Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Reading

I decided you all deserved some extra reading, so I'm doing two posts today to make up for my absence!

On the topic of reading, I'm quite the avid reader, but during school I have very little time, but I plan to make up for this over the summer, starting with the six hour drive after my brother's graduation in Southern Indiana way back north to Northern (practically Michigan) Indiana where I grew up (not very enjoyable for poor Umbra, it was really hot too).

In anticipation of this grueling journey, I stopped in at a bookstore down in Bloomington (where my brother lives) and picked up a book. At first I thought I would add too my Jane Austen collection, but then I spotted "Watership Down". I was aware that this book is a classic, but I had no idea what it was about until recently, and even then just vaguely. I had read something online about famous rabbit characters in literature, but still did not know that the book was completely about rabbits.

I'll admit that I was a bit embarrassed by my own rabbit-obsession, but there is a reason that this book is so loved (by everyone, not just bunny fanatics like myself.. and probably you too).

If you're not familiar with "Watership Down", it is NOT about navel battles and whatnot (as I previously assumed by the title), but in fact a very engaging story of a group of rabbits who set out across the English countryside to establish a warren of their own.

I won't go much more into the plot because I would hate to ruin it for those who haven't read it yet (and I strongly advise you too). Also, don't think that because this is a story about animals that it is a children's story, it can be appreciated by people of all ages. I believe this is a major reason why the book became so popular. Richard Adams, the author, came up with the story, simply as a way to entertain his daughters on long car rides, but in book form, it is much more than just a bed-time story.

I think rabbit lovers will also enjoy the accurate portrayal of rabbits. Adams consulted with naturalist and author of "The Private Life of the Rabbit", R.M. Lockley, and as a result his characters stay true to their species, and are not too much like people (which is often the case in animal literature).

Usually I'm really excited to get to the end of a book, but as I neared the end I became sad that it was already over. Adams has woven such a beautiful and enthralling tale that I wished it could just go on for ever. I have to say that I envy is daughters to have a father who took the time to come up with such brilliant stories, and I intend to read all of his works (even if they are not bunny related).

Finally, I will leave you with my wish that "Watership Down" would be made into a movie (if only to keep the story alive in my mind just a bit longer). I discovered at my local library that an animated adaptation does exist, but it fell short of the magic that the book offers. And although this is often the case with movies based on books, I believe that a much better version could be made today. The current movie, made in the 70s, was just fine for back then, but animation today is so much more. Not only has the technology and technique advanced, but animation is not just for children. Anyone who has seen any of the Pixar movies knows that it is enjoyable for adults too, which is why I think they would be perfect for making an updated film version of this beloved novel... one that hopefully sticks more closely to the plot of its literary inspiration.

Hopefully future updates will be more frequent!


  1. but that movie will make you cry,but a new one would make it more real

    1. have you seen the original?

    2. yes I have makes me cry everytime then the huby takes the micky out of me "sigh" men!have you seen it?

    3. yes I did see it. I was disappointed that it didn't stick to the book more, but I'll admit I was close to tears when Hazel gets shot

    4. Thats the trouble with movies based on novels they always use a bit of artistic licence

    5. true. also its quite a lot of book to fit in an hour and a half