Title / Watership Down
Author / Richard Adams
Publication Date / 1972 (first published)
Page no. / 478 (paperback)
Star Rating / ★★★★★
It has a great story with an array of rich characters that will keep you engaged to the very end of the book. I love all of the different characters and their interactions with one another. The richness of the characters can lead you to many interesting analogies about humans, for example you can pick up on many things concerning leadership from Hazel.
The attention to detail is incredible. Adams makes sure to talk about real places/things and the map makes it very easy to track the progress of the rabbits on their journey.
It can be enjoyed by both children and adults. I think the idea of this book actually came as Richard Adams told stories about rabbits to his children to amuse them while in the car going on holiday – don’t quote me on that though. For children it is an amazing adventure story about rabbits but for adults it contains a greater depth.
The way Adams deals with his rabbits is amazing. They have their own language and they also tell stories and myths based on their folk hero, El-ahrairah. These stories that are dotted throughout the book are really engaging and interesting to read – they add depth to the rabbits and their ‘culture’. Each rabbit is distinctive, but also fills an archetypal role, such as the leader, the warrior, the scientist etc.
It is a layered book so it also has great rereading potential. With each reading you can learn something new or notice something you didn’t the first time around.