Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

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WATERSHIP DOWN BY RICHARD ADAMS
PUFFIN (PAPERBACK), 2012, FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1972
474 PAGES

Author’s Wikipedia Entry
Book Wikipedia Entry

This book is part of my Popsugar Reading Challenge 2015. The category for this book is ‘a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t’.

Many years ago I chose this book to read and write a book review about in school. Before I started reading the book my Mum noticed the film was in TV and we sat down to watch it together. I remember very little about the film except it scared me more than anything in my life. I had nightmares about it for days. I couldn’t read the book and decided to read something else instead. I’ve always been afraid to read the book and thought this challenge was a perfect way to tackle my old fears.

BLURB FROM THE COVER

‘We’ve got to go away before it’s too late.’

Fiver was only a small rabbit, but he had a sixth sense and foresaw that disaster was about to destroy the warren. Few believed him. Led by his brother Hazel, a small band of rabbits set out on a perilous journey to find a safe home. Fiver’s intuition finally leads them to Watership Down. But here they encounter the greatest threat of all.

EXTRACT

The primroses were over. Towards the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and oak-tree roots.

REVIEW

This was my first time reading Richard Adams.

I thought Watership Down was really good. There are times when you forget the characters are rabbits because they go through some much trauma and tragedy. This is a lovely book and I’m sorry I didn’t read it all those years ago. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more as a child. I must admit the novel started to drag towards the end and I got a bit bored with the adventures of Hazel, Fiver and their comrades. I know what scared me so much as a child when I saw the film – General Woundwort – he’s terrifying on screen. There are some children’s books you love as much as an adult. For me it’s the Anne of Green Gables series. I didn’t find this with Watership Down unfortunately and wouldn’t read it again. I did enjoy Watership Down but I didn’t love it. One of the best bits is near the start of Watership Down when the rabbits find the huge warren with very few rabbits and discover the place is covered with snares because the human who owns the farm is a fattening the rabbits up and killing them off gradually. This was a real heart in mouth moment. I can see the charm of Watership Down but I felt a bit disappointed.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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