Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Watership Down Book Review

Wonderful Book To Read

A review of a classic book for you  to consider reading, Watership Down. You may have been required to read this book when you were in Middle or High School. I fall into an age group that wasn't; when I was still attending school it hadn't been written yet. So, I'm quite late to the game but I enjoyed this book a whole lot and would have loved writing a report on it or discussing it in a classroom. (I was one of those strange kids who relished those book assignments!)

watership down rabbits
Would the rabbits of Watership Down look like these two?
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I had heard of this book written by Richard Adams and first published in 1972 but had never considered reading it. From the title I guess I thought that it probably had something to do with a ship or a sea battle. I couldn't have been more wrong. Watership Down is actually a chalk hill in Hampshire, England. The story is about a group of wild rabbits who flee from their colony and warren when one rabbit senses that danger is on the way.

Richard Adams didn't set out to write a book but instead began to make-up the story to entertain his children on a long road trip. His daughters loved the tales so much that they encouraged him to write it all down and make it into a book. Adams was rejected by several publishers before Rex Collings Ltd took a chance on him and published it for him. The book was so well received that it won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize. I wonder what those publishers that rejected it thought when that happened!

My attention was drawn to the book when I was watching a re-run of a British television show. The presenter was in Hampshire showing properties to a couple who wanted to move to the country. He pointed to the real Watership Down and referenced the book. My curiosity was peaked so I looked up the novel and ended up buying it. I was not disappointed!


Brief Synopsis of Watership Down


The main characters of this wonderful book for children or young adults are wild rabbits. Just like with humans each has his or her own personality. Fiver and Hazel are friends growing up in a colony of rabbits in England. Both are about a year old and haven't found their place in the hierarchy of the colony yet. Life is hard for young rabbits in any warren; it is a bit harder for Fiver because he is smaller than most rabbits of his age and most think he is more than a little strange. Fiver shares a vision that he has had with his friend that warns of some kind of danger coming to their hillside home. He insists that the entire colony needs to flee immediately. Hazel has learned that his strange little friend is usually right when he "sees" things and encourages him to go tell the Chief Rabbit.

The Chief dismisses little Fiver when he hears the warning. He figures the little buck is just trying to find an insured spot in the colony since he will never be able to be in the warrior or guard class, he is just too small. A few believe the small rabbit while others are rather easily convinced. A small band of young male rabbits leave the warren in the middle of the night to follow Fiver and Hazel to a new land that is believed to be safer for them to begin their own colony in. 

As you can imagine their trip to the down (hill) that they can see on the horizon is filled with adventure and danger. The young rabbits form stronger friendships and try things that are new to them. Each finds strengths they never knew they had. 

I loved this story! Even though it was originally written for children, adults can and do enjoy it, too. It is rather a tome with over 400 pages but I think you will find that it isn't difficult to finish, it is so well written and interesting that you just keep flipping those pages. It is a great book to read for yourself but also one that would be wonderful to read to a child or group of children in several sittings. You can share it with children aged 8 or older and I think they will love it just as much as you will.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

5 comments:

  1. Watership Down was (and is) one of my daughter's favorite books from childhood and into adulthood. I think she has read it so many times she has it memorized. :) Glad you finally 'discovered' it, Beverly. It IS a classic. I have a copy on my bookshelf. With this reminder, I'll have to now re-read it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Beverley for this report. I have heard of Watership Down, but have not read it myself. I guess it's my time to take in a "classic" even though it was written only in 1972. Like you I missed this one during my school years. Now I have the chance to find out what all the excitement is about. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read Watership Down when I was a young adult. I think I was 18 or 19 years old. Well out of high school, so like you, it was not on the required reading list for me. I had a good friend who loved it and recommended it to me. As I recall, it had some mild violence in it that I found rather shocking back then. I doubt I would even blink over it today. I suspect I would understand the underlying socialism & dictatorship better now too. At the time, I was reading for pleasure, not looking for a "statement". I don't know that a "statement" was the intention of the author either. I just remember enough about the story to know what I would see in it now. Perhaps, it is time to read it again. Thanks for the review and recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this book, I read it as a teenager and although I was in school it wasn't an assigned book then, I guess it wasn't yet thought of as a classic. I also saw the animated movie that came out in the 80s with Art Garfunkel's haunting theme song.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your review brings back wonderful memories of a classic book!

    ReplyDelete



The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelSam MonacoSam MonacoRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X