Watership Down

Watership Down

Audiobook CD - 2010
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Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the Warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits.
Publisher: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, Inc., p2010
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781441737472
Characteristics: 13 sound discs (ca. 16 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Cosham, Ralph
Blackstone Audio, Inc
Call Number: CD ADAMS, R


From Library Staff

KylePollard Mar 12, 2018

I read this on my "read a classic" program where I pick a classic novel that I always wanted to read but never found the time. Well, I am glad I took the time to listen to “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. To me, the novel is one of friendship, leadership, loyalty, man’s cruelty toward... Read More »

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JCLJoyceM Jun 13, 2018

If you like the Red Wall series of brave mice and other creatures, you will love this. I began with the wonderful audio version, but ran out of time and finished with the print version. The advantage to each version: The audio provides an excellent foreword with the author explaining how the tales came about and his use of onomatopoeia in creating the lapin language. The audio version was particularly good with the foreigners, a gull and a mouse, who speak pidgin rabbit. The book contains a helpful glossary of rabbit language as well as a map.
The characters include Fiver, a small rabbit who sense things in dreams and predicts evil; Hazel, the planner; and Bigwig, the lovable fighter.

KylePollard Mar 12, 2018

I read this on my "read a classic" program where I pick a classic novel that I always wanted to read but never found the time. Well, I am glad I took the time to listen to “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. To me, the novel is one of friendship, leadership, loyalty, man’s cruelty towards the natural world and of course politics and political systems. The rabbits are forced to take an epic journey to find a new home when it’s discovered their warren will be destroyed. The rabbits are not anthropomorphized to the extent that you picture rabbits wearing clothes like the characters in other fantasy novels that feature animals. These rabbits in the story see the world from a limited rabbit viewpoint and struggle to comprehend the world of man. When I picture the characters in this novel in my mind’s eye, I see little rabbit faces. Each character is fully realized, and the personalities are distinct. Even minor characters play essential parts in the tale. The book does a fantastic job of world building and drives home with eloquence just what it would feel like to be one of the most venerable animals in an ecosystem. To survive, they must pull together and work as a team to make it through all the obstacles in their path. This story is timeless and the sort of book that should be read many times as you progress through life as different truths will reveal themselves as you journey from childhood through adulthood. There is something here for everyone, and you will have a new found respect for the little furry critters when you complete the story.

Feb 16, 2018

So glad I listened to this instead of re-reading it! The story is timeless- an epic worthy of comparison to Arthurian legends and Beowulf- but to hear it read by this excellent narrator gave it a new dimension!

Jul 11, 2017

I'm at a loss to understand how people could find fault with either this book or the narration. Both are superlative - excellent in the extreme! My family listened to it on an extended road trip, and we were all - adults and children alike - extremely sorry to have it end. We were all drawn in to the rabbit's world, and, as Adams himself notes - this is not an allegory or social commentary, per se, but an epic about a group of rabbits. Those who find fault with supposed political aspects of this novel says more about the reader / listener than it does about the book or author. I have listened to this version twice - and I would gladly buckle in for a third time through! One of the best audiobooks I have listened to, one of the most enjoyable books I have read.

Feb 11, 2017

My 20-something nephew and I listened to this when he was staying with us and we were frequently driving into town (half hour drives) to medical appointments. Neither of us had read the story and it was delightful and a good break during a stressful time in our lives. And, unlike other reviewers, we both enjoyed the naration by Ralph Cosham.

May 01, 2016

An all-time favorite & much better if read (this audio narrator is poor.) The Plague Dogs held my attention & remembered years later.

Apr 11, 2016

I'm listening to this audio book for school. I find that it is easy to get lost in the story and hard to understand whats going on...... could be that the book is better.

Apr 06, 2013

The book "Watership Down" is a very intriguing book about survival, courage, and leadership. As the story begins the author talks about how he used to tell stories to his daughters on long car rides. One day he decided to publish them, and the book was a huge success. This book is very gripping, and will keep you on the edge while reading it. The book is about a group of rabbits who struggle to survive and want to venture to a better place for themselves and their families. "Watership Down" is a place where the rabbits want to end their adventure. I recommend this book because it is adventurous and it teaches about the characteristics of leadership and courage, that every child should learn at an early age.

Sep 05, 2012

Adams delivers, I'm sorry to say, just a dreadful job of narration. Barely got past the first minute, urgh!

Dec 18, 2011

Younger daughter, who is on the autistic spectrum, needed a novel for her independent reading project, so I googled "middle school books" and up came Watership Down which I'd never got around to reading. Perfect, I thought. It's about animals, which younger daughter adores, and there's a well-reviewed animated film which will provide badly-needed visuals for her very concrete-thinking mind.

In preparation for helping her get this read over the Christmas holidays, I downloaded an audio version from our public library, and listened to it on bus commutes. Ralph Cosgrove's narration is lively and doesn't distract the listener from the story. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of Kehaar the gull as a straight-talking Scandinavian. Three things you need to know about this novel: it's gripping; it's dated; it's looooong.

Adams tells us in the forward that the novel came out of stories he would tell his young daughters on lengthy car rides. Apparently, it was the girls who suggested the stories were good enough to be written down. I can see why. This is the epic tale of a group of rabbits, led by the heroic and self-effacing hero Hazel, who flee their warren on the basis of the mystical warnings of Hazel's psychic brother Fiver. Their journey to establish a new rabbit colony in Watership Down in Hampshire is dangerous and full of death-defying deeds. (I trust it isn't a spoiler to say that surprisingly few rabbits die during the course of this novel.)

Dated? Well, it was published in 1972, and despite the fact that Adams was writing these stories for his daughters, all the main characters are male. We get a hint of heroism from the doe-rabbit Hyzenthlay who helps in the escape from the oppressive warren Efrafa, but she barely figures in the story and few of the other does are even given names. It is clear that Hazel and his fellow-bucks expect little from the female rabbits except for breeding purposes. Adams includes a rather quaint apologetic passage explaining that rabbits are practical and not romantic by nature -- as if the attitudes of the males in the story somehow differs from the attitudes of men of Adams' generation. (Adams' military background is very evident throughout.)

That said, it's an entertaining and clever book, but it does go on, including four or five rabbit legends which, although illuminating, break up and slow down the narrative. It's going to be tough going over Christmas. I wonder if younger daughter will ever forgive me.

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Apr 06, 2013

CourtneyHendon thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

nhbarber Jan 24, 2011

nhbarber thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over


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Apr 06, 2013

The book "Watership Down" is about a world that no one really thinks about much. It is about the amazing animal life that is in the forests and rural areas around more urban areas. It is about courage and survival as the adventurers try and find a better home for themselves.


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Apr 06, 2013

The dry slope was dotted with rabbits------some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes.


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