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A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty 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 brothers, 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.

Topics: Politics, Made into a Movie, Escaping Oppression, Survival, Journeys, Adventurous, Talking Animals, Allegory, Rabbits, England, Animals, Courage, Epic, Totalitarianism, British Author, Mythology, Rural, Allusive, Debut, and Seers

Published: Scribner on Jul 14, 2009
ISBN: 9781439176122
List price: $10.99
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A beautifully realized books with compelling characters.read more
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It is interesting to me to go back to books I loved when I was "much younger".You run the risk of destoying that magical memory of the story, but sometimes you get to see things in a new light and they continue to have a profound affect on you . I am glad to report that Watership Down continues to be a magical place and now appears to be full of wisdom into the human condition that I may have glanced over in my youth.....read more
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I had this tattered old book on my shelf for years, after obtaining it after my primary school library was being cleared out. About 10 years later, at the age of 19 I decided to read it. I was expecting this book to be more aimed at children than anything, but the writing is truly first class, and I would recommend this book to anyone of any age. It made me think, (like some adult books don't even try to), and the rabbits were conveyed in a way that made them identifiable with, yet I wouldn't say humanised, as they are characterised so well as rabbits. I didn't imagine them as human to understand it, I imagined myself as a rabbit, in the brilliant rabbit world created by the author. Some of the themes dealt with were surprisingly dark, compared to what I was expecting, and this leaves the book the better rounded for it. I tried to think of other books written from the point of view of an animal, and couldn't name any, I imagine that this is because authors know they cannot match this excellent book.read more
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Can you give a book 6 stars? One of my all time favorite reads. Can be read as a straight adventure story or political commentary. Sequel is not on par.read more
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This was a book I loved as a child and just recently had the opportunity to re-visit it when reading it to my own children. I found it just as wonderful as I had remembered it.read more
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It's been YEARS since I read this book, but, I remember that I absolutely loved it! The rabbits seemed so real and it was deep....you could really feel their pain, joys, and fears. I boohooed at the end. I definitely want to read this again. Definitely NOT a lighthearted shallow read.read more
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My favourite book of all time. Always looking for copies, if you have one you don't want, or see one on a second hand book stall table.read more
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The story of a family of rabbits, and the perils they face as their home is being destroyed by humans. Very moving and well written. Again, the theme tune to the film made me cry.read more
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This book is about a band of rabbits escaping from their overcrowded warren, and meeting all sorts of characters before they get to the perfect place. They find it, but their's a big problem...This book sounds childish, but in fact, it is a long book and suitable for advanced readers. It has a good storyline, with many examples of good writing, e.g good vocabulary, discriptive writing. I would recommend this book to high level readers looking for a challenge.-Benjamin Xiongread more
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I actually read this in Italian translation (a superb translation) when I was ten years old, and therefore it remains as one of my cornerstone books. My mom sold it to me as "It's a little bit like Lord of the Rings, only with rabbits". She was right. I'm not sure I like Adam's voice as much in English, and having read his other books I feel a little uncomfortable coming back to this - but it remains in my memory memorable, with adventure, deep dread, wonder, great characters, and some wonderful moment of standing up for humanity, or maybe humaneity.read more
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There are many reviews here already, so it really only needs a few words added to what others have said so far.This book is an utterly delightful and enchanting fantasy story that is accessible to young and old alike, telling the story of a group of rabbits leaving their warren, travelling to a new one, finding females to ensure the new warren survives, and then fighting for survival against another group of rabbits. The characterization is excellent, the plot well thought out.This book is a true timeless classic, as much fun to read now, thirty years after I first read it as it was then!read more
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i loved this book - the bits with the stories of the first rabbit are amazing.read more
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This is easily one of the most amazing books I've ever read, and it's been on my short list of favorites since I was in school. It's utterly unique, and luminously memorable. The characterization is spot-on, the themes are handled brilliantly -- some very heavy stuff here, but you never once get the feeling you're being preached at. The descriptions of the natural world in this part of England make me want to visit; the internal language and folklore fit seamlessly into the story and manage to add to it rather than detract from it. (For one thing, the language is one you can actually remember, so that when characters use it you can understand what they're saying, unlike the long passages of Elvish etc. in a certain series we all know and mostly enjoy). All in all, quite a list of accomplishments for a book about a bunch of bunnies.read more
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Watership Down is a deserved classic, a high tale of adventure set in a surprisingly convincing world of wild rabbits living in the English countryside. Considering that the whole idea of constructing a novel-length narrative of anthropomorphic rabbits could have completely failed for any number of reasons, there's no denying that Richard Adams builds his tale with great story-telling skill and sensitivity to how much human-like behavior he can endow his bunnies with and remain credible. And it's a great read as well - fast-paced, dramatic, and hopeful.read more
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Simply put, this is my favorite book ever written.

