Friday, March 19, 2010

Watership Down

I was surprised by this book. I have heard various things over the years and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read it. This book is known as "the bunny book" by the local high school kids who are required to read it for English class. Since the kids have to read it, I decided I better too.

Watership Down by Richard Adams is a story about rabbits. Hazel, Bigwig, Fiver and a few others escape their warren, or group, to find a new place to live. They do this just in time to escape their warren being destroyed and killed by construction workers. Their journeyings take them to a hilltop location with plenty of space and food for all. Once settled, they are left with the problem of finding doe rabbits. The rabbits bravely face farmers and another warren run by a dictator rabbit called Woundwort.

I had heard this story was an environmentalist and political statement. I think those messages are there, but not in a bad way. Most things are viewed from the perspective of rabbits. How would a rabbit view his environment? women? farmers? government? The answers are not so straight forward for humans, but for rabbits it's rather simple and maybe surprising. For example, farmers are not the enemies of rabbits because they produce food the rabbits enjoy stealing. And yet the farmers do pose a danger to the rabbits because they may kill them.

Adams does a good job helping the reader learn the rabbit vocabulary and mind. You see the rabbits as true rabbits because that is mostly how they behave. The heroes in the story could be considered super-rabbits because they do some things that rabbits don't ordinarily do. Even so, those human like tendencies help the reader relate to the story.

Book Rating: 4 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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