Do you remember Barry Crump?

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Barry Crump:
  – Barry Crump MBE (15 May 1935 – 3 July 1996) was a New Zealand author of semi-autobiographical comic novels based on his image as a rugged outdoors man. Taken together his novels have sold more than a million copies domestically, equating to one book sold for every four New Zealanders. Crump’s 1986 work Wild Pork and Watercress was adapted into the 2016 Taika Waititi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople. – Born Jo

hn Barrie Crump in Papatoetoe, Auckland, Crump worked for many years as a government deer-culler in areas of New Zealand native forest (termed “the bush”). He wrote his first novel, A Good Keen Man, in 1960, based on his experiences as a government hunter. It was a fictional account of a young hunter who has to suffer through a series of hunting partners who are often unsuitable for the job. This novel became one of the most popular in New Zealand history, and Crump’s success continued with Hang on a Minute Mate (1961), One of Us (1962), There and Back (1963), Gulf (1964), A Good Keen Girl (1970), Bastards I Have Met (1971), and others, which capitalized on the appeal of his good-natured itinerant self-sufficient characters an idiomatic “blokey” writing style that he developed after his first book. – Crump travelled throughout Australia (where he hunted crocodiles), Europe, Turkey, and India, the result of which was his conversion to the Baháʼí Faith by 1982. He married five times, including a one-year marriage to the poet Fleur Adcock, a ten year marriage to Jean Watson and a twelve-year marriage to Robin Lee-Robinson. He had six sons, one of them with photographer Ans Westra. In 1988 Crump nearly died from accidentally inhaling cyanide when trapping possums. One of his sons, Martin Crump is now a well-known radio broadcaster. Towards the end of his life his literary style changed as he wrote children’s stories featuring characters he created; vis the Pungapeople. – Crump was also well known for appearing in a series of acclaimed New Zealand television advertisements for Toyota’s four-wheel drive cars, which relied on his image as a stalwart “bushman”. The ads aired between 1982 and 1995. He played an archetypal Kiwi bloke in the 1964 New Zealand film Runaway. (

Published by peter petterson

Father of four, grandfather of thirteen, and great-grandfather of eight. Resides in Taita, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. Living happily in retirement and enjoying the company of my many young descendants.

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