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Watership Down > 1996 - Tales from Watership Down

TFWD reviews

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I finally got an ebook of TFWD.  In this thread, I shall review each chapter as I read them.

First there is the introduction, that talks about the organization of the book.  Part 1 is mostly :el-ahrairah stories, part 2 is :el-ahrairah stories during the trip back from :inle-series s warren, part 3 is about the rabbits of WD.

Then, there is a short note about how to pronounce El-ahrairah.  Essentially, just take the one used in the film and roll the r's.

Then Chapter 1: The Sense of Smell.

Rabbits cannot smell, so :el-ahrairah tries to find the sense of smell.  He goes to the land of perpetual darkness to find the Ilips and gets helped by a glanbrin (some mythical creature) along the way.  He finds the Ilips who don't kill him because he has a collar from Prince Rainbow.  They take him to the King of Yesterday, who rules over all extinct species destroyed by humans.  He then gets referred to the King of Tomorrow and gets an audience with him thanks to a trick.  The King of Tomorrow gives him the sense of smell because that will allow rabbits to become humanity's' greatest enemy.

This story has a very different style from those of the original book.  :rabscuttle hardly does anything.  The idea that Prince Rainbow would actually do something helpful for :el-ahrairah seems strange (granted, the gift originally came from :frith , but still).  Another unusual thing is the fact many creatures refer to :el-ahrairah as an "English rabbit".  This is rather strange considering that all rabbits are of the same species.

The good things?  Firstly, this story is actually told by Dandelion.  There are a few paragraphs at the beginning that talk about a quiet May evening on the Down.  The subplot with Flairgold was interesting, but could have been longer.  The story is exciting, despite the fact you know the whole way that :el-ahrairah will succeed.  The idea of the Kingdom of Yesterday is also interesting.

Rating: 4/5.

I won't be reading this thread because I have to catch up with the book (left it after the first chapter because life got busy and stuff) but I applaud your initiative :)

Heckuva job, mate :)

Darkling Nocturnal:
@Silverweed's Claws:

You will read it - and you will LOVE IT! Watership Down is everywhere :pipkin-oh

:darkling :silverweed3 you two are really funny.

Anyway, chapter 2: The Story of the Three Cows.

:el-ahrairah searches for eternal youth.  The yellowhammer tells him cryptically how to achieve it (something about the Three Cows), and gives him further information along the journey.  He tricks the First Cow into letting him into the enchanted wood.  He helps the Second Cow melt her stony heart (literally) and find love with a bull.  He reaches the Third Cow, who is Time.  He journeys inside her body and eventually succeeds in finding eternal youth, and escapes with the help of Whitehorn, the second cow's female calf.

The first story was different from those in the original book?  This one is even weirder.  I mean seriously, in the original book, the :el-ahrairah stories were mostly realistic, except maybe that with :inle-series .  But even the story with the Black Rabbit remained within the limits of sanity.  This is all beyond crazy, especially with the third cow.  The yellowhammer comes out of nowhere and helps :el-ahrairah for no apparent reason.  :rabscuttle absolutely does not appear in this one and isn't even mentioned.  Pretty much the only good thing about this one is the argument between :fiver and :bigwig3 regarding whether :el-ahrairah grows old, which occurs at the beginning.  Yes, this story is told by :dandelion too.  Another interesting thing is that :el-ahrairah being immortal or not was used as an argument to determine who came for :hazel2 at the end of the book (source).

Rating: 2/5.

Chapter 3: The Story of King Fur-Rocious

King Fur-Rocious decides to kick :el-ahrairah off the Downs and take them for himself.  He also takes :el-ahrairah s favourite doe, Nur-Rama.  Prince Rainbow is of little help.  :el-ahrairah wanders around and finds a cat, some ants, some crows and a stream, all of whom hate King Fur-Rocious and hide in his ear to help :el-ahrairah defeat him.  King Fur-Rocious tries to have :el-ahrairah killed, but the creatures in his ear always save him.  King Fur-Rocious finally surrenders when the stream nearly drowns him, leaves the Downs, gives back Nur-Rama and :el-ahrairah never goes to war again.

This story is shorter than the other two and, unlike the other two, is told by Bluebell instead of :dandelion .  But I have to say that it is crazy.  Seriously :el-ahrairah keeping all that stuff in his ear?  That is beyond unrealistic.  The character of King Fur-Rocious does not really have any character development at all, other than he has been known to kill and keep elil prisonner.  However, maybe Bluebell just made it all up as he told it.  He is known for telling jokes, after all.  Anyway, this is rather silly, and funny.

Rating: 4/5.


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