This is a wonderful book. It is challenging and thought provoking. Richard Adams has written a classic book that makes you consider our relationship to nature, the way we act in community, trust, loyalty and friendship. The narrator, Ralph Cosham, is perfect.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
There are some books that are so wonderfully written and perfectly narrated that they are trophies to be cherished. This is one of those trophies. Too many books start well but seem to have no idea how to follow through to a satisfying conclusion. Many contemporary authors could learn from Adams how to create characters that a reader can believe in and commit to. Few human characters that I have read in recent books can compare in depth and dimension to the rabbits of Watership Down. The creation of a culture and language for the rabbits and other creatures rivals Tolkien’s masterpieces. Trying to choose a favorite is impossible – Hazel is of course the hero, but my heart also belongs to Big Wig, Fiver and Pipkin for their courage, to Blueberry, Blackberry and Dandelion for their lightness of spirit, and to Kehar the gull just for being himself. I loved the fables reminiscent of the Brer Rabbit tales that offered deeper insight into the culture, and the life lessons gently taught through the various adventures in creating the new warren. This may not be a cute bunny story for preschoolers, but school agers and older should be able to understand and handle the dangers of animal enemies and rivalries. Certainly television and movies show greater levels of violence than is found here.
Though I had thoroughly enjoyed the book in print, never did I have such rich voices in my head as those provided by Ralph Cosham’s superb reading. The toughness of Big Wig and General Woundwort, the brave innocence of Fiver and Pipkin, and the off-beat uniqueness of Kehar are perfectly voiced. Those who have not read it in a long time may be delighted to rediscover an old favorite. I give this wonderful classic my highest recommendation.
Say something about yourself!
It was original, creative, imaginative, and written wonderfully. The narration also added to a flawless and enjoyable production.
Charlotte's Web, Felidae, Lion King, Firebringer trilogy
Each had qualities I thought added to the story; probably Hazel for his leadership qualities and his integrity, Bigwig for his boldness and courage, Blackberry for his cleverness and dedication, Fiver for his tenderness. I understand the reason for Cosham's Norwegian accent with the character Kehaar, but found his rendering a little difficult to understand.
General Woundwort--with some Bataka bats to work out his anger and abandonment issues; Fiver for obvious reasons.
A lovely listen. At times I thought it became just little tedious towards the end and suggest it be listened to over a period of time to really appreciate it fully.
I have been waiting for an unabridged audiobook to be made for such a long long time. I have a battered old hard copy much loved and an ancient abridged version that cut out all the adventures of El-ahrairah (so you could hardly call it Watership Down)
This is without a doubt my favorite book. I could read it over and over again and It just increases in loveliness. I hope this audiobook helps others discover a literary treasure that so many of us already hold so dear.
If you like this book be sure to look up the animated film which is a bit dated but still does the story full justice.
I love this story. I have or listened to it a half dozen times over the years. It never fails to be rewarding. In a way, it reminds me of the Hobbit in that in both cases unlikely heroes go off unexpectedly to learn about the great world around them with all it's good and bad.
Very well read. The narrator did an excellent job.
Listening to books and knitting. Two favorite activities I can do simultaneously!
I've been wanting to read this book since it first came out in 1972. Very happy I finally did. Such a lovely story. Recommend it highly.
I first listened to this story when I was a kid, with my mom. And even this many years later the story holds up beautifully. It held me in its grasp from word one and I was sad to leave the Downs at its conclusion. I know I'll listen to it again.
Say something about yourself!
I was a freshman in High School when I had to read Watership Down for an English class. Typical of a 13 year old boy just arriving in High School, I approached the assignment with dread. A children’s book, about rabbits, please do not let my friends see me reading it. From the moment I picked it up, I could not put it down. I still have that original paperback, worn and tattered, I have read it more times than I can remember. Re-reading the book always seemed like reuniting with old friends. It had been years since I last picked it up. Listening to the audible version added a new dimension to a story I love, and the narration was wonderfully done. If you have never read this book or if it has been a long time, I encourage you to listen to it again. I believe you will enjoy the experience. I look forward to the day when I can share Watership Down with my Grandchildren.
Life-long reader, 10 years listening
This has been a favorite book for many years, but I never seemed to get around to listening.
Ralph Cosham is really outstanding. As an example, when he's reading the part of the dog, Rowsby Woof, he uses a sharp speech pattern that almost sounds like short, sharp barks. And a perfect Scandinavian accent for the seagull, Kehaar. I'm sad that I took so long to finally listen to this old favorite, and I'm sorry that it's over. It will definitely be a favorite re-listen.