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They journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries to a mysterious promised land and a perfect society. In memory of Richard Adams 1920 2016 Some books have an amazingly unexplainable ability to transcend the purpose of their creation and take a leap into being an instant timeless classic All the world will be your enemy Prince of a Thousand enemies And when they catch you they will kill you But first they must catch you digger listener runner Prince with the swift warning Be cunning and full of tricks and your people will never be destroyed Watership Down began as an impromptu entertainment for Adams two young daughters on long car trips an adventure of a migrating bunch of somewhat anthropomorphic but yet very rabbit like rabbits It is a story full of palpable love for English countryside full of rabbity allegories of the variations of human societies and ideologies that nevertheless do not overshadow the simple but fascinating impact of the story of survival against all odds rooted in friendship bravery loyalty courage uick thinking and learning ability to see and embrace the new while relying on the ages tested old and perseverance despite the unfavorable odds Rabbits live close to death and when death comes closer than usual thinking about survival leaves little room for anything else I first read the story of Hazel Bigwig co when I was twelve and read it again and again many times since loving it and with each re read appreciating and each time how its seeming simplicity is actually made of layers of complexity Survival is the big theme naturally but another one is the coexistence between the old ways and the new ways the balance between the natural and the unnatural innate and learned It s not just the rabbit society that is plagued by these choices of course On a superficial read it would appear that Adams favors the former our rabbits are looking for a way to lead the normal natural rabbit life that sharply contrasts with the decadent Cowslip s warren and militaristic Efrafa But on the other hand it s precisely the openness to the new things and experiences that allows Hazel s bunch to survive the raft and the boat the digging of burrows the interspecies alliances but they still hold on firmly to their essential rabbitness It s the harmony that Adams is looking for and I love itAdams succeeded in creating such vivid and distinct personalities for all of the rabbits in the story making them so human like and yet unmistakably animal at the same time Cute fluffy bunnies they are not however they are tenacious survivalists full of life force and determination to survive despite their status as prey for the Thousand the many carnivorous predators from cats to hawks to foxes to humans They are driven by the need to live and multiply and thrive and when allowed to do so they are fearsome indeed just think of how rabbits took over Australia for example In Adams rendition they are and aren t like us and it s both their similarities and differences from what we think of as human that makes the story unforgettable Animals don t behave like men he said If they have to fight they fight and if they have to kill they kill But they don t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures lives and hurting them They have dignity and animality Each rabbit has a distinct voice and personality without being people they are nevertheless persons but it s the three that stand out to me Hazel Bigwig and WoundwortHazel the mastermind of the rabbit adventures is a natural leader He is not the fastest the smartest or the strongest but he has the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the ragtag bunch he leads He genuinely cares and his charisma and leading by example are uick to win the loyalty of others The parallels between Hazel and the legendary rabbit folklore hero El ahrairah the Prince of a Thousand enemies are not surprising and the final scene of the book lovely but uietly gut wrenching comes as no surprise You needn t worry about them said his companion They ll be all right and thousands like them If you ll come along I ll show you what I meanHe reached the top of the bank in a single powerful leap Hazel followed and together they slipped away running easily down through the wood where the first primroses were beginning to bloom His opposite is the eventual villain of the book General Woundwort the tyrant leader of an isolated militaristic rabbit warren a ruler with an iron fist whose forceful personality is supplemented by ferociously merciless teeth and claws Unlike Hazel he leads by force and coercion but props to Adams for not making him neatly fit into a black and white good vs bad model as his amazing ability to at least temporarily make rabbits perpetual prey into predators was a source of almost legendary fame And yet Woundwort s vision breaks down because grand as it may be it s still just tunnel vision At that moment in the sunset on Watership Down there was offered to General Woundwort the opportunity to show whether he was really the leader of vision and genius which he believed himself to be or whether he was no than a tyrant with the courage and cunning of a pirate For one beat of his pulse the lame rabbit s idea shone clearly before him He grasped it and realized what it meant The next he had pushed it away from him And bridging the gap between Hazel and Woundwort is my hero Bigwig Big strong and experienced and therefore bound to succeed almost anywhere in the rabbit society he grows from a careless and a bit bullyish character to one strongly loyal and just learning to rely on brains over brawn and yet with enough ferocity and determination to be an unstoppable force when combined with Hazel s leadership The warren of Watership Down would have been doomed without Bigwig s boundless daring loyal courage without his resolute determination and willingness for self sacrifice for the others a trait he would of course have not developed if not for the friends he made on the night of the escape from the doomed old warren in the search of Watership Down promised by Fiver Hazel learns to see the strengths and weaknesses in others Bigwig learns to see them in himselfMy strong and loyal rabbit hero your words at what you thought may have been your last minutes never cease to make me happily grin My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run and until he says otherwise I shall stay here This book is wonderful fantastic and has definitely earned itself a spot on the strategically placed bookshelf in my future hypothetical daughter s room where it will serve the purpose of helping to bring her into the wonderful world of stories and help her see the world for the amazing place it is And meanwhile somewhere in the wild rabbits would uietly go on with their rabbit lives Underground the story continued

