Watership Down Hardcover – Special Edition, Nov 1 1996
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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.
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Good book, it was in a slightly used condition and it showed, but the book wasn't falling apart, just looked well read.Published 4 months ago by William Leblanc
Loved this book when it was first released, so I gave it to my 30 tear old son for Christmas.Published 5 months ago by Swweney's Cove
The book is in great shape. Shipping was amazing especially considering it was from England. I also like the philosophy of better books as it strives to promote reading even in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by tracey leskosky
Arrived in perfect condition with such beautiful artwork and bonus material. I am really excited to read this with my son and hopefully treasure it.Published 7 months ago by Forever Ash
I don't ever post reviews for books but after reading this book I felt if I could persuade someone to read it, I was obliged to. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Chandler
Classic yet twisted book... The movie from the late 80s was great too . Can't believe I read this as a small child, no wonder I had nightmares.Published 17 months ago by Trish D