I read it many, many years ago as a teen & know I loved it.
Like Alicia, I read it eons ago, probably in my late teens or early twenties, and I remember being enthralled by it at the time.
for many years my entire family read it every spring. I read it every spring from 5th grade through college. I haven't read it in a while but am thinking of picking it backup.
I first read it when I was about 11 and I loved it, although I remember at the time the book made me sad (probably because in a sense it was more realistic than a lot of books I read at that age, the rabbits certainly didn't have an easy life). I read it 2 or 3 times, so I suppose I can count it as one of the books I grew up with.
Yes. I first read it when I was a kid. I think I was about 12 but I'm not sure. I might have been as old as 14. This is a problem that keeps coming up for me as I try to think of suggestions for my own children. I can't remember how old I was when I read something and thus am sometimes wrong about whether or not something is appropriate reading material for my children. Recently, I tried reading Tom Sawyer to my oldest child. It was completely inappropriate.
I reread it as a youngish adult (in my 20s). I'm thinking of re-reading it again soon since I recently found (and picked up) "Tales from Watership Down" in a bookstore and want to reacquaint myself with the characters (and the whole mythology) before reading those tales.
On the other hand, I have twice attempted to read Shardik. I didn't get very far with either attempt. I'm not sure why the book didn't hold me. It could have been just the timing. One of the times, I started the book while camping in bear country and was quite enjoying the book but didn't continue when I got home.
Finally, I wonder: do you get a notification that I've replied to a question that you've posed?
well, tastes differ...but for myself, yes, I've read and been rereading it since I was about 9...a year doesn't go by where I dont pick it up at least once...it's a brilliant book, gorgeously written, and the one book I probably could not live w/out...
I just read it for the first time this year, at 26 years old. Somehow I missed it while growing up, so I thought I'd go back and take a look. I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to pick up the sequels.
I haven't yet read the 'sequel' and I'm not really so sure that it should even be called a sequel. The "Tales from Watershipdown" appears to be just that: tales told by characters on Watershipdown. They look like more charming myths. Shardik simply isn't a sequel. It's another book by the same author.
yep, you're right...Tales from Watership Down was a collection of stories told by the rabbits there, it takes place only a few months after the events at Efrafa...Shardik is another book entirely...it was Richard Adam's second after Watership Down, and except for 'Tales' there are no other books connected w/ Watership Down...
I'm another one who started it and never finished. I just got bored. I think I tried to read it as a late adolescent. And this from a girl who read the Odyssey for fun in the 8th grade.
I have read this book many, many times and still love it. I fall in love with the characters all over again and am enthralled at Richard Adams' skill at bringing the reader down to bunny level. For example, when Hazel's troop goes and lives with Strawberry's warren for awhile, those rabbits had created a mozaic on one of the walls in their burrow. However, Hazel couldn't understand it because he was a rabbit who was still living for survival.
I also loved how each rabbit (Blackberry, Dandelion, Bigwig, etc) had their own very distinct personality and function in the group. I cried at the beautiful way Adams ended the story. I inhaled Tales from Watership Down because I am entraced with the mythology that Adams created.
However, I haven't been able to get through any of his other books. At all. =(
To this day, I can't hear Bright Eyes without sniffing!
Neither have I...I did manage to finish Traveller, but it was beyond disappointing, and after a dozen tries at The Plague Dogs, I've given up...but that's okay, Watership Down makes up for them all nicely...
The only other of his i could read was Girl on a Swing. Think that was because it was about humans and not animals.
Has anyone read Maia?
Yes I read it when I was in my 20's-- long ago. I really felt for the rabbits and their safety. It was very political, but the way that the animals were personified made me really root for them. I enjoyed it tremendously and I am planning to read it again
I read it in elementary school, and loved it. I scored a copy with a broken binding (It was actually in two separate pieces) for free from the school at the end of that year and I've probably read it four times since then. I don't read it much anymore because there are a few pages missing from the middle.
Nope, never have.
just thought I'd be the rebel here. = )
Wurdz! Sorry I took so long to get to this. I've read it somewhere around 20 times and burned through 3 paperbacks of it. It's beautiful, sad, suspenseful, haunting, an adventure novel that's become a classic. I first read it when I was 12 and I've never changed my mind about this one.
I loved this book. I first read it in elementary school (5th grade, maybe?). I passed it on to my (almost) 10 yr old sister a couple months ago, and she seems to be enjoying it as well. She's been bugging me to find my copy of "More Tales of Watership Down," which appears to have wandered off. :D
Yes, I have read it and I liked it.
Yes — three times I think.
My 5th grade teacher read this to us. I've loved it ever since. It melds fantasy with a harsh reality, managing to appeal without horrifying . I've tried to reread it as an adult but as I normally do not reread books, I was not able to get very far. I prefer to remember it as a tale told to me out loud, woven through my memories of that classroom.