I wont belabor the point with an essay on it. Please, by all means, RAFO.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
WD has become a classic children’s story, an action-packed saga of migrating rabbits. Like other favourite school exam texts - Animal Farm, Lord Of The Flies - it has a didactic edge. But a fun read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Somehow I thought this book was sci fi. It turned out to be the trials and tribulations of rabbits . it was mildly enjoyable.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although hesitant to read a book about rabbits I can truly say I can never see one of these creatures without thinking of this fantasy. A tale so very well written to take me to a world through a rabbits view. Characters such as Hazel and Fiver and others show compassion, strong leadership abilities, even belief in a higher power. Your mind works as you read to translate this world to a human understanding! What an intriguing classic! This novel will stay with me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Why is a book about rabbits so good? I don't know, but it is.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Who doesn't love the rabbits?Or gory death? This book - about life and it's challenges with the establishment, this book changes every time I read it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Eight out of ten.

A rabbit visionary sees the destruction of his home and with his friends sets out in search of a safe place to live but it's not as easy as it sounds.

read more
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What a fantastic read. It takes a little while to get into it, but once you do you can't stop thinking about it. I was incredibly impressed that even with around 20 main rabbits to keep track of, I had no trouble at all remembering the personalities and histories of each one. One of the few books I've read recently that have made me tear up at the end. Well done, Adams. Well done.read more
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Tragic, horrible and not to be confused with children's light reading. Having said that it's very good and I recommend it.read more
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This is an excellent adventure story. It is thrilling at every turn, and the characters feel real, without feeling too "human." They are rabbits, and they think like rabbits, though with a few embellishments, such as a great penchant for storytelling. Though, if you were a rabbit, wouldn't you tell stories? Of course you would. Especially if your lives were as thrilling as the lives of the characters in "Watership Down." It is also an incredibly moving book, which is not a phrase I use regularly or lightly.read more
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When I picked up Watership Down at my local library, I was expecting a simple children's story about a group of rabbits looking for a home. At 400+ pages I knew right away that the "simple" part of that expectation was eliminated and within the first chapters I found an intensity to the book that uncovered it as an all-ages classic. The story centers on a rabbit named Hazel and his prophetic brother Fiver. When Fiver foresees the destruction of their burrow by humans they must take a journey to find a new home. They convince other rabbits join them on their quest and work together to overcome various obstacles. This is the basic plot which will appeal to audiences of all ages but adult readers can also discover multiple levels and themes within the story. Through the rabbits' adventures lessons are uncovered about leadership, friendship, ingenuity, government, hardship, freedom and community. I love the world that Richard Adams built in this book. As expected, the rabbits are anthropomorphized to take on human characteristics and yet they retain rabbit sensibilities and actions. Adams created habits, habitats, language and culture for them that is distinctly lapine (rabbit-like) while still enabling the reader to connect and empathize with truly lovable characters. At 35 years old this book earns its reputation as a classic and will likely be enjoyed for many more generations to come.read more
