Watership Down by Richard Adams
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
DAMN YOU, WATERSHIP DOWN, STOP MAKING ME CRY!!!
When I was in school, the teachers played the movie version (the one with Art Garfunkel songs, Zero Mostel as the bird, and a bevy of well-respected English actors providing voice-overs) of this epic drama of courageous rabbits and us kids just bawled. The sadness, she was too much!
It's been 30, maybe 35 years on since then and I figured, despite the tears, I have fond memories of the story, so why not finally read the book? Well I did and I cried at the end again, god damn it.
It's not an overly sad ending to be honest, however, I cried because author Richard Adams ends his book with the passing of life. The relatively long life of one of the rabbits depicted here is shown coming to an end and that shit gets me every time (ie Bilbo as he passes on to the Grey Havens...friggin' hell, I've got something in my eye). It makes me think of living out a long, beautiful life with my wife and then eventually having to say goodbye to her for the final time as we pass away. Dang it, it's getting to me again...
...just talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: Watership Down, which is the more important theme, the friendship bond or the struggle for survival? Discuss!
Okay, I'm back.
Another lovely thing about this epic novel is that it started out as an oral tale Adams told to his daughters on car trips. The best stories are organically homegrown. Plant the seed, water it, let it grow, nurture it and in the end you'll have...well, you'll have a plant, but you get what I mean.
In the intro it was revealed to me that apparently Watership Down is a real and locatable place out west of London, I think in the Hampshire area. So, now I've got another reason to go back to England, to track down the Down!
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