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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
20,190396121 (4.21)3 / 797
Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.
  1. 219
    Redwall by Brian Jacques (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Both wonderful stories about woodland animals that are good reads for young people, yet with so much more meaning to older readers.
  2. 111
    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (bookel)
  3. 60
    Duncton Wood by William Horwood (bookel)
  4. 84
    Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: Adventure from the point of view of animals written for adults! A group of sheep discover that their shepherd has been murdered and decide they will have to find the culprit themselves. I loved this book :)
  5. 51
    The White Bone: A Novel by Barbara Gowdy (kelsoli)
    kelsoli: A survival quest about elephants.
  6. 40
    Beak of the Moon by Philip Temple (Aquila)
    Aquila: Similar quest story about keas (NZ's alpine parrots) but very much its own book.
  7. 63
    We3 Deluxe Edition by Grant Morrison (kristenn, questionablepotato)
  8. 30
    Frost Dancers by Garry Kilworth (peptastic)
    peptastic: It's about hares trying to find a new home after being plucked for hare racing.
  9. 30
    Urchin of the Riding Stars by M. I. McAllister (al.vick)
  10. 20
    The Battle for Beaver Lake by Geoffrey Malone (bookel)
  11. 20
    The Bees by Laline Paull (unlucky)
  12. 20
    Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams (Cecrow)
  13. 31
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
  14. 10
    Jennie by Paul Gallico (Cecrow)
  15. 10
    The Journal of Watkin Stench by Meredith Hooper (bookel)
  16. 10
    Journeys to the Heartland by William Horwood (Vonini)
    Vonini: Likewise a book about a group of animals on a journey told from the animal point of view.
  17. 10
    The Cold Moons by Aeron Clement (J.Sealy)
  18. 21
    Fifteen Rabbits by Felix Salten (bookel)
  19. 54
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Two great examples of fine English fantasy.
  20. 10
    The Song of Pentecost by W. J. Corbett (bookel)

(see all 37 recommendations)

1970s (2)

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English (380)  Finnish (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (396)
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
So, yeah.

Rabbits going gung-ho in England and encountering many different politics, talking about mythology, death, and courage.

Oh, yeah, and if you didn't pick up on that bit... it's FANTASY. They can't count to five but they have complex Briar-Rabbit mythologies. Oh, and there's a bit of a Cassandra precog stuff and ghosts, too.

But don't let this next bit bring you down! It's YA.

Oh, a lot of people might say it's too graphic for younglings but that's entirely a matter of opinion. It's rabbits, ya'll. Have you told your little ones about where the meat they're eating comes from? It's all part of the same idea. Kids aren't dumb. Well. Most of them aren't. Give them some credit. :)

All told, this really IS a classic. Plenty to entertain everyone. It's a subversive, political, adventuresome survival dystopia with delightful bunnies.

Marlon Bundo eat your heart out. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
When I started reading Watership Down, I didn't imagine that a story about rabbits could be so interesting. And these rabbits are not your average run-of-the-mill, wasitcoat-ed, monocle-wearing rabbits - the author has made sure not the anthropomorphize them too much. Which is very well done because the rabbits retain their worldview and their nervous mannerisms which really help you sink deeper into the story and you get a sense of the anxiety and high-strung nerves rabbits must have. You can easily envisage regular old rabbits you encounter in real life to be acting this way (well, to a certain extent). What I also don't really expect from a rabbit story is a tale of adventure, ingenuity, commentary on society and some epic battles with last ditch stands. The rabbits undergo a form of character development and you understand every rabbit better as the story goes on. The inventive language of the rabbits is a nice touch and definitely adds to the story nicely.

Whilst reading, I frequently wondered if Adams wasn't making a metaphor about the human condition as well in some way - the high place that the rabbits dream of and all the perils that they encounter along the way, random strokes of luck and ingenuity combined with minor annoyances with comrades across a long journey. It felt as if the story was all too human. At the same time, the description of how rabbit societies differed from one another and how they had internalized the state of their warren was also interesting to read. These societies differed from each other as readily as human ones do. Dictators, zealots, leaders with their heads in the sand, prophesiers, sight-seers, vagabonds and the pain of adjusting to some place new all come in and play their part at some point in the story.

At the same time, there were points where the story was overly descriptive and verbose. A casual reader like myself would sometimes get lost in the writing and stop paying attention to all the descriptions of flowers and trees and the burrows.

All in all, an enjoyable book. Would recommend.

( )
  Fitzgeralds_Cat | May 28, 2020 |
Read this when I was 13 and on a vacation in Thailand. Had a hugely emotional effect on me and even *turned me into a vegetarian* for the next 10 years ( )
  AlexejGerstmaier | May 26, 2020 |
How this classic escaped my required reading lists in school is beyond me. Why did it take me several decades to read it on my own? In utter candor, a nearly 500-page book about a group of adventurous rabbits simply didn't grab me. I'm so glad I finally carved out time to read Adams' delightful book that showcases survival, resiliency, leadership and other core attributes. Some of the characters will forever hop in the theater of my mind. Now comes the literary blasphemy. I always dread criticizing anything about beloved classics. But I cannot tell a tie. About three-quarters of the way through, I was growing a bit weary and wanted it to end. I do think that if Adams had spared readers from a half-dozen anecdotes, yarns or scene-setting passages and had delivered a book under 400 pages, it would have been a five-star reading experience for me. Having said that, "Watership Down" is a wonderful tale. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | May 6, 2020 |
I liked Watership Down. It was written well, fiction mixed in real research. I say, it took quite a while before it got interesting, probably 40% through. Before then, it was good but didn't make me excited to keep reading. The last 30% or so is really the most fun. There are a few key characters that I will remember for a long time.

I really like complex stories and new worlds. I didn't expect otherwise, but Watership Down was a simpler story. I appreciated hints at a supernatural world, creating a little wonder left up to the reader.

My rating of 3/5 stars reflects my own enjoyment based on personal tastes. I would rate it as 4/5 for writing quality and cleverness.

I would recommend Watership Down to someone looking for a good story, one without personal conviction or dark or adult themes. ( )
  014 | May 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galli, AldoIllustratorsecondary 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
Webb, KayeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Master Rabbit I saw
Walter de la Mare
Juliet and Rosamond,
the road to Stratford-on-Avon
First words
The primroses were over.
CHORUS: Why do you cry out thus, unless at some vision of horror?
CASSANDRA: The house reeks of death and dripping blood.
CHORUS: How so? 'Tis but the odour of the altar sacrifice.
CASSANDRA: The stench is like a breath from the tomb.

Aeschylus Agamemnon
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

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.
FI:"Viikka ja Vatukka, Voikukka ja Mansikka, Pähkinä ja Hopea ja muut kanit, Ruohometsän koko unohtumaton kansa tässä elokuvassa, joka on valloittanut maailman. Kertomus pikkukanien uhkraohkeasta pakomatkasta ihmisten jaloista kohti uutta, turvallista kotiseutua - on tarina kaikenikäisille. Jännittävä, liikuttava ja tiemastuttava koko perheen elokuva, jonka suosiosta kertovat myös monet suuret kansainväliset palkinnot."
Haiku summary
Rabbits find a home.
They find others on the way
and fight to stay safe.

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Average: (4.21)
0.5 5
1 72
1.5 10
2 157
2.5 40
3 637
3.5 146
4 1673
4.5 239
5 2371

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241953235, 0141341939

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