Download Watership Down Online by Richard Adams Click Here to Download the Book One of the most beloved novels of our time, Richard Adams's Watership Down takes us to a world we have never truly seen: to the remarkable life that teems in the fields, forests and riverbanks far beyond our cities and towns. It is a powerful saga of courage, leadership and survival; an epic tale of a hardy band of adventurers forced to flee the destruction of their fragile community . . . and their trials and triumphs in the face of extraordinary adversity as they pursue a glorious dream called "home." Watership Down is a remarkable tale of exile and survival, of heroism and leadership . . . the epic novel of a group of adventurers who desert their doomed city, and venture forth against all odds on a quest for a new home, a sturdier future.
Reviews This is one of my all-time favorite books. But I have to say, I think it is an absolute tragedy that it is required reading for some schools. Why? With required reading (usually paired with painful "analysis"), kids often hate what they are forced to read. I love to read. I always have. But I despised reading in school with a passion that was rivaled only by my hatred of giving speeches. (The mere mention or sight of the words "Jane Eyre" can send me screaming from a room, frothing at the mouth and sobbing uncontrollably.) A section of Watership Down was in one of our reading sampler things for fifth or sixth grade. Everyone thought it was stupid, because seriously, rabbits? And what did downed ships have to do with anything? I agreed. A few years later, I found the book on my dad's bookshelf. Only the fact that I really wanted to know what ships had to do with it (nothing: a down is a type of chalk hill most common to England, and Watership was the name of this particular one) and I had nothing else to read made me pick it up. I am so glad I did. The world of rabbits that Adams creates is rich and compelling, and it is described lyrically. It is a wonderful adventure story. It doesn't start off faced-paced, but the final confrontation between Hazel & co. and their foes is almost nail-bitingly tense. And the end is perfect in a way that I rarely feel ends are. I agree with the comparisons to The Lord of the Rings for epicness. Of course, it helps that I loved that too. :) I don't like to read fiction books as social commentary, and I imagine if I had read this book with that purpose in the front of my mind, I would have hated it. (Don't get me wrong, there is social commentary here, and it's brilliantly done, but I just hate reading books for that reason.) It might also be hard for some people to accept talking rabbits, and that's fine. This book might not be your favorite. But it is well-crafted and beautiful. Definitely one of my stranded-on-a-desert-island books! (To the criticism that there are no female characters: it's true. For most of the book there aren't. Was Hazel and idiot for not thinking of this earlier? Yes. I rather liked Hyzenthlay, though. I am female and I had no problem with Hazel's all-male band of adventurers. *shrugs* They are rabbits, not humans, and although they share human qualities (compassion, bravery, etc.), they also live very, very different day-to-day lives than we do. But that's just me, I guess.
Wow, wow, just WOW. I loved this book as a teenager back in the day when it was a new bestseller. I have been wanting to share it with Madeleine for at least the last 2 years, because she loves animals and animal stories so much. This fall I started reading it to her and after the first chapter or two we were both riveted. It's even better than I remembered (and I was surprised at how vividly I remembered certain scenes, epigraphs, and even lines, while other equally powerful things had slipped my memory altogether). By far the most sophisticated book we've read together, and it blew us both away. We loved discussing the sometimes cryptic epigraphs, which are taken from classical literature and poetry - we talked for about an hour about an Auden poem that heads one chapter! (It is a hell of a creepy poem.) The characters have become figures we use to talk about people we know... people that are like Hazel, Bigwig, Strawberry, Dandelion, etc. She had a field trip to a Native American village this fall and we talked about Fiver as a shaman figure, and what does it mean for the shaman to go "beyond". She's fascinated by the Lapine words and phrases and we have gone back to re-read some of the rabbit folktales about El-Ahrairah. This book had also provoked rich conversations about leadership and community -- what makes a good leader?
Hazel's not the strongest or the cleverest or the best talker, so what makes him such a good chief rabbit? And about secrets and denial - M keeps talking about the episode of Cowslip's warren, where the rabbits pretend not to know that the farmer who feeds them has studded the ground around their warren with snares. Such a great book! I'm so grateful to Richard Adams for having written it.
Whenever someone asks me what my favorite book is, this is the title I refer them to. It never ceases to depress me to learn of how many people never had the opportunity to read this book when growing up. Please don't dismiss it as a "children's" book. Yes, this is a novel about RABBITS -- but it's 400 pages long, and that doesn't even BEGIN to cover it. The rabbits in this book are an amateur anthropologist's wet dream. They are sentient. They have a language. They have a culture. They have a mythology. Friends -- they have a RELIGION, and a god. You come to be quite familiar with this rabbit culture and mythology as the plot progresses ... covering the migration of a large warren of male rabbits to safer land, after human farmers attempt a genocide. After about 25% of the way through, I generally forget that I'm reading about the migration and hard times of a group of small mammals, and could easily believe that actually reading about a tribe of Native Americans travelling westward as the Anglo-Saxon threat comes in from the East.
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