Friday, August 31, 2007

Watership Down | Richard Adams

Tonight, we just finished our first book club meeting for "Watership Down." Consensus was that the author was largely descriptive but not entirely poetic or memorable. I won't get into our discussions on themes and key areas, unless you're all really curious.

As always, I will provide no spoilers... but I will share my two favourite quotes from the book. These quotes were the only ones that I found vaguely noteworthy.

"Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security."
and...

"You're all alone, sharp and clear, like a dead branch against the sky."

If the book would have contained more quotes like these two, I would have been hooked. The book really read to me like two separate novels. There was not a lot of plot until the 3rd part (there are four parts) of the novel, where the intrigue started. At this time, the concept of an alternate rabbit society made the story much more interesting.

The author also used quotes in different languages, with no translations. While the quotes loosely described the chapters they represented in the book, they did nothing to foreshadow or add to the story in the slightest.

What I did find very interesting was the portrayal of different areas of society... country folk, Russians, women, etc. I don't know exactly what Adams was trying to say, with his stereotypical portrayals, but it did add a lot of intrigue.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book... but it's probably better than a lot of the other rubbish considered literature these days :).

2 comments:

Shannon said...

Aw, I find it very memorable.

I also find that books written from the perspective of animals are generally very descriptive - it's their world, after all, and if you took out the description what would be left? That said, I wonder how much of it can be laid at the door of the period in which it was written, when descriptive narrative was perhaps more common than today?

What do you mean by Russians?

Anonymous said...

I read the book when i was 11 and i was hooked. the quotes don't really matter to me it is the thrill of life and death that keeps me reading. This is my favorite book and the more description the better the story is. Like hansel and gretel. They walked in a house or they walked in a tall old house made out of the finnest candy in the land. If I could I would rate this book 10 stars.