Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership DownI was never interested in reading this book until I was older, few people I know actually read this when they were younger. I read this all yesterday and stayed up a bit to finish it before midnight. It is a very well written book, and I think I’m going to miss out a lot of why it’s so good in this review. First, my view on rabbits is neutral, but even as an animal lover, I am not a fan of the domesticated rabbit. I’ve met a couple of temperamental ones. Reading the book, I was always afraid that that the rabbits were going to die or get fatally wounded. I liked every single one of the rabbits, and I found the antagonistic ones fascinating. The characterization set them apart from one another. I loved the folklore and mythology set into the book because Adams has sampled so many old world stories and the oral narrative in this story. The novel is also a story of environmental degradation, human, political and social commentary. There are cautionary tales in it, and it showcases the divide between humans and nature. The rabbits are not simply just anthropomorphic, but essentially retain their rabbit like features in their values for wit, cunning, trickery, survival and relationship with nature. The novel itself is similar to old folklore and fables of animal characters. It’s an adventure story about leadership and team work to survive and build a home. Definitely another good summer read.

4 thoughts on “Watership Down by Richard Adams

  • melanie

    thank you for reminding me that I never did read this book! I am a rabbit-lover. Although I never had a pet rabbit, my house is filled with stuffed and toy rabbits (thank heavens my husband is tolerant), and we feed carrots to the wild bunnies in the yard. I read the book that Richard Adams used for his research, and I was fascinated by how complex rabbit culture is – now I’ll have to put Watership on my tbr list!
    I always enjoy your booktalks.

  • dew

    I first read this in high school, not for a class, but just because, and I loved it. I think I missed a lot that first time, and when I read it again in college I loved it again, enough to have kept my copy since then, which I rarely do. I think I should read it again, and soon!

  • Athena (Post author)

    I’m glad that everyone seems closer to reading it or rereading it. It really is a good book, and I can totally see myself rereading it in the future especially if I have children. I love it myself, and I’ll look forward to the next time.


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