Saturday, September 20, 2008

Watership Down

What can I say? If you've never heard of the book, I highly suggest that you go out, find a copy and read it. NOW! This novel has got to be one the most brilliant pieces of writing and it has even been compared to Tolkien's, The Lord of the Rings. It is by far the favourite book in my library and it's had a home there for many, many years. Richard Adams is a magnificent storyteller and by the time you are past the first chapter, you come to know not only the characters but the landscape that surrounds them as well. It's almost as if the story springs to life in your mind as you're reading along.

For those of you who are not familiar with the book, it's about a band of rabbits who decide to leave their current warren as it is about to be destroyed by the hand of man. Their dream is to find a new home and set up a better society than the one they are leaving behind. The story takes you through that journey and what it takes for them to eventually get there. By the end of the book, I guarantee that you will fall in love with Hazel, Fiver, Clover, Dandelion, Pipkin, Hyzenthlay, Bigwig, Holly, Silver, and Kehaar :o)

I read a review once where they compared General Woundwort and the Owsla to Hitler and the Nazis. And while I can definitely see this view, the story does not stray far from what our own society has evolved into today. We still don't live in a perfect world. It's ruled by government and corruption. Racism and inhumanity still exists whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Every one of us has an idea in our head of what our perfect world would look like and I think unconsciously we keep trying to find it.

That's one thing I love about this story. Hazel has a dream. He knows what he wants and he sets out to achieve it. The road there isn't an easy one by any means but it's his determination that keeps him going. He knows what will make him happy. How many of us can say this? I feel that after almost fifteen years of being together, DH and I are finally on our way to finding the happiness that we have been seeking. Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that we've been unhappy all this time but it's almost like we end up just living from day to day, waiting until that opportunity comes along. Some find it faster than others but the constant remains the journey. There is always a journey.

So, how's that for deep thinking on a Saturday afternoon? LOL! I'll end this post on a lighter note then ;o) Over the years I have been trying to collect a set of Watership Down figurines that were produced back in the 70's (I believe). These are the characters that I have so far -


Stupid me packed these away before writing down the information that was underneath them :oS I really don't know much about them but I believe they were produced in the UK and there was the name New Orleans. I received two from a very special friend who was lucky enough to find them at a flea market and the rest have come from EBay. If anyone knows more about these or where I can get additional ones to complete my collection, plmk. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I loved the book, too. I remember the movie as being only OK.

Lori-Ann said...

I saw the watership down cartoon on the kids channel. Never read the book before. It's probably better than the movie version.

Good luck finding the rest of your collection!

stitcherw said...

Cute figurines, I love the bunnies. I've seen the book a number of times, but never actually read it. Hmmm I think I need to make a trip to my library. Lucky me they are open on the weekends. :)

WendyCarole said...

I bought a copy when it first came out. I keep meaning to re read it. We named one of our bunnies Fiver when the children were small. I have one of the figurines that you have already have.

Ken's choice said...

Hi Pumpkin,
what a coincidence, I just got the book as a present from friends !! I was a little aprehensive about reading it because someone told me that it was soooooo sad !!
and the saying,
You've seen the film, read the book, now eat the pie !! put me off a bit too.
anyway, I'm reading James Patterson at the moment, but will start Watership down after that !!

Paisley said...

One of my brother's favorite books. He gave me a copy to read long ago but I didn't get too far into it. Did something sad happen in the beginning? If a bunny got hurt I'm sure I would have had to stop reading! I'm such a softie!

Lili said...

Well, I'd never heard of it before but you make me itch to read it. The bunnies are very cute.
Take care!

Rachel S said...

I haven't read that one, but I read his book, Traveller, and it was such a wonderful, thought provoking story about the Civil War, told by General Lee's horse.

Ranae said...

I have never seen or heard of it. I wrote it down so I can check the library next time I am there. Now, I just have to remember when I get up to put it in my purse, lol.

Lisa said...

I totally agree, one of the best books ever written, I cherish my copy of this amazing book and I also have the movie. Its a movie from my childhood that I just had to get my hands on and when I found a copy I was over the moon, now I just have to get it on DVD.
Another good book and movie from around this time is one called The Plague Dogs, once again an amazing story but very very sad, its also very hard to find the movie, probably easy in the UK but elsewhere quite hard. I love movies that instill a deep meaning and can bring you to tears even though they are animated. Good luck with your collection. Pls visit my blog, you will notice my love for Watership Down with some of the pics in my side bar.
All the best. LISA V

SDH said...

Hi there

I realise this post is quite old, but if you are still interested in collecting and finding out more about these figurines, please let me know.

As far as I know they were indeed sold in the UK by a company called Royal Orleans, but were actually made in the US (hence the name).
There were either 8 or 9 in the set - not entirely sure, I have the little catalogue booklet that comes with them and it shows 8, but I have seen a ninth not shown in the booklet for sale on eBay some time ago.

From your picture you seem to have Fiver, Blackberry, Bigwig and Kechaar the duck.

They are very hard to get hold of, and I have seen two up for sale on eBay, with an asking price of a few hundred dollars each :(

I think they were on sale in the early 80s, as the catalogue and figures have two copyright years, 1978 - the year the film came out, and 1982 which is when the figurines were produced.

As I say, if you interested in obtianing a few more for your collection, please let me know as I may be listing my collection on eBay soon - I have 6 out of the 8.