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Author Topic: Problems of Tales of Watership Down  (Read 307 times)

Offline Toteq

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Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« on: April 07, 2022, 07:26:01 PM »
Probably most of you will agree with me that Tales from Watership Down is worse than original WD. I am interesting  what in your opinion are problems of this book.

I won't write about obvious things such as worse plot and I will more focus about details that affect the reception of the book.
One of the better thing in WD in my opinion is relative realism and specific atmosphere from rabbit perspective. Only "magic" things are Fiver's visions. In TfWD is much more of this. We have entirely unnecessary river of knowledge (the story itself is interesting but idea with river is bad for me), ghosts (although it is one of the best tales) and more. Even myths that always were quite unrealistic (at all they're myths) there is completly unreal (at least this in first part).
More than magic annoying me some things from rabbits world that are doesn't match to that from WD.
For Example when Dandelion tells the tale of Rowsby Woof, Bigwig interrups him and asks what is camel. And it's logic that rabbits don't know. In "The Sense of Smell" Dandelion lists a lot of extinct species and no one ask what the animals the are (not to mention how the rabbit would know them). He even compare one of them to jaguar (How are rabbits supposed to know what it is).
Another one is in "The Story of Three Cows". At the beginning Dandelion tells that he knows that tale from Sandleford and he will not change anything in story. And then he tells that El-Ahrairah lived at Watership Down. So did the rabbits know about WD before they left Sandleford? That make no sense.
In Speedwell tale he tells that he met Lucy. How does he know what her name is? Another thing that makes no sense.
The last thing I don't like is in "Stonecrop" tale. The new rule that rabbit smells human must be killed. This contradicts the release of rabbits from the farm, and the justification for this is weak.

Maybe it's details but for me disturb in reading. What are your opinion? What bothers you about Tales from Watership Down?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 09:25:04 PM by Toteq »

Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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Re: Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2022, 02:42:33 PM »
They don't bother me because they are fantasy stories. It is noted that the author had the luxury of playing with the stories he wanted to tell, because there was no greater drama than what happened against Wounwodrt and his pilgrimage.
For me they are entertaining stories, and definitely the best is the last one, when we see facets of Campion that I had never seen, his lifestyle, what he thinks, how others see him, how he is, etc. Just like the end of it...
As for Stonecrop, I understand that in the wild, animals often reject and even attack to kill domestic pets that lived with humans, because they believe them to be a threat. Hazel and her friends before her released female bunnies on a farm due to desperate circumstances, they needed females to reproduce. But now those circumstances no longer exist. I'm glad Hazel is the only one protecting him by being a sensible rabbit.
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Offline Toteq

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Re: Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2022, 03:21:13 PM »
More fantasy elements normally doesn't bother me but in my opinion doesn't match to WD and they make the atmosphere is so much different. Story of Campion is nice, one of the best in all book, but I prefer the second part of book when El-Ahrairah was on homeward journey.

Hazel and her friends before her released female bunnies on a farm due to desperate circumstances, they needed females to reproduce.

This explanation isn't good for me, because Hazel didn't really need to release the does from the farm. He did it to impress Holly and other rabbits. He (and others who stayed on Watership Down) was sure that Holly and Silver will return with does from Efrafa.
 

Offline Flickinger

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Re: Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2022, 07:07:01 PM »
Hazel and her friends before her released female bunnies on a farm due to desperate circumstances, they needed females to reproduce.

This explanation isn't good for me, because Hazel didn't really need to release the does from the farm. He did it to impress Holly and other rabbits. He (and others who stayed on Watership Down) was sure that Holly and Silver will return with does from Efrafa.

I think the new rule makes sense with the scene. Hazel wants to bring does to the warren like Holly would, and was willing to put aside the rule of killing rabbits that smell like humans in order to do it.
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Offline Toteq

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Re: Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2022, 07:23:25 PM »
Yes, maybe he was willing to put aside that rule, buy strange is that everyone agree with him without any word of objection. And in Tales Stonecrop stinks for every rabbit, they can't stand his smell. Rabbits released by Hazel had less intesive smell but still it should bother them. But no one is complaining and point that.

Offline Kili

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Re: Problems of Tales of Watership Down
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2022, 04:52:08 PM »
I think that a lot of these issues occurred with the age Richard Adams was when he wrote it, as it was published in 1996 - the original Watership Down was published in 1972. That's a long gap between publication and it is easy to forget things, and he would have been in his 70's when he wrote it. Perhaps he was struggling with ill health which impacted his writing. I've noticed other authors that produced great literature when they were younger aren't doing as well when they publish something when they are elderly.