Watership Down by Richard Adams

79%

24 Critic Reviews

Rich with political allegory and echoing with the touchstones of epic journeys, Watership Down is a book that, if you have not yet read it, will surprise you with its ability to pull you into the Lapin world. It remains a terrific piece of literature.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over thirty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of friends, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.
 

About Richard Adams

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Richard Adams was born in 1920. In the mid-sixties he completed his first novel, "Watership Down, the story of which he originally told his children to while away time on a long car journey. His many other books include the novels "Shardik, The Plague Dogs, The Girl in a Swing, Maia and, "Traveller; his autobiography "The Day Gone By; and several books on the natural world. He and his wife, who have two daughters, live in the South of England.
 
Published July 14, 2009 by Scribner. 458 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure, Romance, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Watership Down
All: 24 | Positive: 20 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 01 1980

Adams does manage to nudge the reader down the rabbit hole to accept his serious purpose -- but one finds the company nobly dull and the New Jerusalem not half so attractive as the flying fur of deadly combat.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Keren Levy on Dec 19 2013

A present from a much loved uncle, the story of the quest for survival by a brave, easy to love band of rabbits, seemed to combine the intimacy of a myth with the scale of a battle. For me it continues to hold the lure and the comfort of a pilgrimage to be made and remade.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Maya P on Aug 15 2012

The story draws you in, captivates you, and by the end you feel like you were actually in the book, going through all the triumphs and difficulties that Hazel and the rest were going through.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Maya P on Aug 15 2012

The story draws you in, captivates you, and by the end you feel like you were actually in the book, going through all the triumphs and difficulties that Hazel and the rest were going through.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Deano on May 03 2004

Rich with political allegory and echoing with the touchstones of epic journeys, Watership Down is a book that, if you have not yet read it, will surprise you with its ability to pull you into the Lapin world. It remains a terrific piece of literature.

Read Full Review of Watership Down | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by HILLARY HOUSTON on Oct 26 2010

Overall this story would make an entertaining bedtime tale, but focuses too much on the rabbit’s rabbit qualities and not their relatable human qualities. It’s hard to cheer for and remain interested in the lives of creatures who do not fight for love but merely for life of hopping around and eating grass.

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Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by BlackRabbit on Jan 25 2013

Watership Down is at the top of my book recommendation list. I push it (gently) on anyone I meet who I think would be interested. I've reread it multiple times and never gotten bored or disappointed...

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Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Jo Walton on Oct 19 2010

It’s so wonderfully immersive and atmospheric and real that I can’t really believe that Adams might have got any of the rabbity things wrong.

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Chamber Four

Good
Reviewed by Sean Clark on Oct 27 2010

It’s a wonderful book, entertaining and playful, at times suspenseful, at times quite deep. If you’ve never read it I suggest you do so; if it’s been a while, now’s as good a time as any to revisit.

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Persephone Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Sara on Oct 03 2011

It’s an epic, like the Odyssey. By five or ten pages in, it doesn’t matter anymore that they’re rabbits: it matters that they’re real, and that Adams has built a world no less complete than any other fictional world...

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Kansas City Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Bernard Norcott-Mahany on Oct 04 2012

...if you can get past the strange part – rabbits with human consciousness and stories – you’ll be amazed at the job Adams does with those big questions.

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EzineArticles

Excellent
Reviewed by Anitha Ahmed on Aug 15 2009

Watership Down, by Richard Adams, is one of the most beloved books of all time. It deserves a full five star rating for its courageous and vividly described characters, gripping storyline and profound meaning.

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Novelicious

Good
Reviewed by Terri Nixon on Jun 24 2013

In my opinion Watership Down should be required reading in schools, where I am absolutely positive it would claim as deep a hold in the minds and hearts of today’s students as it did in mine.

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Things Mean a Lot

Good
Reviewed by Ana S. on Dec 29 2007

Watership Down is a perfect example of how children’s books can be as complex and relevant as books for adults. It’s a story full of meaning, and also a very gripping one.

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She Treads Softly Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Lori L on Jul 04 2009

Watership Down is truly a classic epic adventure that is also an allegory. If you have never read it don't let the fact that it is a story "about rabbits" stop you. It's so much more than that.

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She Reads Novels

Good
on Apr 02 2010

One of the things I love about this book is the way Richard Adams has created an entire rabbit world...No matter how many other books I read, Watership Down will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Reading World

Good
Reviewed by Susan on Jan 06 2011

The characters, even though they are rabbits, are so well developed that they capture your heart. It’s the type of story you won’t want to see end.

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It's All About Books

Below average
Reviewed by Suey on Apr 25 2012

Seriously, it was just plain boring. I know. How can I even utter the word? But it's true, and so I moved on to a different book...

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World's Strongest Librarian

Above average
Reviewed by Josh Hanagarne on Apr 05 2011

My favorite thing about the book on this go-around was General Woundwort. I find him to be one of the greatest villains in all of literature, and I don’t care how many eyes that sets a rollin’.

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World's Strongest Librarian

Excellent
Reviewed by Josh Hanagarne on Nov 18 2009

Please, please, please read this book. It makes me glad to be alive. It’s everything that is right about writing, reading, and literature. It is a book that makes me want to be a better person.

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Beattie's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Keren Levy on Dec 19 2013

For me it continues to hold the lure and the comfort of a pilgrimage to be made and remade...Adams has sometimes been said to have "anthropomorphised" the rabbits but it always seemed to me that their charm was rather that we become them.

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Benefits of a Classical Education Blog

Good
on Aug 25 2014

I really liked this book. It’s part Lord of the Rings, part Odyssey, part rabbit nature study but wholly its own thing.

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Honey and Locusts

Good
Reviewed by John Gardner on Jul 10 2011

Whether for intellectual fulfillment or “mere” reading pleasure, I commend this book to you highly. Tolkien’s mark of a “true” fairy story was a sense of joy imparted upon readers. Watership Down certainly meets that criteria!

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Elizabeth Editorializes

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lee on Oct 12 2012

Watership Down did not have any profound effect on me, but it was a very good story. While I won’t be counting it among my favorites, it’s clear that the affection so many people have for it is well deserved and earned.

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Reader Rating for Watership Down
89%

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JENNA AUBREY

JENNA AUBREY 5 Sep 2013

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