John's Reviews > Watership Down

Watership Down by Richard Adams
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Aug 23, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: Anyone
Read in July, 1986

It was the summer of 1986 when, rumaging through the long unused bedrooms of my grandfather's house, I stumbled upon the book Watership Down. At twelve, I was at that wonderful age when any book was a source of fascination rather than embarrassment, and so I sat upon my uncle's old bed and, in the dusty sunlight streaming through the window, began to read a book which would stay with me years later.

Fiver, a small and nervous rabbit, is plaugued by visions of the coming destruction of Sandleford Warren, his home. His brother Hazel, convinced that Fiver is right, recruits other "outskirters" (male rabbits who are relegated to the fringe of warren life) to leave in hopes of finding a new home. The story follows this rag-tag group as they endure predators, hardship, disease, and most horribly of all, brutality visited upon them by their own kind. Over all, they also face that most inimical enemy to wildlife, Man.

The characters are what truly stand out in this novel: The quietly competent leader Hazel, the gruff warrior Bigwig, the clever, innovative Blackberry, dashing storyteller Dandelion, the impulsive Silver, the steady Captain Holly, timidly loyal Pipkin, and the insightful seer Fiver. A host of other characters met along the way, especially the foul-mouthed seagull Kehaar, stay with you long after putting the book down. Through it all, the rabbits (and other species encountered), while anthropomorphized enough to sympathize with their struggle, still retain their uniquely animal characteristics.

I have heard the book dismissed as "that book about rabbits" or, more often, as "just a kid's book." Perhaps Mr. Addams did in fact intend it to be literature for children; However, I'm inclined to agree with C.S. Lewis, who was of the opinion that good literature is accessible to everyone, child and adult alike. Watership Down, more than any other novel I have read, fits the bill.

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03/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Andy (new) - added it

Andy Instead of reading books I think you would be better writing them. This bit here was awe-inspiring:

"At twelve, I was at that wonderful age when any book was a source of fascination rather than embarrassment, and so I sat upon my uncle's old bed and, in the dusty sunlight streaming through the window, began to read a book which would stay with me years later. "

Either that or become a professional reviewer.

Cheers!


Dean Great review, It made me want to read it all over again.


message 3: by Bookworm007 (new)

Bookworm007 yeah I like that little bit at the start of your review too!


message 4: by Jacklyn (new)

Jacklyn Agrees with all previous comments.


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