My dad used to read to me and my brother almost every night before bed, and those nights are some of my favorite childhood memories. Many of the books we read together have stuck with me through the intervening years, but I have particularly fond memories of listening to him read Watership Down. 25 years later, I can still remember the feeling of being completely absorbed in the story. I was so enthralled that, when he had to go on a business trip before we finished the book, I got it down from the shelf and sounded the words out myself because I just couldn't wait until he got back to find out what happened. Watership Down, along with my dad, gets the credit for teaching me to read, turning me into a bookworm, and all my subsequent bookish career and life choices. All of this made me afraid to reread it. I'm always scared to reread childhood favorites and revisiting this one felt particularly daunting. What if it isn't as magical as I remember? What if it's dated or problematic, or just doesn't live up to my memory of it? I shouldn't have worried. I finally read it again this past year and I can tell you that it is one of those rare books that is just timeless. At five, it was an epic adventure story about bunnies. At 30, it is a remarkably deep epic adventure story about bunnies and (49-year-old spoiler) Hazel's passing still makes me cry. Recommended By Emily B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A worldwide bestseller for more than 40 years, Watership Down is the compelling tale of a band of wild rabbits struggling to hold onto their place in the world — “a classic yarn of discovery and struggle” (The New York Times).
Richard Adams’s Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in the Hampshire Downs in Southern England, an idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of “suspense, hot pursuit, and derring-do” (Chicago Tribune) follows a band of rabbits in flight from the incursion of man and the destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they travel forth from their native Sandleford warren through harrowing trials to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. “A marvelous story of rebellion, exile, and survival” (Sunday Telegraph) this is an unforgettable literary classic for all ages.
"Spellbinding....Marvelous....A taut tale of suspense, hot pursuit and derring-do." Chicago Tribune
"A classic....A great book." Los Angeles Times
"Quite marvelous....A powerful new vision of the great chain of being." New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Richard Adams, the son of a country doctor, was born in Newbury in England in 1920. He was educated at Bradfield College and Worcester College, Oxford. He served in the Second World War and in 1948 joined the civil service. In the mid-1960s he completed his first novel, Watership Down, for which he struggled for several years to find a publisher. It was eventually awarded both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award for children's fiction for 1972. In 1974 he retired from the civil service and published a series of further books, including Shardik, Tales From Watership Down, Maia, The Plague Dogs, and The Girl in a Swing. Adams died on Christmas Eve 2016.