Ever read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.
I suppose it depends on how you view the story. As a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.
If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.
Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.
Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.
Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.
It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.
I wonder…40 years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Del Ray)
I can still read this and laugh so hard it hurts. Contains one of the best scenes ever written, in the tea house with the biscuits, I’m giggling just thinking about it; if you haven’t read it, read it just for that. What am I saying, if you haven’t read it?
One of the most entertaining books ever written and apparently inspired by a drunken evening in Austria with a Hitchhikers Guide to Europe in his pocket, sounds about right.
Adams also wrote and acted briefly in Monty Python and wrote a few Doctor Who scripts.
Worked on video games.
I have no words.
A delight to the gray matter and darn you Douglas Adams, you’re one of the reasons my laugh lines are so deep! No, I forgive you and miss you. In this case as entertaining as the on screen offerings of this have been, the book is so much better. All 4 (or 5 depending on your belief system and the hour of day) books in the trilogy are fantastically mythically rereadworthy.
Although Adams left too early at 49, his written works, his activist causes and his understanding of absurdity of it all remains to entertain and amaze us.
And don’t forget a towel is one of the most useful things you can carry with you on your journeys so celebrate towel day May 25th.
Douglas Adams‘ present location: Highgate Cemetery, Highgate, United Kingdom