Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Length: 472 pgs.
Genre: Classics
Rating: 5 stars

This book. Wow! I never would have thought a book about rabbits could be so engrossing! It put me in mind so much of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. How? First, the tone and feel of it. Second, it’s the story of a journey which is an epic adventure. And third, it is world-building.

Tone and Feel to the Story and the Epic Journey
These two kind of go hand in hand. This is a story about a group of rabbits that leave their warren because of the potential threat of danger. They feel danger is imminent and they must leave and find somewhere else to live, even though the thought of it terrifies them. So they embark on this daunting journey. It takes great courage and much resourcefulness. They face threats, danger, and sometimes what seems like insurmountable odds. And the ending very much made me feel like I felt when reading the part in The Hobbit when Bilbo comes back to the Shire after his big adventure.

World-building
Yes…worldbuilding…but in a different sense. It is a real world of rabbits and nature but to a different level. It is somewhat anthropomorphic. The animals can talk. They have a history. Their warren has a history. They have stories they pass down. The animals each have unique and distinct personalities and they have a certain level of feelings. The author does point out, though, certain areas where the animals and humans differ.

In this novel, Richard Adams managed to represent the nature of life in this story of rabbits. There are themes of friendship, respect, honor, duty, loyalty, perseverance, fear, and courage. There are wars, fighting, and a great deal of drama. It is a story of survival, triumphs, and growth. The characters have depth and the story is full of beauty and richness.

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