I read this book after watching the animated movie. The movie was good, but the book was better. The rabbits mythology went farther in depth in the book. Explained a lot more of Frith and El-ahrairah, etc.
I loved it.
Maia was great. If you haven't read it, might be worth a try.
I also read it a while back, some time in highschool. All these posts remind me how much I loved it and I would pick it up again in a second.
i read this book as a teenager and loved it. then again, my parents had taped the movie for me when i was a little kid, and i could guess that i have seen it hundreds of times. if you're interested in the story, but can't get into the book, look for the movie. it's a beautiful story.
The way I understand the story is as a political allegory. Along the course of the novel Adams is critical of different political philosophies and conflicting governmental ideas using rabbits. There is a lot to this novel, including a wonderful mythos, and Adams touches upon most ideas concerning the governing of people.
P.S. This book is awesome.
i agree with what meursalt wrote, and yes, the book is completely awesome (so is the movie from the `80s). beside some of the political allegories, there is a definite comparison with how the human society acts and behaves. my favorite part of the book is the myth of el-ahrairah, which i used to perform back in high school. an amazing story to read, as well as read aloud.
Have you read this?
If I word my question title as a question doesn't it seem a bit redundant to give details as to the question? I'm wondering if you have read this book? By read I mean have you turned the pages and scanned the words in a left to right fashion and comprehended to any extent the content. By book I mean a thing with a cover and pages. By this I mean ... THIS book.
Does anyone know the story behind Watership Down? Is there some sort of political tie in?
This is an incredible book on so many levels! I have to put it on my list too.
lol, no, peach, not at all...I had a crush on Bigwig...still do (grins)...
Though I never considered it a kid's book...it's written for an adult audience...
Yeah, I guess it was 30 years ago when I read this book, ought to reread it, though I have to confess, I am not a big rereader. Was amazed, as Peach, that a book, that on its face looks likea another children's warm fuzzy story can be so rich. Closer to Lord of the Flies than The Velveteen Rabbit!! I understood at the time that it was an adult book, but it is a bunch of rabbits for godssake! Powerful, definately worth the first read, now I am thinking about going back...
I read Watership Down when I was in sixth or seventh grade and loved it. Now that I'm an adult (in years in anyway!), I plan on reading it again to see I like it nearly as much. Gee, wonder how I will feel about those little rabbits now that my garden is being devoured by a family of rabbits...hmm. lol.
I read it for the first time when I was about 9 or so...for years I read it constantly...now I reread it at least once a year...usually round easter...
Hmm, you are probably right about it not being a children's book. ^_^ Somehow I always think that if I first read it as a child, it must be for children.
Bigwig, huh? He's not really my type as rabbits go. Too macho. =P
Soquel: wow how many times do you think you read it in a year of constantly reading? i cant seem to enjoy a book a second time unless a decade or so has gone by since the last reading. funny, i can reread a good poem a hundred times, but not a novel....
awww, peach...but Bigwig's got a soft side, too...
and yes, it's easy to see it that way, as a kid's book, cause of the bunnies and because so many people have read it as a kid...but the way it's written, compared to, say, the HP books, you can tell the difference right off...no matter how dark Rowling gets, or how so much better her writing has gotten w/ each book, all the books still have that unmistakable kid-lit finish to them, but Watership Down does not...the way Adams writes it, his tone, the way he presents the story, the way he forms his narrative, his dialogue, and of course, the underlying themes of the book, and the epitaphs that head the chapters...I was much older before I understood all of them and their significance in introducing each chapter...all point to adult fiction, it's just not particularly difficult adult fiction, which is why it's so accessable to kids...
LOL, upland, I have stopped counting the rereads, I just pick it up once a year...and a lot of it seems very poetic to me...like the story of the Black Rabbit of Inle...'...Bargains, bargains, El-ahrairah, there is not a day or night but a doe offers her life for her kittens, or some honest captain of Owsla his life for his Chief Rabbit's. Sometimes it is taken, sometimes it is not. But there is no bargain, for here what is is what must be....'...or the Creation story...'...all the world will be your enemy, Prince w/ a Thousand Enemies, and if they catch you, they will kill you, but first they must catch you: digger, listener, runner, prince w/ a swift warning...be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed...'...which is about as poetic as narrative can get, or when Fiver tells them the truth about Cowslip's warren after they get Bigwig out of the snare...
But since I first read it around 9, and read it at least 25 times between 9 and 18, and I'm 41 now...I'll let you do the math and hazard a guess (grins)...
nl editie gelezen
hmmm, best I can tell you are saying something like read unedited, but maybe i missed something, i dont speak or read Dutch, if it is a line from the book, well, maybe soquel remembers, in 30 years, i have lost it from my memory....
heh...I had no idea I was multi-lingual...
