I first read this book back in my college days when it first came out. I still have that same copy in my library (perhaps it’s worth something). Now, four decades later I reread it from another publisher and felt that I should put forth it’s impact these many years later. Simply put, this is a classic right up there with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books. There are enough reviews and praises already out there and for me to add mine would be just another leaf on a tree already growing a thousand foot in the clear blue sky.
The impact of this book four decades later is a lot more profound than it was to a college student who had a lot more on his mind than the hidden meanings in a tale about rabbits on a very moving and dangerous mission. Now, after all these years, I am reminded that in the glimmer of the light that settles on the vestige of man, God whispers through a great many avenues of His creation and what goes on there.
I believe that Watership Down is one of those rare books that gives a glimpse into the real world and life of creatures other than ourselves. It is that simple glimpse that touches the hearts of those who understand what Fiver understood. There is another side of life than the one we see around us every day.
As with our own journeys through life from one warren to another, we will be compelled to do our best and seek after what is really important. Along the way we’ll meet those who will try to deter us from our vison, our destination; and of course, there will be those who believe in us and are always standing by us like Pipkin when we need it most.
I think one would do well to read this book at least once a year to be encouraged on life’s journey. Yes, the road to your Watership Down may be filled with perils along the way, and once you get there, those perils may continue, but in the end the sweetness of your vision will blossom into a much fertile field of dreams and hope. We must be brave and pursue hope at all cost.