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I had a couple of false starts trying to read this in my teens, finding it impossible to get into. A lot of the allegory (no, make that ALL the allegory) was lost on me as a youngster. As an adult I loved it. Interesting piece of social commentary, and actually very exciting when we get to the bit where the rabbits, bizarrely, nick a boat. Tremendous stuff.read more
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I've read this book aloud three times over the last 12 years. When children get to about age 10, they are ready for the adventure of Watership Down. Pass along this treasure to your children. You will be glad you did.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've wanted to get my hands on a copy of Watership Down and read it for quite some time. The past couple of years, I have read many of Brian Jaques' brilliant series of books, Redwall. On the back cover of the book, the summary always began with "In the grand tradition of Watership Down..." or some other phrase almost identical to the one given. I was always curious to figure out the book that inspired so many of the books that I have read before. The opportunity finally arose and the book did not disappoint in any way. Watership Down is one of the most unique books I have read. I was able to see how Jaques used it as an inspiration, but I felt that Watership Down had its own unique style and tone. The story of Watership Down follows a group of small rabbits as they make their journey away from their home warren and into the wilds of the world beyond. You follow in their every leap and bound, every terror and nightmare, every triumph and celebration. I found myself wanting to continue reading just to see how events play out. There are many instances of sadness and joy, creating a very up-and-down sort of story line. The thing I loved most about the book were the characters. Each one has their own unique personality. Hazel is the leader and tricky rabbit of the group. Fiver is the wise rabbit with the ability to see future events. Each rabbit is created with a certain tone and dialogue that make them stand out against each other. This type of differentiation between each character is what makes books wonderful. Without it, the book would just seem like a boring story between identical characters. Every confrontation between the characters is lively and lifelike, even though this whole story is told through a rabbit's point of view.Watership Down is a very intriguing. The whole story is an analogy to a journey of a similar extent in reality, but everyday humans are replaced by woodland animals. This creates a completely different feel and tone to the story than if it were told through the eyes of a human. Some of the events throughout the book seem very logical if you apply them through the eyes of bunnies, but if you considered to parallel action as a human, there may be some things that may seem very... different. Watership Down has turned out to be one the best books I've read.The characters are wonderful and the plot is very enjoyable. If you take the time to think about the book much deeper than just the given story line you may see parallels to what happens in reality. This book is definitely one of the classic books of the 20th century that everyone should read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A favourite of mine; I've lost count of how many times I've read this.Yes, it's about rabbits, but Richard Adams develops each character's personality fully,and you just HAVE to feel for themread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