This book is important. It makes me weep.
anyone read "girl in a swing" by richard adams? i read the blurb and it read like chick-lit however it had p d james recommending it. anyone?
This is one of my favorites...I have read it several times. I especially love "The Black Rabbit of Inle" - sometimes when I need a good, short story I pull out the book and read just that. Richards was a genius to create such an extensive world - or to base it so realistically off of truth.
i watched the animated movie when i was a child, and read the book years later when i was in my teens. The evocative images from the animation (especially the beginning) coupled with the immense emotional response from reading the book made it extremely unforgetable experience. The last time i read the book was maybe 12 years ago, but the word 'hroodoodoo' still pops in my head when Im crossing a busy road.
When I read the last sentence in your comment the first time, i thought that it would be very far-fetched to say I would EVER remember hroodoodoo, but alas, i have remembered that name on several occasions and everytime I have to laugh at myself for remembering the most ridiculous things.
funny thing, i was raised in a very controled christian conservative environment, but i was allowed, even encouraged to read this book. yet I think it has a very progressive message about society and relationships. Wonderful book. Maybe a great novel, I think it would have been considered a "true classic" if it was populated with people instead of rabbits. I think that is one of its strengths, that we can look at ourselves and feel safe doing it, because, after all, "its just rabbits," but I think there is a bias towards lumping all animal stories into the young adult or childrens section, and while this is a great book for a young adult, so are most of the classics, but it is also a good tale for grownups! It is at least a very good book!
This was an excellent book. I read it a lont time ago, while in hight school. It is definitely on my list to read again.
I can reread this over and over every few years and it never fails to draw me in.
the odyssey, by homer, along with the illiad are the two oldest known western (greek) novels.
this book is pretty good, but the bunnies make it over the top
Why? I think it;s a clever and original take on old values of survival and leadership. What;s better is that we can read this to children and using this backdrop make them learn importan lessons. AND I LOVE BUNNIES!
this book totally rocks with all the rabbit culture and mixed humour..my fav part is where bigwig escapes wounworth's owsla
the way the rabbits abused the shy rabbit, Babbit, I think, always amazed me. even though all rabbits get this treatment in the general pecking order, they couldnt resist attacking the weakest among them, how human!
Yes how human, I was always the most picked on in my classes, I was always the weakest...easy target
kathryn, it took me about 5 pages to buy into the rabbit society, langauge and all
Another school book read many, many, many years ago!
When I first picked up this book, I would never have guessed by the title that this would be anything like it was, or even that I would like it. But I was in desperate need of reading material, so I picked it up.
How on earth can you expect any of the fantastic happenings of the book from the title? There's just no way I was expecting it. Now it's one of my favorite reads!
Just real experience...bringing up my own Rabbits.
Have you been bombarded by complete strangers who wanted to know, after you have
written a review, and/or made comments expressing your opinion of a book,
whether they should read this book? And it isn't that they took the time to see
who you are, then ask in a note, no, they just spammed you and everyone else on
Shelfari who has said book on shelf. Does this irriate you? If so, you can do
something about it: you can contact either of the two Shelfari reps below, or
better yet, you can contact both of them and ask them to please remove the new
and annoying feature that allows this spamming!
I don't find it annoying, personally.
I found I could not get into this book for some reason
This book is a very good read. Once you read it, you will wish there was more to read. It really is an awesome book. My husband asked me to read it (he has read it so many times) and then I finally agreed. I was sorry I waited so long. I then saw the animated movie. It was good also.
Once you get into it, you won't be sorry.
Take care, TJ
This is just not a book about rabbits but a review of life. I wonder if any body has read Traveler by Richard Adams. It is a tale of the civil war through the eyes of Robert E. Lees horse. It is accurate in the telling of the civil war and the blood shed that the horse would have seen. The connection between Lee and his horse is very endearing.
I read several other Richard Adams books, but I did not read Traveler. I will have to check it out. The Girl in The Swing was an interesting and disturbing ghost story. Very different from these books.
Traveller was good,have also read years ago Girl In The Swing,but second to Watership Down for me has to be Plague Dogs
I cannot get into this book. I am on the 12th chapter and still find it dull and am unmotivated to read on.
Does the story ever get more intense or interesting???
Yes of course it gets more interesting.In fact there is so much going on in the begining,to set the story,there isn't really a time in the book where it doesn't become intense or interesting .....
not for ppl like u
It does get better, definitely. That being said, I couldn't finish it the first time I tried reading it. I ended up putting it down and coming back to it a few years later. For whatever reason, I was in the right frame of mind and got a lot more out of it then. Maybe you just need to try again later.
