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Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down (1972)

by Richard Adams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Watership Down (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,390267119 (4.23)3 / 580
1970s (2)
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English (257)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
This book continued my love of reading novels where the main protagonist is not human. I loved the idea of a novel from the point of view of an entire burrow of rabbits.
I think the rabbits are still a bit to anthropomorphized because how else do you really tell a story from the point of view of a animal considering that most of the country believes animals incapable of feelings? (Despite evidence to the contrary.)
But the story is excellent and the writing easy enough for most readers to follow. Read the full review here: www.ravenoak.net ( )
  kaonevar | Nov 12, 2014 |
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
Watership Down is a perfect example of how novels of anthropomorphic animals condenses and redefines time-period social commentary for future generations to experience and discover through the natural course of a rabbit's ethology and human anthropology. Readers discover the different defining levels of culture through the Warren (folklore, mythology, language, ect.) and the objective but destructive course and perilous consequences of mans' cultivation of nature by creating a more human approach to the rabbits' journey in to find another homestead after the Warren is destroyed by farmers. Though this is merely but one dimension in which Adams creates an entertaining and thrilling story but, at the same time, discusses the various dynamics of human nature that are natural in a societal state such as personal freedom, tyrannical and oppressive social institutions, and gender assignments according to social standards. ( )
1 vote rwagner2 | Oct 14, 2014 |

This was a television series when I was a kid, you'll know it - Bright Eyes. I never understood the story, but I came across this book and wanted to read it, so hopefully I could learn what the story had been about in the first place. (OK, the lovely rabbit on the cover did help a little in my decision making process).

It was a completely different story from what I expected. A bunch of rabbits set of to create a new colony (that is probably not the right word - please do forgive me) of rabbits, and we follow them as they try to create this.

But, oh, they aren't very clever; for they simply 'forget' to take any female rabbits with them. It's clear they didn't pay attention in Biology classes.

Then, obviously they need to find some female rabbits, and they just go and steal them. I always wondered why the Evil rabbits in the series were hunting them, but it makes more sense now.

A book all about rabbits may sound boring, but believe me, it isn't. There's a lot of suspense and it is interesting from start to end. I would recommend it! ( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
The Basics

Hazel and Fiver’s current home is soon to be demolished, but the way in which they know this involves Fiver’s psychic powers, so it’s kind of hard for them to get anyone to listen to them. They gather what few compatriots will follow and set out for a safer home, and many adventures ensue that threaten their very lives. Oh yeah, and they’re all rabbits.

My Thoughts

Most everyone has heard about this book. They’ve heard the phrase, “it’s like Lord of the Rings with rabbits!” And there has been dubious eyebrow raising and scoffing laughter, I can well imagine. I wheedled about it myself.

Well, stop it. Stop that judgmental crap right now and go read this book. Rabbits or no, these are some of the richest, most well-written characters to grace literature. This book is beautifully paced and absolutely worthy of the cliche “page turner”. It’s a fantasy world as fascinating as any I’ve read and steeped in its own mythology and legends with its own language. If you love fantasy, this book is for you. If you’re an animal lover, this book is for you. If you love literature and classics, this book is for you. I can’t think of anyone who should pass this up.

Adams does something noteworthy here. He makes rabbits relatable and human. Yet he also makes them just alien enough that it never occurs to you to picture them as anything but rabbits. He balances these two in such a way that neither overwhelms the other. Their world is tangible, and as a reader, you won’t question it. But it’s not our world, and you’ll feel that, too, and want to learn more. Out of all the fantasy races I’ve seen over time, Adams manages to make rabbits one of the most well-thought-out of the bunch.

My last thought is to parents of small children. Stop giving your kids this book. Unless they’re very mature kids, which some are, granted. It’s actually kind of dark and scary and violent. Just because the protagonists are rabbits doesn’t mean it’s something sweet and fuzzy. Rabbits are prey to pretty much every, other animal, and this book deals with that in spades. You read it. You’d like it. But don’t give it to your kids.

Final Rating

5/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
It would seem that in Adam's ardor for wild creatures he has tried too hard to make a case for them instead of allowing them fully to be their own recommendation. I'm grateful for much of what he's done, but I'm not going to look at rabbits differently from now on.
Watership Down offers little to build a literary cult upon. On the American-whimsy exchange, one Tolkien hobbit should still be worth a dozen talking rabbits.
added by Shortride | editTime, Melvin Maddocks (Mar 18, 1974)
This bunny-rabbit novel not only steers mostly clear of the usual sticky, anthropomorphic pitfalls of your common garden-variety of bunny rabbit story: it is also quite marvelous for a while, and after it stops being marvelous, it settles down to be pretty good- a book you can live with from start to finish.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paolini, Pier FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parkins, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tucker, NicholasAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
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Master Rabbit I saw
Walter de la Mare
To Juliet and Rosamond, remembering the road to Stratford-on-Avon
First words
The primroses were over.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Book description
AR 6.2, Pts 25.0

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren – he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver’s sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver’s vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380002930, Mass Market Paperback)

Watership Down has been a staple of high-school English classes for years. Despite the fact that it's often a hard sell at first (what teenager wouldn't cringe at the thought of 400-plus pages of talking rabbits?), Richard Adams's bunny-centric epic rarely fails to win the love and respect of anyone who reads it, regardless of age. Like most great novels, Watership Down is a rich story that can be read (and reread) on many different levels. The book is often praised as an allegory, with its analogs between human and rabbit culture (a fact sometimes used to goad skeptical teens, who resent the challenge that they won't "get" it, into reading it), but it's equally praiseworthy as just a corking good adventure.

The story follows a warren of Berkshire rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a land developer. As they search for a safe haven, skirting danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band and its compelling culture and mythos. Adams has crafted a touching, involving world in the dirt and scrub of the English countryside, complete with its own folk history and language (the book comes with a "lapine" glossary, a guide to rabbitese). As much about freedom, ethics, and human nature as it is about a bunch of bunnies looking for a warm hidey-hole and some mates, Watership Down will continue to make the transition from classroom desk to bedside table for many generations to come. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:29 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

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Average: (4.23)
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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241953235, 0141341939

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