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Watership Down by Richard Adams
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Watership Down (original 1972; edition 2012)

by Richard Adams

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,237341100 (4.21)3 / 690
Member:andreablythe
Title:Watership Down
Authors:Richard Adams
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:young adult, allegory, read in 2012, 12 in 12 Challenge, library, audiobook, adventure, mythology

Work details

Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)

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1970s (1)
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English (326)  Finnish (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All (340)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
I was surprised by how little I remembered this book. It was just the right balance. The rabbits were not too human ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 11, 2017 |
This was my first time reading Watership Down, and I didn’t know too much about it before I began reading except that it was a story told from the perspective of rabbits. I’m glad I finally read it, and I enjoyed it, but I was never enthralled by it. It was easy for me to put down.

The book starts off with a rabbit, Fiver, having a premonition that something horrible is going to happen to the warren where he and his brother live. His brother Hazel has learned that Fiver’s instincts about danger are usually correct, so Hazel does his best to help Fiver convince the chief rabbit that all the rabbits need to leave. Without any tangible support for their argument, the chief doesn’t take them seriously and is quite annoyed at being disturbed with such nonsense. A handful of rabbits decide to leave anyway, and the story is about the adventures they have after leaving as they try to make new lives for themselves.

Somehow I’ve gone through life without having much exposure to rabbits. I’ve seen a couple wild rabbits here and there at a distance, and I’ve occasionally seen fuzzy, rabbity lumps not doing much of anything (understandably) in tiny cages in pet stores, but that’s about it. When I was about halfway through the book, it finally occurred to me to look up rabbit videos online. That was nearly as entertaining as kitten videos, and searching for some specific things (fighting, thumping) helped me better picture some of the action in the book.

There really weren’t any major twists or surprises in this story. At least, not in my opinion. I felt like everything that happened was easily predicted by common sense, if not hinted at by the author well in advance. The string of adventures sometimes felt a little tedious to me, but there were also times when I was pretty well entertained by it. It also took me quite a while to warm up to the characters, but I did feel fairly attached to some of them by the end.

There’s an anthology associated with this book, Tales from Watership Down, but I’ve decided not to read it. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jan 28, 2017 |
A novel that is just as magical as it is thrilling, Watership Down accomplishes the astonishing feat of bringing out the kid in the adults while making kids feel like grown-ups by not pulling back on its still whimsical material. ( )
1 vote Birdo82 | Jan 15, 2017 |
I read this book a very long time ago, but i remember it really changing my perspective on books. It is very much a kids book but at the time i thought if it as very adult. I don't remember much of the plot, but the ending was definitely sad and it somehow made something so serious out of such a simple and innocent topic. ( )
1 vote raffizle | Jan 10, 2017 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2721814.html

I must have first read Watership Down when I was about nine, and then saw the notorious film when it came out a couple of years later. I was captivated then, and I am captivated now, four decades on. It's a great epic on a small scale, with Hazel leading a breakaway faction from a doomed warren, escaping many enemies, and then winning a conflict with the Efrafran rabbits led by the fearsome General Woundwort, to earn a just retirement. There is a lot of back-story mythology as well, centring around the trickster rabbit king and hero, El-Ahrairah. It has some beautiful descriptive passages:

The sun, risen behind the copse, threw long shadows from the trees southwestward across the field. The wet grass glittered and nearby a nut tree sparkled iridescent, winking and gleaming as its branches moved in the light wind. The brook was swollen and Hazel’s ears could distinguish the deeper, smoother sound, changed since the day before. Between the copse and the brook, the slope was covered with pale lilac lady’s-smocks, each standing separately in the grass, a frail stalk of bloom above a spread of cressy leaves. The breeze dropped and the little valley lay completely still, held in long beams of light and enclosed on either side by the lines of the woods. Upon this clear stillness, like feathers on the surface of a pool, fell the calling of a cuckoo.

Of course, now that I am older I'm more sensitive to the background of the story, which reflects Adams' wartime experience (especially Operation Market Garden) in the same way that Tolkien's work reflects the earlier war. As a child, I found chapter 31, The Story of El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit of Inlé, very very creepy indeed; as an adult, I was immensely moved by the ending in which the war veterans return to the warren they have saved, to find that their sacrifice has simply been forgotten by the next generation. There are some off-notes (the does come into the story rather late; there is a racist remark about Irish people; what is up with the sculptures and poetry in Cowslip's warren?) but in general it has kept its charm. ( )
2 vote nwhyte | Dec 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (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 (46 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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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Master Rabbit I saw
Walter de la Mare
Dedication
To Juliet and Rosamond, remembering the road to Stratford-on-Avon
First words
The primroses were over.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
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.
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.
(marcusbrutus)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:05 -0400)

(see all 10 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241953235, 0141341939

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