Wesley's Reviews > Watership Down

Watership Down by Richard Adams
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May 29, 08

Recommended for: everyone.
Read in June, 2007

There have been many good reviews of this book and I won't attempt reiterate them. I just want to point out two errors that people often make about this book.

1: This is a novel for young people.

If you examine the vocabulary and sentence structure of this book you will find that it is deceptively complex. The reading level is at the top end of the high school range. It is so brilliantly written that it seems like an easy read, but it really isn't.

2: The novel is about rabbits.

The characters are rabbits and Adams uses as little anthropomorphism as he can get away with, but it isn't a story about rabbits. The rabbits are stand-ins for humans and rabbit society is a stand-in for human society. The story is deep with commentary on civilization, religion, and especially government. Except in Watership Down, rabbits don't develop monarchies, dictatorships, and democracies. But people do.

I read this book every year over the summer.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Johannah (new)

Johannah I remember watching the movie, and it was extremely depressing and gory. That has prejudiced me towards this book, and I lost any previous desire to read it.


Sarah Carpenter Oh please do attempt the book. A lot of people are turned off it after being traumatised by the movie as children (it is a disturbing movie, and not a kids' film just because it's animated!) and while the book certainly deals with violence and some horrific events, it's far better than the movie and not nearly as depressing and disturbing.


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