Watership Down, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


40th anniversary edition of Richard Adams' picaresque saga about a motley band of rabbits - Watership Down is one of the most beloved novels of our time.Sandleford Warren is in danger.

Hazel's younger brother Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the land, but no one will listen. And why would they when it is Spring and the grass is fat and succulent?

So together Hazel and Fiver and a few other brave rabbits secretly leave behind the safety and strictures of the warren and hop tentatively out into a vast and strange world.Chased by their former friends, hunted by dogs and foxes, avoiding farms and other human threats, but making new friends, Hazel and his fellow rabbits dream of a new life in the emerald embrace of Watership Down . . .'A gripping story of rebellion in a rabbit warren and the subsequent adventures of the rebels.

Adams has a poetic eye and a gift for storytelling which will speak to readers of all ages for many years to come' Sunday Times'A masterpiece.

The best story about wild animals since The Wind in the Willows.

Very funny, exciting, often moving' Evening Standard'A great book.

A whole world is created, perfectly real in itself, yet constituting a deep incidental comment on human affairs' GuardianRichard Adams grew up in Berkshire, the son of a country doctor.

After an education at Oxford, he spent six years in the army and then went into the Civil Service.

He originally began telling the story of Watership Down to his two daughters and they insisted he publish it as a book.

It quickly became a huge success with both children and adults, and won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal in 1972.

Richard Adams has written many novels and short stories, including Shardik and The Plague Dogs.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Animal stories
  • ISBN: 9780241953235

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

When Fiver has a vision of great destruction to the warren, he and Hazel and a small group of other rabbits head out for unknown pastures in search of a new home. Along the way they meet with many adventures, from eery and docile rabbits to a great warren ready for war. One of the many great things about this book is that though this story was intended to just be a story about rabbits, written for his children, it doesn't talk down. It just tells a story with clean, vivid language. This apparently caused trouble with publication as the publishers thought the language was too adult for younger kids, but that older kids wouldn't want to read a story about rabbits. I'm glad it finally found a home, because I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures presented. Another thing to love is how well Adams created a series of interesting characters who happen to be rabbits. They could just as easily been people, except that he also makes them very much rabbits with the traits and behaviors and survival instincts of rabbits. Combined with that is its own set of folklore with the rabbits telling stories of a rabbit king, trickster and brave hero, who they love to tell tales about in the dark of their warren. In his introduction to the novel, Adams asserts that <i>Watership Down</i> was not intended as an allegory. However, there is enough depth of plot and character that it leaves plenty of room for interpretation and one could easily write an essay about it being about the negative aspects of tyranny. There's enough layers for this to be enjoyed by adults, and though sometimes bloody, it is full of adventure and humor and fun characters for kids to enjoy.

Also by Richard Adams   |  View all