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Watership Down

Librarian's note See alternate cover edition of ISBN13 9780380395866 hereSet in England's Downs a once idyllic rural landscape this stirring tale of adventure courage and. I don t give a shit what Richard Adams says about his book because it simply isn t true According to him in the preface of my edition this is just a story about rabbits Its intended purpose was to entertain his children in the car that s fair enough but he also says there is no intentional allegorical meaning whatsoever I find this hard to believe The allegories in here are rich and meaningful They don t just allude to simple problems They re complex and purposeful So if he didn t intend them then his unconscious certainly did I can t believe the literary merit of this work is entirely accidental Animals don t behave like men he said If they have to fight they fight and if they have to kill they kill But they don t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures lives and hurting them They have dignity and animality This has a surprising amount of depth The story is a comment on the brutal nature of man and his careless attitude towards nature it is a suggestion that he kills for the sake of killing rather than out of a need for survival it is a statement that man is not in touch with nature like other animals but in spite of this he is redeemable and capable of the opposite as much as the apparent Indeed this can be seen with the little girl who saves Hazel the Rabbit s chief at the end of the novel So it s a bit than a basic children s fable This is one of those rare rare books that can be read by anyone regardless of age and taste in novels it really is a wonderful story that has the potential to be enjoyed by all Indeed there is a reason why very few people have not heard of Watership Down and it s not because this is just a tale of rabbits attempting to find a new home and survive That is the crux of the plot but not the limits of the scope of the novel It has the appearance of a children s novel in that it is an exciting adventure about rabbits but for an adult it has greater depth Moreover the novel uestions the artificial life that captive animals must endure and demonstrates that they should be at one with their true nature like the rabbits of this novel This for me is a rather deep observation Humans are a species that superimpose their ways on all other forms of life If the animals don t adapt then they die I m not going to go into the murky realms of morality but whatever you think about the treatment of animals this is a truism Humans destroy nature as they destroy most things I m sounding like a little bit of a misanthrope but again it s true Men will never rest till they ve spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals Regardless of what Richard Adams thinks his book is an allegory for many things He may not have intended this but the finished product clearly transcends his motives it has become a real work of literature One need only look at half the works in the literary cannon to see that the interpretations of these works rarely correspond with the author s intent and sometimes even directly oppose them Many critics even say the author isn t important and is just a mere vessel for the work If this is true then one needn t look any further than the wonderful tale of Watership Down for conformation This is a great book Postscript I found this gorgeous illustrated edition in Waterstones that I just had to buyI mean just look at it You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree

