28 March 2012

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Earlier this month I read Watership Down by Richard Adams. It was assigned by a client, but being a novel, it counts toward my reading for the 100+ Books in a Year reading challenge.

This was the first time I'd read the story, and I knew a little about it prior to picking it up.

I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I expected to. I thought it was a good story, and I'm glad I read it, but I'm not gushing about it.

For those who don't know, the story is about a group of rabbits who leave their home warren in search of a new home because one of the rabbits senses danger is coming to their warren. The story follows the rabbits and the adventures and challenges they encounter along the way to their new home. It is a hero story, and by the end wraps things up nicely.

I like the way Adams sets up the rabbits as a culture. For the most part, he tries to write the story through the lens of a rabbit culture (as best as can be imagined) rather than adapting what would be a rabbit culture into the human experience. These rabbits are not humans in rabbit bodies.

Adams also incorporates a rabbit language into the story, peppering the words throughout the book. This helps show the reader what is important to the rabbits based on the words used frequently, and what phrases and experiences are given their own words in the language.

If you haven't read it, Watership Down is a good story. It can also be a good story for adolescents who like adventure stories (with a little war thrown in). I'm glad I read it, but I was glad to get to the next story.

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