A beautifully realized books with compelling characters.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It is interesting to me to go back to books I loved when I was "much younger".You run the risk of destoying that magical memory of the story, but sometimes you get to see things in a new light and they continue to have a profound affect on you . I am glad to report that Watership Down continues to be a magical place and now appears to be full of wisdom into the human condition that I may have glanced over in my youth.....
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I had this tattered old book on my shelf for years, after obtaining it after my primary school library was being cleared out. About 10 years later, at the age of 19 I decided to read it. I was expecting this book to be more aimed at children than anything, but the writing is truly first class, and I would recommend this book to anyone of any age. It made me think, (like some adult books don't even try to), and the rabbits were conveyed in a way that made them identifiable with, yet I wouldn't say humanised, as they are characterised so well as rabbits. I didn't imagine them as human to understand it, I imagined myself as a rabbit, in the brilliant rabbit world created by the author. Some of the themes dealt with were surprisingly dark, compared to what I was expecting, and this leaves the book the better rounded for it. I tried to think of other books written from the point of view of an animal, and couldn't name any, I imagine that this is because authors know they cannot match this excellent book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Can you give a book 6 stars? One of my all time favorite reads. Can be read as a straight adventure story or political commentary. Sequel is not on par.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a book I loved as a child and just recently had the opportunity to re-visit it when reading it to my own children. I found it just as wonderful as I had remembered it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It's been YEARS since I read this book, but, I remember that I absolutely loved it! The rabbits seemed so real and it was deep....you could really feel their pain, joys, and fears. I boohooed at the end. I definitely want to read this again. Definitely NOT a lighthearted shallow read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My favourite book of all time. Always looking for copies, if you have one you don't want, or see one on a second hand book stall table.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The story of a family of rabbits, and the perils they face as their home is being destroyed by humans. Very moving and well written. Again, the theme tune to the film made me cry.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about a band of rabbits escaping from their overcrowded warren, and meeting all sorts of characters before they get to the perfect place. They find it, but their's a big problem...This book sounds childish, but in fact, it is a long book and suitable for advanced readers. It has a good storyline, with many examples of good writing, e.g good vocabulary, discriptive writing. I would recommend this book to high level readers looking for a challenge.-Benjamin Xiong
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I actually read this in Italian translation (a superb translation) when I was ten years old, and therefore it remains as one of my cornerstone books. My mom sold it to me as "It's a little bit like Lord of the Rings, only with rabbits". She was right. I'm not sure I like Adam's voice as much in English, and having read his other books I feel a little uncomfortable coming back to this - but it remains in my memory memorable, with adventure, deep dread, wonder, great characters, and some wonderful moment of standing up for humanity, or maybe humaneity.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
There are many reviews here already, so it really only needs a few words added to what others have said so far.This book is an utterly delightful and enchanting fantasy story that is accessible to young and old alike, telling the story of a group of rabbits leaving their warren, travelling to a new one, finding females to ensure the new warren survives, and then fighting for survival against another group of rabbits. The characterization is excellent, the plot well thought out.This book is a true timeless classic, as much fun to read now, thirty years after I first read it as it was then!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
i loved this book - the bits with the stories of the first rabbit are amazing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is easily one of the most amazing books I've ever read, and it's been on my short list of favorites since I was in school. It's utterly unique, and luminously memorable. The characterization is spot-on, the themes are handled brilliantly -- some very heavy stuff here, but you never once get the feeling you're being preached at. The descriptions of the natural world in this part of England make me want to visit; the internal language and folklore fit seamlessly into the story and manage to add to it rather than detract from it. (For one thing, the language is one you can actually remember, so that when characters use it you can understand what they're saying, unlike the long passages of Elvish etc. in a certain series we all know and mostly enjoy). All in all, quite a list of accomplishments for a book about a bunch of bunnies.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Watership Down is a deserved classic, a high tale of adventure set in a surprisingly convincing world of wild rabbits living in the English countryside. Considering that the whole idea of constructing a novel-length narrative of anthropomorphic rabbits could have completely failed for any number of reasons, there's no denying that Richard Adams builds his tale with great story-telling skill and sensitivity to how much human-like behavior he can endow his bunnies with and remain credible. And it's a great read as well - fast-paced, dramatic, and hopeful.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Simply put, this is my favorite book ever written.

I wont belabor the point with an essay on it. Please, by all means, RAFO.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
WD has become a classic children’s story, an action-packed saga of migrating rabbits. Like other favourite school exam texts - Animal Farm, Lord Of The Flies - it has a didactic edge. But a fun read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Somehow I thought this book was sci fi. It turned out to be the trials and tribulations of rabbits . it was mildly enjoyable.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although hesitant to read a book about rabbits I can truly say I can never see one of these creatures without thinking of this fantasy. A tale so very well written to take me to a world through a rabbits view. Characters such as Hazel and Fiver and others show compassion, strong leadership abilities, even belief in a higher power. Your mind works as you read to translate this world to a human understanding! What an intriguing classic! This novel will stay with me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Why is a book about rabbits so good? I don't know, but it is.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Who doesn't love the rabbits?Or gory death? This book - about life and it's challenges with the establishment, this book changes every time I read it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Eight out of ten.

A rabbit visionary sees the destruction of his home and with his friends sets out in search of a safe place to live but it's not as easy as it sounds.

Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What a fantastic read. It takes a little while to get into it, but once you do you can't stop thinking about it. I was incredibly impressed that even with around 20 main rabbits to keep track of, I had no trouble at all remembering the personalities and histories of each one. One of the few books I've read recently that have made me tear up at the end. Well done, Adams. Well done.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Tragic, horrible and not to be confused with children's light reading. Having said that it's very good and I recommend it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an excellent adventure story. It is thrilling at every turn, and the characters feel real, without feeling too "human." They are rabbits, and they think like rabbits, though with a few embellishments, such as a great penchant for storytelling. Though, if you were a rabbit, wouldn't you tell stories? Of course you would. Especially if your lives were as thrilling as the lives of the characters in "Watership Down." It is also an incredibly moving book, which is not a phrase I use regularly or lightly.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
When I picked up Watership Down at my local library, I was expecting a simple children's story about a group of rabbits looking for a home. At 400+ pages I knew right away that the "simple" part of that expectation was eliminated and within the first chapters I found an intensity to the book that uncovered it as an all-ages classic. The story centers on a rabbit named Hazel and his prophetic brother Fiver. When Fiver foresees the destruction of their burrow by humans they must take a journey to find a new home. They convince other rabbits join them on their quest and work together to overcome various obstacles. This is the basic plot which will appeal to audiences of all ages but adult readers can also discover multiple levels and themes within the story. Through the rabbits' adventures lessons are uncovered about leadership, friendship, ingenuity, government, hardship, freedom and community. I love the world that Richard Adams built in this book. As expected, the rabbits are anthropomorphized to take on human characteristics and yet they retain rabbit sensibilities and actions. Adams created habits, habitats, language and culture for them that is distinctly lapine (rabbit-like) while still enabling the reader to connect and empathize with truly lovable characters. At 35 years old this book earns its reputation as a classic and will likely be enjoyed for many more generations to come.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I had a couple of false starts trying to read this in my teens, finding it impossible to get into. A lot of the allegory (no, make that ALL the allegory) was lost on me as a youngster. As an adult I loved it. Interesting piece of social commentary, and actually very exciting when we get to the bit where the rabbits, bizarrely, nick a boat. Tremendous stuff.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've read this book aloud three times over the last 12 years. When children get to about age 10, they are ready for the adventure of Watership Down. Pass along this treasure to your children. You will be glad you did.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've wanted to get my hands on a copy of Watership Down and read it for quite some time. The past couple of years, I have read many of Brian Jaques' brilliant series of books, Redwall. On the back cover of the book, the summary always began with "In the grand tradition of Watership Down..." or some other phrase almost identical to the one given. I was always curious to figure out the book that inspired so many of the books that I have read before. The opportunity finally arose and the book did not disappoint in any way. Watership Down is one of the most unique books I have read. I was able to see how Jaques used it as an inspiration, but I felt that Watership Down had its own unique style and tone. The story of Watership Down follows a group of small rabbits as they make their journey away from their home warren and into the wilds of the world beyond. You follow in their every leap and bound, every terror and nightmare, every triumph and celebration. I found myself wanting to continue reading just to see how events play out. There are many instances of sadness and joy, creating a very up-and-down sort of story line. The thing I loved most about the book were the characters. Each one has their own unique personality. Hazel is the leader and tricky rabbit of the group. Fiver is the wise rabbit with the ability to see future events. Each rabbit is created with a certain tone and dialogue that make them stand out against each other. This type of differentiation between each character is what makes books wonderful. Without it, the book would just seem like a boring story between identical characters. Every confrontation between the characters is lively and lifelike, even though this whole story is told through a rabbit's point of view.Watership Down is a very intriguing. The whole story is an analogy to a journey of a similar extent in reality, but everyday humans are replaced by woodland animals. This creates a completely different feel and tone to the story than if it were told through the eyes of a human. Some of the events throughout the book seem very logical if you apply them through the eyes of bunnies, but if you considered to parallel action as a human, there may be some things that may seem very... different. Watership Down has turned out to be one the best books I've read.The characters are wonderful and the plot is very enjoyable. If you take the time to think about the book much deeper than just the given story line you may see parallels to what happens in reality. This book is definitely one of the classic books of the 20th century that everyone should read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A favourite of mine; I've lost count of how many times I've read this.Yes, it's about rabbits, but Richard Adams develops each character's personality fully,and you just HAVE to feel for them
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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