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Watership Down
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Watership Down Reply with quote

I haven't read it for 25 yrs, but does anybody else rate this book?

I wouldn't call it a work of fantasy or sci-fi, obviously.

I would call it a kind of a cross between "The Guns Of Navarone", LOTR, and "1984".

I mentioned on another thread that "Lord Mhoram's Victory" was the most magnificent act of valour I have read.

I was telling my housemate (a Dragon-Lance kinda guy, bless him) about Watership Down the other day. It was quite embarassing when I almost broke down Wink when I told him about Thlayli (Bigwig) telling Woundwort that his "Chief Rabbit" had told him to guard that post, so that's what he was going to do. That gets me almost as much as LMV.

That, and Hazel joining the Owsla of el-ahrairah at the end.

Pity the authors other books were of a faecal nature. Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent book. i re-read it every few years. i also loved Adam's Plague Dogs. I even have written a couple of songs based on the book. the Shining Wire being one.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to read it every now and then. Didn't really like Shardik much, but Maia wasn't bad once I got into it...bit drawn out though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only read it once, but WD was very good.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watership Down should be categorized as a social commentary dressed up as an animal adventure. Plague Dogs, too (which I think is a notch better). It would go in the category as Lord of the Flies, IMO (and ... what's that one about the farm animals? "Animals"? "The Farm"? I forget the title...)

People compare it to LOTR because the rabbits have a mythology ... maybe that made it stand out once upon a time but these days there's nothing exceptional about such things.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Animal Farm by Orwell? Well you were too close, anyway Cool )
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I must admit that Shardik was the only other one I tried (I just couldn't get into it), so shouldn't impugn his other works so readily.

It sounds like you liked Plague Dogs a lot sgtnull.

If I see a copy I might give it a try.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've watched the animated Watership Down but not read the book. I did read Shardik, which led to Grendel which, I think, gave me a certain side (or edge) to further appreciate Donaldson's writing in Reave the Just and Other Tales.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD was required reading in HS English, I don't know who chooses the books, the teacher or the state, heh, but that book has stayed with me my whole life...definitely a masterpiece! Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrore
Quote:
I've watched the animated Watership Down but not read the book


Read the book, then watch the animation again - the book makes the dream sequences much more understandable and changes a rather sad & confusing ending in the animation into a happy and feel-good ending (IMHO)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool, I will, I was at a friends house when I watched it and he had to medicate his kid who was supposed to be in his room sleeping: "All the bunnies are dying dad!" Razz (true)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your friend's kid:
Quote:
"All the bunnies are dying dad!"


Read the book! (To the kid as well!)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trapper: loved Plague Dogs. and it is a cause that is close to my heart.

I like the WD movie, the book was better. the PD movie is outstanding. the ending is so incredibly sad.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the majority here - Watership Down is a masterpiece, and a very tough act to follow, which Adams attempted to do with varying degrees of success.

I think Brian Jacques should be dedicating his Redwall series to Adams, because without Watership Down, I don't think his series and enormous popularity would exist.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend,

sorry for not acknowledging your post on Plague Dogs, sounds like you enjoyed it as much as sgtnull.

The two of you seem to rate it as highly as WD Shocked, so I will definitely look out for it!

Anybody have comments on other favourite scenes?

Obviously the escape from Woundworts warren (the name of which escapes me at the mo, I really should get a copy and re-read, it's been 20 yrs) figures large, but if you'll excuse me I might mention a few of my favourites:

Woundwort: "Come back you cowards, it's only a dog!"

Dandelion and Blackberry (possibly my favourite character) leading the dog there in the first place.

Blackavar (is that the right name?) and his shredded ears being paraded as an example to those who would oppose Woundwort as they went out to feed.

The recruitment of Kehaar. Even Hazel thought what he was doing was odd. The Prince of a Thousand Enemies would have done the same, though.

Holly's story about what happened to their original warren. Hearing things second hand can have a powerful effect in a novel. (Runnik & Tull in The Illearth War, Gimli telling of the Black Ships in LOTR, Legolas IIRC didn't want to talk about it).

sgtnull: The Shining Wire is memorable, but in no way one of my favourite scenes. I'd imagine that was a pretty bleak song that you wrote *shivers*.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I never led a dog anywhere!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dANdeLION wrote:
Hey, I never led a dog anywhere!


My apologies for any aspersions you may have felt I had cast about your character or personal habits Laughing .
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackavar and Blackberry are my two favorite bunnies. and any scene with Keehar is excellent.

"we find mudders"
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah yes! keehar and the pig vater!! Big Grin
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

years ago a friend found a wounded sea gull. so we put him in the barn. i called him Keehar and bought feeder fish for him. kept him for a couple of weeks. and then i took him outside and threw him in the air. he flew a little bit and tried to come back. so i chased him off, yelling :find the beeg vater!" my friend, she thought i was nuts. Smile
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