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. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, an upland meadow. But here they face their most difficult challenges of all.
A stirring epic of courage and survival against the odds, Watership Down has become a beloved classic for all ages. Both an exciting adventure story and an involving allegory about freedom, ethics, and human nature, it has delighted generations with its unique and charming world, winning many awards and being adapted to film, television, and theater.
©2000 Richard George Adams (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Quite marvelous...A powerful new vision of the great chain of being.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Spellbinding....Marvelous....A taut tale of suspense, hot pursuit, and derring-do.” (Chicago Tribune)
“A classic....A great book.” (Los Angeles Times)
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.
Best Book Ever
Hazel, though I have always loved Bigwig, Dandelion, Blackberry, and many others (especially Kehaar). Adams ability to give each rabbit such strong personalities as well as unique roles is what makes this book and its characters great. Hazel the valiant leader, Fiver the doom-fearing fortune-teller, Bigwig the strong-willed warrior, Dandelion the quick-footed bard, Blackberry the clever advisor. Each of these characters are so clearly detailed it is incredible.
First of all, I believe Ralph Cosham is a wonderful voice-actor. His work on the Elder Scroll Series is great and to find out he was the reader of my all-time favorite book was perfect. He is able to bring a unique voice to all of the characters and could not have done a better job.
This was a story I first read when I was 14 and instantly became my favorite book. I used to read it at least once a year as a teenager. Although I hadn't heard the story in several years I continued to champion it as my all-time favorite book. After coming back to it this year thanks to Audible, I still stand firm in my belief. Watership Down by Richard Adams is an amazing story and Ralph Cosham's execution is flawless.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
Like everyone else, I first read this in the 70's. It was required reading in my English Class in college. My memories of it, were that it was an excellent book, six stars. I felt like I was one of the rabbits and I loved the book.
With this audible version, and with it over 30 years later, I have to wonder about my water colored memories, could it be it was all so simple then or did time rewrite every line. Then I was young, I was not as well read, matter of fact I did not like to read in High School.
I enjoyed the book the second time around, but no where near as much as I did 30 years ago. This is a good audio version, so I don't know if it is better to read the book or listen. Most likely I am more critical when I read now. This is a very intelligent book and is not a children's book, anymore then Bullwinkle and Rocky was a children's cartoon. I think a child would greatly enjoy the book, but not totally understand all that is going on and an adult will enjoy the book, understanding the more adult themes of the book. You have to shut out the more critical part of your mind and just enjoy.
Hazel is a great leader and a make love, not war type rabbit. I had problems with Big Wig and war like rabbits who fight cats. That was a little hard to swallow the second time around. Doe's are good for one thing and one thing only and sometimes they are not even good at that. A modern women could have problems with that message.
I recommend the book, but suggest you don't over analysis.
I bought this book because of all the great reviews. For the first hour and a half I was wondering when the "great" was going to kick in. After about two hours I started to enjoy the book and it continued to get better. I ended up giving it a five and really did enjoy it.
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.
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 always feel weird admitting that one of my favourite books of all time is about rabbits. It is, but it is also about the relations between people, putting things broadly. The characters are all engaging and their adventures are edge-of-your-seat compelling. Richard Adams’ descriptions of the English countryside are also beautiful.
I recommend this book unreservedly. Watership Down is a classic and a book for all ages. I just finishing re-listening to it with my son, aged 10 and he absolutely loved it.
Final note. While there are some strong female characters, they have smaller roles and appear only briefly in the story. It’s kind of a “guy book”. An exceptional one, but still a guy-book.
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.
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.
"A beautiful story, well read."
This is one of my favourites from childhood - and just as good as I remembered. the narrator does it justice. Highly recommended.
I love this story it's one of my favourites. The book was very well read, the narrator really brought the book to life. Top marks
I read it as a teenager and remembered bing caught up with the lives of the rabbits and the accents of the different animals. I thought it would be a good book to listen to but wondered if I could get excited about rabbits at the age of 60! I found it enthralling and can't recommend it highly enough.
"A cut above the rest."
This is one of my top 5 books I love it on so many levels.
Firstly, its kind of a stand alone book. Because although there are other books that follow the lives of animals, most of them are children's books, and most of them have the animals doing things that real animals could or would never do. Or they have animals far more intelligent than real animals ever could be.Or in the case of animal farm which is not a children's book it's highly allegorical and political in nature.
Watership down is not meant to be anything other that a story written for entertainment and the animals do not do things that real animals could not. The book bends the rules slightly in places but does not outrightly break them.
The story is cute and funny enough for many children to love providing that have the stomach for it, it's kind of harsh in place's and it has plenty of grit and complexity to keep adults interested, even the ones who don't read children's books as a rule.
The narration is just right and really enhanced the story and the characters.
Just buy it already.
Narration by Ralph Cosham was very enjoyable, not too slow and his voice really brought the story alive to me again.
Read this as a child, and watched the 'cartoon' version numerous times (I have it on DVD now!) and I loved the story. Rich and varied, the story makes me laugh and cry in equal measures and as I listened I could see the rabbits, and feel what they were going through. I love this book.
I find that books being read to me resonate with me in a totally different way than reading them. I love to read but I use audiobooks when running, walking an on my 45min each way drive to work every day. His narration was spot on and it was wonderful to hear the history of the novel, which I had never heard before too.
Laughed. Cried. As usual with this book!
Buy it, you will not be disappointed.
"It exceeded my high expection"
I never read this story as a child, so there was no nostalgia, but I still absolutely loved it.
Story – 4.5/5
Although this story is quite brutal in places (death, violence and peril), it wasn’t as brutal as I was expecting. I have seen parts of the film years ago, and I remembered some things being worse than they actually are in the novel.
It is a fantastic tale of adventure, friendship and ethics. Although it is a fictional world of rabbits that communicate and think on the same level as humans, there are a lot of real elements of wild rabbit life included that makes the reader think.
I honestly think everyone should give this story a read, child and adult alike. There are happy, sad, scary and funny moments – it will take you through all of the emotions. Richard Adams has done an excellent job in writing a classic for all ages.
Performance – 4.5/5
Ralph Coshom is an excellent narrator, he helped to take the reader/listener through all of the emotions evoked in the story. I didn’t find myself drifting from the story once, which is a very rare occurrence
His voice acting is flawless, each animal had a distinctly recognisable voice. His tone portrayed the story’s mood perfectly, and I would definitely not think twice about picking up another story narrated by him.
I absolutely loved the introduction to the story, and how Richard Adams decided to start writing Watership Down, and how it got published etc. A very nice touch for a classic such as this
Overall – 4.5/5
"As good as I remember!"
Such a good story! Fun, sad, exciting and most of all enjoyable. Watership down was a great read when I worked my way through it years ago. I even went to the cinema to see the film (bit of a disappointment there though). The audiobook though was well read and kept me interested even if I did already know what happened.
Well read, clear, concise and read with passion
I would not like to listen to this book in one sitting but then I have read the book and seen the film
"Classic book which was lovely to revisit"
When my husband chosse this I was a bit peeved - after all I had read it many times over the years. However, I soon got caught up in the story and the characters. I liked the narrator's voice and characterisation.
Worth listening to even if you think you know it well. Very entertaining.
I don't think so
Maybe if I read the story first I would be able to follow it better?
I found it very monotone and found myself falling asleep whilst listening to it being read to me!
This is a classic story & I really wanted to enjoy listening to it but I just got bored & it was a chore to get through it all! I did not like this book at all, which I was shocked about as I like other classic stories...
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