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Watership Down [Special Edition] [Hardcover]

Richard Adams
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (584 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.99
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Book Description

Nov. 1 1996 Scribner Classics
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and 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 brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

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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.

Review

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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigwig Brilliantly Bashes Bugs Bunny 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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5.0 out of 5 stars From the Viewpoint of Rabbits! April 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There are just too many books, which dwell mainly on our human perspective of life and the world about us. This book presents the rabbits viewpoint as humans encroach on their home-front by developing lands and pushing them away, endangering their existence in the wild. Apart from being a very good story in itself, it presents the rabbits' habitats and serves as a reminder to think about other species co-habiting on this Earth with us. Along similar lines, I would like to highly recommend the new book, "ACCUSED BY FACET-EYES" by scientist-author, C.B. Don. Like "Watership Down", it is a compelling story, but in the form of an exciting science-fiction fantasy and it too opens the mind to the perspective of another species --- the essential pollinator honeybee society, which accuses humankind of endangering their habitats by our thoughtless, global polluting practices. Like the marvelous classic "Watership Down", this book is surely also a must-read for all caring nature-lovers, who enjoy a fantastic eco-novel!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Rabbits Journey April 11 2002
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Rabbits Rock the Literary World April 8 2002
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic must read book
This book is very well written and is considered by most as a modern classic. It is biting social commentary that is as accurate now as it was when written. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Bootsy Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic and Lyrical
I have been rereading Watership Down for almost 40 years and the heroism still
makes me cry. The description of the English countryside is rich and beguiling. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Trevor Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fabulous read that is still very relevant in today's world.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply perfection
I cannot put this book down! Get ready to go on an exiting adventure about loyalty and friendship! This book has something other books don't have and that is the world from the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bookaddict
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book !
I love this book and enjoy rereading it every so often. It has been years since I last read it.
Published 13 months ago by EDITH FERGUSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern(ish) classic
There aren't many books you can say will be read 200 years from now, but this is one of them. But of course you already knew that, this edition is solid, includes the map of their... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars Something worth reading
Watership Down is a good book for children, young adults and adults. It is more than a fantacy and an allegory. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2010 by YCCHAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and for all ages
Only the British seem to know how to write for children without talking down to them. While telling a gripping adventure about a group of rabbits, Adams also makes a strong... Read more
Published on April 13 2005 by Paul Spendlove
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Perfect
I first read this book many years ago, and hundreds of books later it is still, without equal. It is absolutely my favourite book of all time. Read more
Published on March 21 2005 by Nuts About Books
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Work of Literature for ALL ages
i read this book when i first started my second semester english class because it was lying around and i couldnt find another book to read, but now, im glad i did read it. Read more
Published on June 12 2003 by Jane Lee
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