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Watership Down Hardcover – Special Edition, Nov 1 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 597 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Special Edition, Nov 1 1996
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Classic edition (Nov. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068483605X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836058
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 597 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #265,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

Review

"A classic...A great book."

-- "Los Angeles Times"

"Quite marvelous...A powerful new vision of the great chain of being."

-- "The New York Times Book Review"

"Spellbinding...Marvelous...A taut tale of suspense, hot pursuit and derring-do."

-- "Chicago Tribune"

To capture the feeling of the verdant English landscape in Richard Adams's "Watership Down" (Atheneum, 496 pages, $29.99), first published in 1972, Aldo Galli painted in the real locations described in the story. In his finely wrought illustrations, the rabbits Hazel and Pipkin crouch beside the real Nuthanger Farm and Hazel, Bigwig and Fiver make their way across the real Hampshire downs. Mr. Galli brings a sense of intensified realism to his depictions in this 40th anniversary edition. Foliage is luxuriantly, impossibly green, and the edges of things--the feathers of birds, the fluff of dandelions--look as sharp as if they were cut from glass. As a gift, this edition would suit anyone over the age of 10, including adults.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scoopriches TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 8 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A few billion years ago I saw a movie that I knew nothing about. And I really liked it. So I vowed to someday read the book. I do that a lot.

Flash forward to 2015 and I finally fulfilled that promise, and over many many months, I consumed the book.

And now I love rabbits even more.

Watership Down by Richard Adams is another unread Holy Grail in my life, now read.

Famed British author Adams originally started his mythological tale while on long car ride with his children. He remembered it all and published his lengthy book in 1972, which was adapted into an animated feature in 1978.

We start with Hazel, our future leader, and his younger brother Fiver. They are rabbits living in a Warren, a rabbit community, and young Fiver has a vision of terrible devastating tragedy that will destroy all. His concerns are taken to their leader, who blows them off because he is an idiot. Very quickly they rally several rabbits to leave the Warren, all to find some safe place, well away from whatever this danger is.

Hence a long and perilous journey begins, as this small clan of rabbits face all sorts of dangers and challenging situations, and worse of all, other Warrens, all in their quest to find happiness.

But even when this appears to possibly happen, all does not go well.

What I find fascinating about Watership Down is the multiple levels at play here. One could look at this simply as a daring adventure tale with rabbits, all being told for children. Or you could see the interesting character interplay and wonder if things will change or evolve between Hazel and Fiver and Bigwig and Blackberry to name a few.

But two aspects of Watership Down kept plucking at me while reading.
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Format: Paperback
While the story about the survival of a group of rabbits may sound childish to some, the ways in which Richard Adams humanizes the characters makes it a metaphor for daily life. I have read this book many times and each time I find myself rooting for the main characters as they struggle with nature and various hunters or other foes. This is not the type of book I would recommend for children - adults will get far more pleasure out of it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Watership Down by Richard Adams is a novel that tells of how rabbits live in the world that we as people make it into. At the beginning of the story Fiver tells his brother, Hazel, that there is going to be trouble at the warren. Fiver could kind of see into the future and Hazel knew this. Hazel trys to tell the Chief Rabbit that all the rabbits were in danger and that they need to leave the warren. The Chief Rabbit will not go any where because of his pride. Hazel gets a group of rabbits together to leave and do their best to surrvive in the unknown world. Hazel and his friends run into many scary incounters that scare them out of their wits. They have to face the dark, being eaten, being run over, facing evil rabbits, and many more wild and scary opticles.In the end the fears that they under went was worth it. They even make new buddies. I feel this was a good book because Watership Down had many details and put you right in the middle of the action. This novel, as most novels do, shows a great lesson. It shows that anything can be accomplished if you really put your mind to it. I recommend this novel to all who enjoy adventure and fiction all in one.
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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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