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Mosi Mynn

Watership Down

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Feel like we had a thread here a while back... 

With the way things blur together in my head, it was probably years ago now! :lol: 

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I read it 23 years ago.  I remember there were rabbits, and that it was very good.  Could use a reread... if only I had the time.

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For such a simple story, it covers a fair few deep themes and has great characterisation.

It is especially poignant to start a new discussion now, on or just after Rememberance Sunday, when Hazel and the Sandleford rabbits are based on Richard Adams' WW2 comrades http://mentalfloss.com/article/63054/11-fascinating-facts-about-watership-down

 

What worries me about the new adaptation is that they have said they are toning down the gratuitous violence from the book.  I don't recall any gratuitous violence from the book - it all seemed very integral to the story.  The 1978 film certainly had some gratuitous violence (poor Blackavar :crying:), so I hope that's what they mean!

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5 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

For such a simple story, it covers a fair few deep themes and has great characterisation.

It is especially poignant to start a new discussion now, on or just after Rememberance Sunday, when Hazel and the Sandleford rabbits are based on Richard Adams' WW2 comrades http://mentalfloss.com/article/63054/11-fascinating-facts-about-watership-down

 

What worries me about the new adaptation is that they have said they are toning down the gratuitous violence from the book.  I don't recall any gratuitous violence from the book - it all seemed very integral to the story.  The 1978 film certainly had some gratuitous violence (poor Blackavar :crying:), so I hope that's what they mean!

It was quite dark for a childrens' book.  The 1978 film was pretty frightening in places.

Overall, I think it will stand the test of time as a childrens' classic.

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I actually read it for the first time about three years ago. I remember it being a tough read, but I don't know if that was expectations or something else. 

I'm certainly interested in the show. 

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One of my favorite books. I wrote a college entrance essay on it.

I couldn't pick a favorite character, but the scene that always sticks with me is Bigwig fighting Woundwort in the warren and revealing that he is not the leader. It was a huge hell yes moment and I'm still getting all the feels just writing about it here.

I also really like the scene where the rabbits are crossing a stream and Blackberry comes up with the plan to make a raft. I really love how you get into the rabbits' heads and understand why Blackberry is so damn clever. As far as the others are concerned, Blackberry is a wizard talking nonsense. I remember being blown away by the epic journey these rabbits undertake and then looking at the map and realizing it would take me a half a day of easy walking.

And the mythology woven into the regular story - it's so good. I've always had a sort spot for trickster gods, so this hit all the right buttons for me. 

I may be due for a re-read.

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1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

General Woundwort would be among my top ten villains in fantasy.

Probably the first book I had read in which a villain is shown to have some good qualities.  In different circumstances (and in the eyes of many of his followers) Woundwort would be a hero.

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5 hours ago, Gertrude said:

I couldn't pick a favorite character, but the scene that always sticks with me is Bigwig fighting Woundwort in the warren and revealing that he is not the leader. It was a huge hell yes moment and I'm still getting all the feels just writing about it here.

This is one of my favourite passages from any book!

As well as the hell yeah and the feels, it defines all the characters involved: Hazel's leadership , Bigwig's journey from sergeant major hothead to awesome leader of the Watership Owsla and his love for Hazel, and the Efrafans utter lack of comprehension thar a leader could be anything other than the most ferocious bully. It is such a wonderful moment.

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

Probably the first book I had read in which a villain is shown to have some good qualities.  In different circumstances (and in the eyes of many of his followers) Woundwort would be a hero.

Sorry can't seem to multi quote on my phone.

I like that Woundwort seems almost. .. decent - for a fascist vicious brute! He admires strength and cunning. His admiration of Bigwig is genuine.

Buy he could not see Hazel as anything but a limping emissary, and he could not accept the peace Hazel offered - despite seeing it so clearly.

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1 minute ago, Mosi Mynn said:

Sorry can't seem to multi quote on my phone.

I like that Woundwort seems almost. .. decent - for a fascist vicious brute! He admires strength and cunning. His admiration of Bigwig is genuine.

Buy he could not see Hazel as anything but a limping emissary, and he could not accept the peace Hazel offered - despite seeing it so clearly.

Woundwort genuinely cares about his people (ultimately sacrificing himself to defend them) at the same time as being a cruel, arrogant, control-freak.  And, he comes close to accepting Hazel's peace proposal, before rejecting it out of pride.

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14 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Woundwort genuinely cares about his people (ultimately sacrificing himself to defend them) at the same time as being a cruel, arrogant, control-freak.  And, he comes close to accepting Hazel's peace proposal, before rejecting it out of pride.

I'm not sure he cares about them as individuals. If they are weak or threaten the security of Efrafa in any way he casts them aside. 

And i think that's what he cares about most: security,  and fooling elil - especially man. Which is why I think he took on the dog at the end: it wasn't to save anyone else, it was because he wasn't going to let a dog get the better of him or run away from it.

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On 11/12/2018 at 10:29 AM, SeanF said:

It was quite dark for a childrens' book.  The 1978 film was pretty frightening in places.

Overall, I think it will stand the test of time as a childrens' classic.

I don’t think it is a childrens book.

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12 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I don’t think it is a childrens book.

I think it's for everyone.

I first read it when I was ten (after being traumatised by the film) and loved it.  I've read it regularly since then, and I'm still finding new themes and ways to appreciate it.

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It’s definitely a children’s book. Doesn’t mean what everyone is saying regarding themes, characters etc. and enjoying it as an adult isn’t applicable though

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