by all readers interested in hidden messages, hidden agendas, and strange times