Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Posted April 9, 2023 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Fiction, Literary, Review / 0 Comments

Book Review: Watership Down by Richard AdamsWatership Down (Watership Down, #1) by Richard Adams
Narrator: Ralph Cosham
Published by Blackstone Audio on May 11, 2010
Genres: Fiction
Length: 15:53:39
Format: Audiobook
Source: Libby
Overal Rating: four-half-stars

Librarian's note: See alternate cover edition of ISBN13 9780380395866 here.
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.

Watership Down by Richard Adams is an epic tale that presents the world from the point of view of rabbits, exploring their lives and struggles as they face various challenges. It’s like the rabbit version of The Lord of the Rings due to its scope and ambition, but it is a unique work that stands on its own merits, as it manages to create a rich and fully realized world without anthropomorphizing the rabbits. The book also introduces a second language, Lapine, which adds depth and texture to the world-building.

I want to emphasize that this is mostly a book for adults despite the cute rabbits seen on the cover, as some crude scenes may not be suitable for younger readers.

One of the strengths of this book is its exploration of rabbit lore and the tales of El-ahrairah, which give the story a rich and fascinating mythology. The character development and evolution are also notable, as the rabbits learn and grow throughout their journey. Fiver, Haizel, and Bigwig have a special place in my heart.

The drama and war are gripping and intense, and the themes of loyalty, courage, compassion, and survival, and loyalty are explored in depth and are central to the story. One criticism I have though, is the lack of interesting female characters. This is partly due to the nature of the story, as it focuses on a group of male rabbits on a quest.

I enjoyed Ralph Cosham’s narration, which displayed a varied range of voices and emotions. It was easy to identify who was talking thanks to his great talent.

Watership Down is a remarkable work of literature where little rabbits become the embodiment of heroism, bravery, and loyalty, and it stands as a testament to the power of storytelling.

Story (Plot)
Overall: four-half-stars