Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

This improbable tale of brave rabbits is a classic and one of the best stories I have ever read.   It first came out in the seventies and a movie adaptation was made in 1978 by the BBC.   It is the tale of a group of rabbits who leave their home warren because of a premonition and the many adventures they have as they cross the English countryside in search of a new home and go through the struggles of establishing one on Watership Down.   The story itself is outstanding but what makes it even cooler in my opinion is that all the places in the book actually exist.   A Google Maps search fro Watership Down will take you to it and there are several pictures of places featured in the book that someone has uploaded.

One of the best parts of the book are the several asides to tell the stories of el-Ahrairah, a legendary rabbit who had many adventures.   They are the rabbit equivalent of Greek Myths and just as entertaining in their own right.   My personal favorite is the story of Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog.

I first read the book when I was 8 and have read it several times since then.   It is ostensibly a children’s Book but it can be enjoyed by people of all ages.   In the end it is not a morality tale so much as a tale of survival and prosperity against the odds.   Excellent book and on a par with To Kill a Mockingbird or All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics.   Everybody should read this book.

The Yuotube video of the BBC produced movie is embedded below: