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)
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.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Great golden Frith above us, this is an absolute masterpiece!! To say I love this book more each time I read or listen to it would be an understatement. Allegorically speaking, this is the filet mignon (or the finest vegetarian sushi dinner, if you're not a fan of red meat) of audiobooks. Please experience it if you haven't fallen in love with it already. Ralph Cosham's impeccable narration brings the story alive even more than it did when my son and I used to read it aloud to one another, hour after hour, on long summer evenings almost annually many years ago. I guarantee that your first listen won't be your last. This is one you will return to (and listen to with your loved ones on long car trips, or when gathered around the fire in winter) year after year.
The Introduction by the author was an unexpected treat I only discovered on this listen. It is fascinating; it is the only book introduction you could ever reasonably call "spellbinding." However, I have the very tiniest bone to pick with the author over one small matter. At the end of the introduction the author says, "I want to emphasize that Watership Down was never intended to be some sort of allegory or parable; it is simply a story about rabbits, made up in the car." At the moment I heard those words, I was already mentally composing my review, which I had decided to title "PLEASE STOP CALLING THIS A STORY ABOUT RABBITS!!" So much for what I know! In all seriousness, however, this is so much more than a story about rabbits; it's about very human personalities, relationships, class struggles, the 1% vs the 99%, war, heroism, resilience, redemption, superstition, tradition, adventure, and courage (especially the courage to cast off all social constructs and start over when needed). It remains one of the top ten audiobooks ever recorded. Thank you, Ralph Cosham; thank you, Audible! This is a treasure beyond measure.
In the top quarter.
The glory of this book is that there are so many memorable moments: Fiver revealing the truth about Cowslip's warren, Holly's story about the Sandelford Warren, the story of the Black Rabbit, Hazel's meeting with Woundwort... you can open nearly any chapter and find a good scene.
Cosham's reading was good in the unobtrusive way. He dialed down the emotion and let the text do the work. I think he was a good fit to the material.
I once read that the only good children's book is one that holds up as an adult. Watership Down is a children's book, yes, but it is an exemplar of what children's books can be. It resonates with me at twenty-four as it did when I was thirteen.
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.
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.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
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.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have been trying to locate an unabridged recorded copy of this book forever. Thanks for listening and getting it!!! Great Birthday Present! General Woundwort Lives!
First read it in one sitting decades ago. Eh, i was a kid. But, no, it's really that good Homer meets Tolkien meets Jungle Book. About as fine of hero's journey as you will find. You must know it's about talking rabbits; if you think that may be distracting, don't.
I love this book . Its so good .I am just an 8 year old and I love it . 10/10bGreat for you as well
This is so beautifully read - our family (Incl all the children aged 8,10,14,16) were all captivated for the whole 51 hours! Imagine, 51 hours of peace.....!!
I had only vague memories of this story from when I was a child and doubt I would have chosen it to listen to now had the other reviews not been so good. I'm am so glad I allowed those reviews to convince me. Brilliant story, which was elegantly written and perfectly narrated. Recommend to anyone who like a good story - don't let that it's about rabbits turn you away.
Regretfully, I find myself with little time for reading these days. I've never listened to an audio book before and I wasn't sure if I could stop my overactive mind wandering enough to concentrate on a story, so I decided to try a book that I know well so I didn't lose the plot if my mind did wander. Watership Down has been a favourite book of mine since I was 9, and I chose it to try out listening to audio books at work. Well, I was hooked from the first line. Ralph Cosham narrates this story beautifully; his voice fits the story and writing story perfectly. I'm a fast reader (actually I rush to tell the truth) and having the story read out gave me a much deeper experience of reading the book as every word was heard and enjoyed. Thoroughly recommended.
"A True Classic"
I read Watership Down in the 1970s when it first came out in paperback and was delighted to see the unabridged edition appear on Audible. That being said I was somewhat nervous in case the book had failed to stand the test of time, after all I first read it at the age of 20 and I will be 60 in a few weeks time! What can I say? Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig et al and their adventures, have worn far better than I have! They are as fresh today as they were back then, Ralph Cosham's performance is faultless and I am sure that the book will appeal to a whole new audience, as well as remind old enthusiasts like myself, why the book was such an enormous success at the time.
"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
"Brings the world of rabbits to life"
Only ever previously seen the film and loved it as a child, its one of those books I never got around to reading. This is really nicely narrated and has really opened up the magical world of rabbits for me, I never realised how much more there was in the book that was cut out of the film. I especially like the little tangent stories about El-ahrairah great fun and a great listen.
"As Beautiful As Ever"
A gorgeous story full of emotion and adventure, and narrated beautifully as any great British story should be; gentle intonation and inflection. Loved it. Gave me a chance to reminisce about my childhood.
Have the book at home, thought I would give this a go and was not disappointed. Excellent narration.
"my favourite children's book still captivates me"
my favourite children's book still captivates me as an adult, characters you really care about and a great story
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