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Watership Down Paperback – Aug 29 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (Aug. 29 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140306013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140306019
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (588 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Watership Down has been a staple of high-school English classes for years. Despite the fact that it's often a hard sell at first (what teenager wouldn't cringe at the thought of 400-plus pages of talking rabbits?), Richard Adams's bunny-centric epic rarely fails to win the love and respect of anyone who reads it, regardless of age. Like most great novels, Watership Down is a rich story that can be read (and reread) on many different levels. The book is often praised as an allegory, with its analogs between human and rabbit culture (a fact sometimes used to goad skeptical teens, who resent the challenge that they won't "get" it, into reading it), but it's equally praiseworthy as just a corking good adventure.

The story follows a warren of Berkshire rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a land developer. As they search for a safe haven, skirting danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band and its compelling culture and mythos. Adams has crafted a touching, involving world in the dirt and scrub of the English countryside, complete with its own folk history and language (the book comes with a "lapine" glossary, a guide to rabbitese). As much about freedom, ethics, and human nature as it is about a bunch of bunnies looking for a warm hidey-hole and some mates, Watership Down will continue to make the transition from classroom desk to bedside table for many generations to come. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


...stunning, compulsive reading Sunday Times ...a proper grown-up novel for children The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua on Jan. 26 2007
Format: Paperback
"Watership Down" was Richard Adams' debut novel and was first published in 1972. He originally told it to his children to help pass the time on long car journeys. It won the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal in 1973 and is set in Berkshire, where Adams was born in 1920. It is, of course, about rabbits, and was made into an animated film in 1978 - the soundtrack of which featured "Bright Eyes", by Art Garfunkel.

The book opens at Sandleford Warren in May, with Hazel, a yearling, and his brother, Fiver, feeding at sunset. Although brothers, the pair are very different. Fiver was the runt of the litter and, as a result, is a lot smaller and much more nervous than his brother. He is, however, also something of a seer and - not long after the book opens - foresees the destruction of their home warren. The pair bring the prophecy to the Threarah, their chief rabbit - who, despite Fiver's success rate, refuses to accept it. The brothers decide to leave anyhow, and mean to bring whoever wishes to come along with them. A number of others join them, including two Owsla members : Silver, a nephew of the Threarah, and Bigwig. Although they have little idea of where they're going, Fiver knows what they should be looking for and have an excellent leader in Hazel.

This book has so much going for it, it's hard to write a review that will do it justice. Bigwig was a great character - an all-action rabbit (yes, really !!) whose name comes from the strange tuft of hair between his ears. However, he's not the only star. Other notable characters include General Woundwort, the leader of another warren and the baddest rabbit in England. (A vicious character, he'd leave your average bunny-boiler with badly burnt fingers and causes our heroes a great deal of trouble).
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By A Customer on April 11 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Watership Down is the story of a small band of rabbits traveling to find the perfect place to settle down and build a warren. A great danger had been predicted to come to their old warren by a young rabbit named Fiver. On their search for a new home, the rabbits encounter elil (other creatures that eat rabbits) and other warrens with horrible secrets. But when they finialy reach the perfect home, they realize that they have no does, and without does, the warren fails. So they decided to steal some does from a warren who had to many already. But that warrens cheif rabbit does not want to share.
This story starts out in Sandleford Warren and progresses through Frith Copse, past Nuthanger farm, and ends in Watership Down. In many ways, the story seems real except for the fact that there are talking rabbits, and the Lapine (rabbit languge) is unique and fun to learn.
There are about 3 main charicters, Hazel, the leader of the group, Fiver, a small rabbit who predicted the fall of Sandleford Warren, and Bigwig, a tough rabbit who helped a lot in the ultimate plan to get does.
This book is wonderful and thrilling. It leads you through a world of danger where your only pretection is your own cleverness. It gives you a swirl of emotion, sometimes sad, sometimes exciting, sometimes extremley happy. You never know what will happen next. The charictors, plot and description all add up to a perfect book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Richard Adams's incredible novel 'Watership Down' is not just about rabbits, as one first suspects. With its artful and satirical plot, painstakingly etched characters, and superb portrayal of a society, Adams has created a milestone of modern literature.
Our story begins in a warren of rabbits where two brothers- Hazel and Fiver- are living a comfortable life when they're not being bullied and bossed around by the Owsla, or rabbit military regime. When Fiver begins to have visions and apprehensive feelings, he convinces Hazel that something evil is about to descend on the warren. The Chief Rabbit, Threarah, listens patiently to Fiver's claims and then shrugs the two off, convinced that if something devastating were coming to the warren, he would already know about it. Left to their own devices, Fiver and Hazel decide to leave the warren in search of something better. They bring with them a brave band of rabbits who together struggle, learn, and above all survive. This is a truly great story about comradary, the pursuit of the truth, and the unbreakable hope and spirit that is in all living things- be they human beings fighting for their rights in a terrorized society, or rabbits fighting to survive.
Adams uses better techniques than just satire, however. He has a raw skill and talent to make the rabbit's problem hit a human chord that even the most primitive of people can understand. Adams also gives the rabbits an extensive history, religion, folktales, and fears. Several times throughout the novel, Adams has delightful digressions where he relates these folk stories through Dandelion, one of the rabbits to leave with Fiver and Hazel who tells stories to the new warren at Watership Down.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book from the "give away" pile at home to read on a horrendously long plane ride and I found it so engrossing that I couldn't put it down. It is incredible how the story makes the characters human enough to create sympathy and interest in the reader and yet they remain true to their species, so they do not seem "humanized". The characters are dynamic, learning from each other and from their circumstances, gaining maturity and wisdom. There is a good balance between developing the plot and description (necessary for the reader to understand the dynamics of rabbit communities and to appreciate how rabbits view the world). I found the rabbit mythology, their own form of religion which reminded me of the greek myths, fascinating. These "myths" were very naturally woven into the plot, stories that rabbits told each other to amuse, inspire, distract.
I suppose the most unbelievable part of the book, is the fact that despite facing the most dire circumstances, none of the main characters die (only peripheral ones do). I was also disappointed that there were few, if any, memorable female characters (though the lack of females in the community drives the plot in the latter part of the book, so I suppose females are not entirely marginalized, but they are objectified).
One might think a book about rabbits as just "fluff" (no pun intended), but this story explores so many important themes: vision, loyalty, courage, faith, being true to oneself, acceptence of others/cooperation, etc. I think the animal element would appeal to children, yet the content of the book would be equally interesting for an adult.
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