Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Watership Down by Richard Adams

watership.jpgWatership Down was my last read for the Four Legged Friends Challenge and it had come to be last because I had been putting it off thinking that it wouldn't be a favorite of mine or that it might be too drawn out at 476 pages. Trust me when I say that it ended up being one of my favorite reads so far this year. I didn't want to let these characters go by the time I was finished the book...and they're all rabbits! Watership Down is a touching and warming story of companionship filled with adventure. It's the story of a society of rabbits who find that their warren is being taken over by man, so they flee to find a new place to live. We follow their journey as they face many foes and trials. Richard Adams created a cast of characters that was unreal. Hazel, Bigwig, Fiver, Pipkin, Clover...these are just a few of the characters that will stick with me for a long time. He did an amazing amount of research on rabbit life and habits and portrayed them well here. The book is really quite educational. He also created a whole rabbit language and mythology that's interlaced throughout the book so we see a whole society represented here. The folk tales that the rabbits told were some of my favorite chapters in the book. Nymeth wrote a review on the book awhile back talking more about this...check it out! Her review is excellent! I know this book has been debated upon endlessly and countless academic papers have been written upon it's meaning, so I couldn't help but smile when I read the new introduction by the author. Richard Adams explained that he wrote this book for his daughter. He would read her bed time stories and he said that sometimes the stories were such crap that he knew that he could write something better, so he did. It started as a story that he would tell his daughter during long car rides in the car. And then he says this: "I want to emphasize that Watership Down was never intended to be some sort of allegory or parable. It is simply the story about rabbits made up and told in the car." So when it comes down to it, I guess you can search for deep meaning in the book, but it is what it is...a wonderful story. I really enjoyed it and hope that others will too. Pick this one up! So as I said, this is the end of the Four Legged Friends Challenge for me! I read: 1. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo 2. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo 3. Surrender by Sonya Hartnett 4. Varjak Paw by S.F. Said 5. Watership Down by Richard Adams Big thanks to Kailana for hosting it! It really was a great challenge...My favorite book would be this one, Watership Down with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane coming in a close second. Least favorite, Surrender. Just didn't do it for me.

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