Re-released to coincide with the New Zealand release of Taika Watiti’s reimagining of this classic Kiwi tale, Wild Pork and Watercress is as relevant now as it was when it was first published.
Barry Crump’s writing still has always been rough and ready, and it’s this bushman’s charm that makes Ricky – the overweight foster kid that no one wants, such an endearing little rascal; and his gruff (foster) Uncle Hec such a stoic old sod you can’t help but care about him.
With the addition of behind-the-scenes photos from the making of The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, this edition provides a great chance to hook the younger members of the family on reading, especially once they’ve seen and loved the film. It’s a memento they can use. And for those of us a wee bit older, the updated preface from Crump’s son Martin is an interesting read.
What we know about Barry Crump today is a lot different to what we knew about him when he first started publishing; regardless of his shortcomings in other personal areas, his tales of the bush and the men he encountered there are part of NZ’s literary history, and Wild Pork and Watercress is a must have in every New Zealander’s library.
Reviewed by Sarah McMullan
Wild Pork and Watercress
by Barry Crump (official film tie-in of The Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Published by Penguin Random House