My favourite book - Watership Down

Last updated 05:00 16/10/2012

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I don't care if I've read it a thousand times. I love this book. I love its idea. I love its language. I love that, unlike other authors, Richard Adams has a good grasp of correct grammar, and throws out those apt quotes at the start of each chapter.

For those who don't know, Watership Down is about a bunch of rabbits who have to leave their home warren, travel through hostile country and establish a new one on Watership Down.

En route they meet a dog, some creature called a lendri (no idea), a crow, and man, all of whom are "elil" or enemies. Strangely enough they also meet rabbits from another warren, also elil.

They are guided by Hazel, defended by Bigwig, and entertained by Dandelion. On arriving at Watership Down (surprisingly among a bunch of males, no one consulted a map, depending on the psychic abilities of Hazel's brother Fiver) they dig a warren, then realise there's no one there to clean it. So out they go again to seek some female company.

This is, quite simply, a beautiful book. It has fighting, it has adventure, it has bravery, it has a bit of sex (these are rabbits, after all!) It even has swearing (I know how to say "eat the brown stuff" in rabbit talk). It won the Carnegie medal in 1972. To me it is just the best book ever written.

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