|Nomadic SA Chick||
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over thirty years, Richard Adams'sWatership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of friends, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.
Reading Watership Down was like being on a very bad first date that will not end. I've never said this before: Skip the book and watch the animated film instead.
Before I start ranting about this, let me say that I am happy that I finally read this as an adult. My father let me watch the movie when I was probably still too young to watch it or understand it, but I've enjoyed it. It was finally time to reconnect with the book. After reading it, I am left with mixed feelings. I struggled to get into the story, but once I did I was loving it, and then it hit this lull that I found it a challenge to continue with it, followed by page turning interest, and into another lull. I had a very up and down relationship with this book.
All this negativity said, I loved the oral history of the rabbits, and reading the stories Adams had created about how they became the "Prince of a Thousand Enemies", and basically what is the religion of rabbits. The biggest thing that upset me about the book, and I had to continue to remind myself to consider the era, but even for a book released in 1975, I did not expect the portrayal to be as bad as it was. I struggle to understand how blatantly sexist this book was. Yes, I do realize this is a story about rabbits, and rabbits are notorious for their humping, but it was disappointing to see that Adams could only portray the females rabbits as breeding stock. Throughout the book the male rabbits kept remarking that they needed female rabbits for mating. As though they could not contribute anything else to the warren.
Adams could have cut the page count in half, taken out big chunks of needless detail or over detailing, and had an outstanding story left afterwards.
I give this a 2 out of 5.