Tales from Watership Down

by Richard Adams

I had no idea there was a companion novel to Watership Down until one day I saw this book in someone\’s storage closet. I was surprised and thrilled at first. I thought it was a sequel to Watership Down, but what I found rather disappointed me. Tales from Watership Down is mostly stories about El-ahrairah, the fabled rabbit hero that characters of the first novel talk about. About two-thirds of the book is short stories that make up the rabbits\’ mythology, the hero\’s deeds and exploits to foil his enemies and obtain advantages for his fellow rabbits. They are clever and amusing, but some are hard to make sense of and inconsistent with the style of the first book. There are also a handful of chapters that follow the original characters from Watership Down, extending the storyline a bit- but it doesn\’t even begin to approach the quality of the first book. It\’s a lot more lighthearted, not nearly as complex and detailed or plot-driven. If you\’ve read and enjoyed Watership Down, you might like this one, but don\’t expect much.

Rating: 2/5                         352 pages, 1996

More opinions at:
Things Mean a Lot
Fifty Books Project
Steve\’s Book Journal
anyone else?

9 Responses

  1. How's this for dumb – I didn't know Watership Down was an animal story until about 1.5 years ago. I thought it was some navy war-thriller. I've since added it to my TBR pile, because it feels like something I should read someday.

  2. What a shame this isn't closer to the brilliance of Watership Down. Though it must be very difficult to have written that as your first novel, and then to have to live up to it repeatedly thereafter.

  3. Sandy- I feel exactly the same.Amanda- For the longest time as a teen I had heard of Watership Down but had absolutely no desire to read it, becuase I had a similar impression! I was dumbfounded when I discoverd it was an adventure story about rabbits.Jenny- So many times I feel that an author's first novel is their very best. This one feels like a mere appendage to the original.

  4. I saw this title when I was searching for WD in our library's online catalog. I'm glad to have your thoughts on it — I'll save myself the trouble!

  5. I'd heard this before and though it's disappointing, I'm not sure it isn't what I expected. I understand the title to mean as extras from the world, not necessarily a sequel. And it may sound strange, but I like the idea of revisiting this world in a simpler, lighter way, especially after having thought \”Watership Down\” was brilliant. I may someday read this, but now I know not to keep my hopes too high.

  6. Janet- I don't think my library has it.Anonymous Child- After I realized what the book was I was expecting short stories. But the quality and characterization just wasn't quite the same and it felt weak by comparison to Watership Down.Nymeth- I just went back and read your post again. I had forgotten that Adams addressed the opposition of man to rabbits so often in the book- for that I might want to reread it and form a new opinion. I was thinking of it purely from a storytelling standpoint.Trish- Watership Down itself is a great book- about a group of rabbits who run away from an area threatened by development to find a new home- and have all sorts of adventures. It's so well-written!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DISCLAIMER:

All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it

SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL:

Subscribe to my blog:

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

VIEW MY PERSONAL COLLECTION:

TRADE BOOKS WITH ME ON:

ARCHIVES: 

2023
January 2023 (26)
2022
January 2022 (12)February 2022 (7)March 2022 (13)April 2022 (16)May 2022 (13)June 2022 (21)July 2022 (15)August 2022 (27)September 2022 (10)October 2022 (17)November 2022 (16)December 2022 (23)
2021
January 2021 (14)February 2021 (13)March 2021 (14)April 2021 (7)May 2021 (10)June 2021 (5)July 2021 (10)August 2021 (27)September 2021 (16)October 2021 (11)November 2021 (14)December 2021 (12)
2020
January 2020 (14)February 2020 (6)March 2020 (10)April 2020 (1)May 2020 (10)June 2020 (15)July 2020 (13)August 2020 (26)September 2020 (10)October 2020 (9)November 2020 (16)December 2020 (22)
2019
January 2019 (12)February 2019 (9)March 2019 (5)April 2019 (10)May 2019 (9)June 2019 (6)July 2019 (18)August 2019 (13)September 2019 (13)October 2019 (7)November 2019 (5)December 2019 (18)
2018
January 2018 (17)February 2018 (18)March 2018 (9)April 2018 (9)May 2018 (6)June 2018 (21)July 2018 (12)August 2018 (7)September 2018 (13)October 2018 (15)November 2018 (10)December 2018 (13)
2017
January 2017 (19)February 2017 (12)March 2017 (7)April 2017 (4)May 2017 (5)June 2017 (8)July 2017 (13)August 2017 (17)September 2017 (12)October 2017 (15)November 2017 (14)December 2017 (11)
2016
January 2016 (5)February 2016 (14)March 2016 (5)April 2016 (6)May 2016 (14)June 2016 (12)July 2016 (11)August 2016 (11)September 2016 (11)October 2016 (9)November 2016 (1)December 2016 (3)
2015
January 2015 (9)February 2015 (9)March 2015 (11)April 2015 (10)May 2015 (10)June 2015 (2)July 2015 (12)August 2015 (13)September 2015 (16)October 2015 (13)November 2015 (10)December 2015 (14)
2014
January 2014 (14)February 2014 (11)March 2014 (5)April 2014 (15)May 2014 (12)June 2014 (17)July 2014 (22)August 2014 (19)September 2014 (10)October 2014 (19)November 2014 (14)December 2014 (14)
2013
January 2013 (25)February 2013 (28)March 2013 (18)April 2013 (21)May 2013 (12)June 2013 (7)July 2013 (13)August 2013 (25)September 2013 (24)October 2013 (17)November 2013 (18)December 2013 (20)
2012
January 2012 (21)February 2012 (19)March 2012 (9)April 2012 (23)May 2012 (31)June 2012 (21)July 2012 (19)August 2012 (16)September 2012 (4)October 2012 (2)November 2012 (7)December 2012 (19)
2011
January 2011 (26)February 2011 (22)March 2011 (18)April 2011 (11)May 2011 (6)June 2011 (7)July 2011 (10)August 2011 (9)September 2011 (14)October 2011 (13)November 2011 (15)December 2011 (22)
2010
January 2010 (27)February 2010 (19)March 2010 (20)April 2010 (24)May 2010 (22)June 2010 (24)July 2010 (31)August 2010 (17)September 2010 (18)October 2010 (11)November 2010 (13)December 2010 (19)
2009
January 2009 (23)February 2009 (26)March 2009 (32)April 2009 (22)May 2009 (18)June 2009 (26)July 2009 (34)August 2009 (31)September 2009 (30)October 2009 (23)November 2009 (26)December 2009 (18)
2008
January 2008 (35)February 2008 (26)March 2008 (33)April 2008 (15)May 2008 (29)June 2008 (29)July 2008 (29)August 2008 (34)September 2008 (29)October 2008 (27)November 2008 (27)December 2008 (24)
2007
August 2007 (12)September 2007 (28)October 2007 (27)November 2007 (28)December 2007 (14)
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
1979
1978
1977
1976
1975
1974
1973
1972
1971
1970
1969
1968
1967
1966
1965
1964
1963
1962
1961
1960
1959
1958
1957
1956
1955
1954
1953
1952
1951
1950