Watership Down

Watership Down

Audiobook CD - 2010 | Unabridged
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When their home is threatened by a land developer, a small band of rabbits embark on a long and perilous journey in search of a safe haven. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with their compelling culture and mythos.
Publisher: Ashland, Or. : Blackstone Audio, p2010, c1972
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781441737472
Branch Call Number: ADA
Characteristics: 13 compact discs (ca. 16 hrs.)


From Library Staff

Land development uproots a warren of rabbits from their home. Now they must journey along dangerous paths to get to a new, safe home.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 16, 2018

So glad I listened to this instead of re-reading it! The story is timeless- an epic worthy of comparison to Arthurian legends and Beowulf- but to hear it read by this excellent narrator gave it a new dimension!

Jul 11, 2017

I'm at a loss to understand how people could find fault with either this book or the narration. Both are superlative - excellent in the extreme! My family listened to it on an extended road trip, and we were all - adults and children alike - extremely sorry to have it end. We were all drawn in to the rabbit's world, and, as Adams himself notes - this is not an allegory or social commentary, per se, but an epic about a group of rabbits. Those who find fault with supposed political aspects of this novel says more about the reader / listener than it does about the book or author. I have listened to this version twice - and I would gladly buckle in for a third time through! One of the best audiobooks I have listened to, one of the most enjoyable books I have read.

Feb 11, 2017

My 20-something nephew and I listened to this when he was staying with us and we were frequently driving into town (half hour drives) to medical appointments. Neither of us had read the story and it was delightful and a good break during a stressful time in our lives. And, unlike other reviewers, we both enjoyed the naration by Ralph Cosham.

May 01, 2016

An all-time favorite & much better if read (this audio narrator is poor.) The Plague Dogs held my attention & remembered years later.

Apr 11, 2016

I'm listening to this audio book for school. I find that it is easy to get lost in the story and hard to understand whats going on...... could be that the book is better.

Apr 06, 2013

The book "Watership Down" is a very intriguing book about survival, courage, and leadership. As the story begins the author talks about how he used to tell stories to his daughters on long car rides. One day he decided to publish them, and the book was a huge success. This book is very gripping, and will keep you on the edge while reading it. The book is about a group of rabbits who struggle to survive and want to venture to a better place for themselves and their families. "Watership Down" is a place where the rabbits want to end their adventure. I recommend this book because it is adventurous and it teaches about the characteristics of leadership and courage, that every child should learn at an early age.

Sep 05, 2012

Adams delivers, I'm sorry to say, just a dreadful job of narration. Barely got past the first minute, urgh!

Dec 18, 2011

Younger daughter, who is on the autistic spectrum, needed a novel for her independent reading project, so I googled "middle school books" and up came Watership Down which I'd never got around to reading. Perfect, I thought. It's about animals, which younger daughter adores, and there's a well-reviewed animated film which will provide badly-needed visuals for her very concrete-thinking mind.

In preparation for helping her get this read over the Christmas holidays, I downloaded an audio version from our public library, and listened to it on bus commutes. Ralph Cosgrove's narration is lively and doesn't distract the listener from the story. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of Kehaar the gull as a straight-talking Scandinavian. Three things you need to know about this novel: it's gripping; it's dated; it's looooong.

Adams tells us in the forward that the novel came out of stories he would tell his young daughters on lengthy car rides. Apparently, it was the girls who suggested the stories were good enough to be written down. I can see why. This is the epic tale of a group of rabbits, led by the heroic and self-effacing hero Hazel, who flee their warren on the basis of the mystical warnings of Hazel's psychic brother Fiver. Their journey to establish a new rabbit colony in Watership Down in Hampshire is dangerous and full of death-defying deeds. (I trust it isn't a spoiler to say that surprisingly few rabbits die during the course of this novel.)

Dated? Well, it was published in 1972, and despite the fact that Adams was writing these stories for his daughters, all the main characters are male. We get a hint of heroism from the doe-rabbit Hyzenthlay who helps in the escape from the oppressive warren Efrafa, but she barely figures in the story and few of the other does are even given names. It is clear that Hazel and his fellow-bucks expect little from the female rabbits except for breeding purposes. Adams includes a rather quaint apologetic passage explaining that rabbits are practical and not romantic by nature -- as if the attitudes of the males in the story somehow differs from the attitudes of men of Adams' generation. (Adams' military background is very evident throughout.)

That said, it's an entertaining and clever book, but it does go on, including four or five rabbit legends which, although illuminating, break up and slow down the narrative. It's going to be tough going over Christmas. I wonder if younger daughter will ever forgive me.

nhbarber Dec 16, 2010

Long, long, long but wonderful. I didn't remember the rabbit wars.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Apr 06, 2013

CourtneyHendon thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

nhbarber Jan 24, 2011

nhbarber thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over


Add a Summary

Apr 06, 2013

The book "Watership Down" is about a world that no one really thinks about much. It is about the amazing animal life that is in the forests and rural areas around more urban areas. It is about courage and survival as the adventurers try and find a better home for themselves.


Add a Quote

Apr 06, 2013

The dry slope was dotted with rabbits------some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top