Monday, June 29, 2009

Watership Down, by Richard Adams

This review is a little different than usual, kittens, for I am fulfilling one of the tasks that the lovely Jenners has spelled out in her Take a Chance Challenge:

Poetic Review. Write a book review in three different forms of verse: haiku, limerick and free verse. (You can pick any book you want to write about.)

So let's start off with a little haiku. I haven't written any haiku in a long time, so I may be a bit rusty:

Disgruntled rabbits
Form their own society
In a large warren.

Haiku: done. Now for a limerick:

I just read a book about bunnies,
Which was not written like the funnies.
They banded together
In all sorts of weather
To form a new tribe of smart bunnies.

OK, not the best limerick in the world, but that part of the challenge is done. And now for the free verse:

Fiver had a premonition:
Man was coming.
Their lives were in danger.
He set out with Hazel and other bunnies
To find a new home.

They found a new home
In Watership Down
And made some new friends along the way.
They also learned
That not all bunnies are as nice and kind as they were.

They went to Efrafa
To find some does,
Or rather, female rabbits,
Because they realized, without females,
They couldn't complete the circle of life.

Efrafa was dangerous,
A strictly-controlled society.
One of their own, Bigwig,
Became a patrol officer
And planned to get some rabbits out.

Efrafa's leader, General Woundwort,
Was authoritarian and controlling.
No one left Efrafa under his watch.
He was a large, intense rabbit
Who easily intimidated.

The General learns of Bigwig's plan,
And immediately plots revenge.
Bigwig and lots of does make their escape,
But Woundwort's bucks follow.
Who will be victorious?

Will Bigwig and the escapees make it back
To Watership Down?
Will the new warren thrive?
It's easy to find the answer:
Read the book!

Kitten's final thoughts: I understand why this book is considered a classic. It's got a lot of the classic literary epic themes in it; various points in the book reminded me of passages in The Odyssey. There is also lots of commentary on political structures, such as Communism and democracy, although it is not directly stated. Read the descriptions of Efrafian society carefully and you'll see what I mean: there are spies everywhere, patrol along the borders of the warren, and bucks who are well-trained in combat.

I really enjoyed the book in the end, but it was difficult to get into at first. It took me a whole month to read. The last 150 pages, though, are where the action really picks up. It's all worth it for that last section.

This is the latest entry in my 100+ Reading Challenge, my 1st in a Series Reading Challenge, my A to Z Challenge, my Support Your Local Library Challenge, as well as the first entry in my Take a Chance Challenge. As always, click on the buttons in the sidebar for all of the archived lists!


Anonymous said...

Wow! Good job on the challenge! That Jenner is too creative with her ideas!

RunninL8 said...

I read this twice as a kid-LOVED it! I was very into that rebellion and exodus to a better place...There was something very engaging and almost comforting in that slow start. Not sure what was going on at that time in my childhood, but perhaps that was just something that I was needing at the time.
Clever way to review a book! I may have to kipe this style in a future review!

septembermom said...

Nice, creative review :) The political structure commentary would interest me. The free verse is my favorite.

drollgirl said...

based on the title and the book cover, i would have blown right past it! but your review is giving me pause and making me reconsider. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. maybe i will do it!

and thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. you are so great, and i hope all is well. :)

Teddy Rose said...

I read this as a child and remember liking it. I have it on my TBR to revisite it as an adult to see what I think.

blueviolet said...

Based on those poems, the book sounds interesting. I never would have figured it took a month to read. These were fun!

Grand Pooba said...

geez, and I just thought it was about rabbits! Who knew?

Loved this review, so fun!

Emily said...

I had to read this in high school- everyone else hated it and I just loved it! I've reread it several times since then. Also really enjoyed your challenge review! -e

Ann said...

I remember this book from my youth. I remember the movie with that terrific Art Garfunkel song. I need to add this book to our home.

I've finally added your button:->

Jenners said...

You know, I never read this book and I want too -- especially now. I recently read "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" and it referenced this book re: a bunny named Cowslip. It made me want to read it and then you reviewed it (and your poems were great, by the way) so 2 mentions means "Must read Book."

kaye said...

You did a wonderful job giving a peek into the story. I loved your haiku and your limerick. my poetic review is here thanks for stopping by.