Friday, August 2, 2013

Watership Down

By Richard Adams

One of the most beloved novels of our time, Richard Adam’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 adventures 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”.

Welcome to the warren.

Hazel’s brother Fiver, a runt, has just had a bad premonition. The worst; they must leave their warren, he doesn’t know why he just knows that if they stay they’ll die. Not many of the rabbits believe in Fiver’s vision and think him insane, but Hazel manages to gather some discontented bucks and they make a run for it, barely escaping the Owsla, or the strongest rabbits in the warren that take orders from the chief. On a harrowing journey to find a new home and create a new warren, Hazel and the other bucks have to cross rivers and fight for their survival.  This is a journey of courage and fortitude for this unlikely band of rabbit-heroes. Each rabbit comes into his own as either warriors, leaders, dreamers, or story-tellers, among other things. This story is a great epic and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good animal tale. I learned a lot about rabbits I never knew and had some good laughs along the way as well as praying that certain characters wouldn’t die. Some of my favorite sections of the book were the stories within the story about the ‘first rabbit’ El-arairah and his lieutenant and friend Rabscuttle. They were myth-like stories for the rabbits about their cunning royal ancestor.  It’s written brilliantly and with precision, and you’ll come to cheer for Hazel and his band by the end.

I give it a 4 out of 5

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