Response to Kylee: I thought that too when I read the book, but you really should force yourself to read on. The end gets so suspenseful. The last part, part 3 is really intense, you will see. Just read on and try to enjoy the book!
I read this book in eighth grade for a book report, and will never forget the experience. Not only could I not put it down, it was the first novel I ever read to completely move me to tears... I loved and will ALWAYS love this book.
Well for those of you who enjoy it,either old readers or new.I have a new group started up..Watership Down for All''
I really liked the book, when I first read it. Its was a little disturbing all the same.
And when I saw the movie it was the same feeling, only to see some of the things acted out made it a little more "creepy" in a way. When I was a kid and read the book, all I thought was it was a book about rabbits and when I got older and read it again I saw what things really meant and a lot of the theme's. Its a book I really love.
I simply LOVED this book, but I am still wondering why they humans were so preoccupied with the fact that they were building whatever-they-were-building on a warren. Why couldn't they just let all the rabbits run away once they start bulldozing the land, instead of trying to kill them all and not let even one escape?
Another one of my 'rabbit books' I must read again
This is one of my favourite books of all time. How could a book about rabbits be so captivating. A stunning story beautifully told. I really must read it again
I read this book 3 times, just to catch any detail that I missed! I love how the book has a lot of reflections on the world and even on humanity. We see in this book that we are not very different from the rabbits. We know much much more, but we are still like them in the way we still have a lot that is beyond our understanding. For example, when the rabbits don't understand something (usually things that their small brains can't ever make sense out of) they make up their own explanations, even if these made-up explanations are obviously false. We do this too, when, for example, we do not know what happens after death. To us, the explanations that we have to these things seem true, but maybe to someone/something greater than us, our explanations are naturally false.
This book makes us see ourselves through the rabbits!
This was an amazing book!! I loved the rabbit fables/fairy tales featuring the rabbit whose name I can neither pronounce correctly nor spell:) Kehaar was great, too!
WORST BOOK EVER!!i've never read such a stupid book!!!!!!
never ever read it!it was so slow and boring!!!!!!!!
Look for the philosophy behind it. The book has a lot of reflections on the world and even on humanity. We see in this book that we are not very different from the rabbits. We know much much more, but we are still like them in the way we still have a lot that is beyond our understanding. For example, when the rabbits don't understand something (usually things that their small brains can't ever make sense out of) they make up their own explanations, even if these made-up explanations are obviously false. We do this too, when, for example, we do not know what happens after death. To us, the explanations that we have to these things seem true, but maybe to someone/something greater than us, our explanations are naturally false.
This is one aspect of this book that I love. We see ourselves through the rabbits.
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!! u r wrong!!
I saw the movie, and i want to read the book but i am concerned that it might be very slow and boring (from what i heard) so i want to know that is it really slow? does it take a while to get into it?
I never saw the movie because I did not hear good things about it. The book was incredible. I was completely captivated. Adams created a world unlike any I could ever have begun to imagine and he made me care so deeply for its inhabitants. Despite the beautifully descriptive nature of the text, I sometimes forgot I was reading about rabbits.
It's been over 30 years since I read Watership Down and the essense of the book remains with me. The characters remain vivid and alive.
It's hard for me to imagine you will be bored.
I didn't think it was slow or boring... didn't care for the movie though.
This is one of my favorite books. I think it starts a little slowly. When I suggested it to some of my freinds some of them did not get beyond the beginning. However, a few chapters in it starts rolling along. The poems are not very exciting. However, they can be skipped without losing any of the story. I also didn't watch the movie becasue it looked cheaply done and I didn't want it to ruin one of my favorite books. I would like to see Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) direct a new movie version of Watership Down using the Golem animation technology.
I thought parts were slow and boring...I am on page 130 and wondering if I will even finish it?
The book is fabulous! I've only seen part of the movie, but never judge a book on its movie (film makers love to change things, epecially major elements, in the translation from book to movie.) I've read the other replies and most people said it was slow at parts. I didn't think it was really slow at all. It really is a great book.
Their were a few parts that were dull and unrealistic, and a few parts where the nature was over-described. It shows that Richard Adams knows a lot about nature.
This is cute form of rabbit stewing but I dont like that snivelling little rabbit that keeps tripping out
Hahah. Every ragtag group needs a mystic guide that points the way to their own Watership Down and keep everyone else from danger. He won't be rescuing anyone from a raging flood, for instance, but he'll be able to tell you to stay away from where it may flood.
the best book ever!!! anyone in question should definitely read!!
I see that one of the popular tags for this book is "allegory". Why would this book be considered allegorical? What is it representing?
First read this book in second grade (yes second grade). I have reread it many times since. My absolute favorite