Richard Adams ß 6 Read

Survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home Led by a stouthearted pair of friends. Ok so it s a book about a bunch of rabbits traveling through a small stretch of English countryside As such it doesn t seem like something that would appeal to anyone but a preteen But the fact of the matter is this is a great story full of rich characters a deep if occasionally erroneous understanding of things lapine and it can reach moments of depth and profundity that the movie of the same title does not even begin to hint at I was actually introduced to this book in one of the best ways I can imagine a friend recorded the entire book on tape and for a couple months I played the tapes of her reading a chapter or two just before I fell asleep each night My slow exposure to the book under ideal circumstances may have influenced my perceptions but I can say on each subseuent rereading of the book I ve come to appreciate it You can read the book just for the story apparently the author wrote the book from stories he would tell his children and it still can easily serve that purpose But the richness of his characters lead to many interesting analogies to human life For instance from Hazel you can learn profound things about leadership Throughout the book you feel that Hazel is the natural born leader of his group of rabbits but Richard Adams was very careful to develop this impression through character features rather than power relations The contrast is clearly intentional since the other leaders of the book achieve leadership status through very different means Many people think the book takes a strong stance against a particular kind of authoritarian rule but it is important to recognize the book gives this impression not through structured diatribe or through argument but rather it evolves out of character considerations and out of the story itself This means that the result is far complex than a simple argument For instance although General Woundwort may be seen as the main enemy that Hazel has to deal with and the authoritarian rabbit is portrayed rather negatively at times Adams uite intentionally adds some details that make him admirable to the other rabbits even to the very end A diatribe would not be so complex Fiver is another great character He adds an element of magic to the story and it allows Adams to link the rabbits he describes to a mythical world that enters into the story uite freuently One can almost see Fiver as a manifestation of imagination in this world Big wig is another likable character and the story of this rabbits experience in Efrafa is one of the highlights of the story Besides the characters the descriptions of England are also uite acute You can actually track the course of the rabbits on maps since Adams was careful to describe real places and things That attention to detail is often missed in reviews of this book Finally the thing that brings all these features together and makes the book than a mere story or an account of human characters or a diatribe against fascism is the fact that Adams is uite conscious of the fact that he is telling the story from the perspective of rabbits The challenges they face are rabbit sized the ideas about the external world are rabbitlike the philosophical insights seem rabbitized and Adams brings many of our anthropomorphized ideas of rabbits together with the reality of rabbits in a surprisingly coherent fashion I suppose the book can be seen as a cultural study of an imaginatively rich but realistic rabbit world I realize as I write this review that many other readers may not feel the same way about the book as I do It does have some shortcomings For instance female characters only make a few appearances in the book although I think Adams does show some sensitivity in their depictions But even with the limitations I would recommend the book to anyone who likes a good story and who is willing to think deeply about a children s story

10 thoughts on “Watership Down

  1. says:

    oh man this book totally tricked me I got a bad haircut one day so I needed to lay low for a few weeks Supercuts my ass Liars I called two of my hardest most straight up thug homies Zachary and Dustin to bring me some of their books and this was one of them I had just watched a show on AE about WWII naval battles so I couldn't WAIT to read Watership Down I love sea stories man overboard and off the port bow and aye aye c

  2. says:

    I don’t give a shit what Richard Adams says about his book because it simply isn’t true According to him in the preface of my edition this

  3. says:

    Slowly watching the new Netflix show Don’t want to cry too much at once Re read on audio is great Still truly wonderful sad OMG I can't believ

  4. says:

    I read this book an age ago Maybe 40 years ago the first timeLots of authors have written animal stories but they tend to be cute li

  5. says:

    El ahrairah your people cannot rule the world for I will not have it so All the world will be your enemy Prince with a Thous

  6. says:

    Ok so it's a book about a bunch of rabbits traveling through a small stretch of English countryside As such it doesn't seem like something that would appeal to anyone but a preteen But the fact of the matter is this is a g

  7. says:

    I started this book about 2 months ago got through the first 10 pages or so and I was not interested in continuin

  8. says:

    In memory of Richard Adams 1920 2016 Some books have an amazingly unexplainable ability to transcend the purpose of their creation and take a leap into being an instant timeless classic “All the world will be your enemy P

  9. says:

    Watership Down is a classic fantasy novel written in 1972 that originated in stories told by Richard Adams to his daughters on long car drives It's kind of a pastoral fantasy based on anthropomorphized rabbits who have an elaborate if primitive society A group of rabbits leaves their warren when one of them Fiver who has second sight has visions of a disaster to come after failing to convince the head rabbit of the danger The rabbits have

  10. says:

    Most reviews I write just for the hell of it for my own records and if some people like them I am just happy as a lark For Watership Down however I am just a little bit ambitious I would like to convince people who feel a