Book Review: Watership Down

Nicole L., Staff Writer

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Watership Down

By Richard Adams

     Watership Down is a classic adventure novel written by English author, Richard Adams. The book is based in Southern England and tells the story of a group of rabbits that leave their home to escape the destruction of their warren. The rabbits in the book are given human qualities and characteristics and have their own culture, language, poetry, and mythology.

     The story begins with Fiver, a young rabbit capable seeing the future, who has a vision that his home will be destroyed. He tells his brother, Hazel, of his vision in which he sees the warren being destroyed by machinery and the tunnels collapsing with many rabbits dying. Fiver and Hazel try to convince the Chief Rabbit to evacuate the warren, but he does not believe Fiver’s prediction. Hazel and Fiver convince nine other rabbits to leave the warren with them and find a safe place to start a new home.

    With the leadership of Hazel and protection of Bigwig and Silver the group travels through unfamiliar and dangerous territories. After endlessly searching for a place to settle, the rabbits come across a rabbit named Cowslip that says he is willing to let them stay in his warren. Fiver has a bad feeling about the warren, but he goes inside with the others. After seeing things inside the strangers’ warren, he warns the others of danger and refuses to stay in the warren. When Bigwig gets caught in a snare and narrowly escapes, the rabbits leave and allow a rabbit from Cowslip’s warren, Strawberry, to come with them.

    When the rabbits finally find Watership Down, the area matches Fiver’s vision of where it’s safe to settle down, Hazel realizes another problem. They  will need does (female rabbits) to breed and grow their population. They put together a plan to free the female rabbits from Efrafa, an oppressive and harsh warren north from their new home. Will their plan succeed? Read Watership Down to find out…

I really liked this book because the plot is fast paced and exciting, making it hard to put the book down. It is one of my favorite books and I recommend this it to anyone who likes a story with nontraditional characters and adventure with an epic quest for freedom and a new home. After reading this book you will not see rabbits in the same way again.