Tales of Watership Down

Lets get this out of the way first, this book is not really a sequel. It’s more of a web enhancement or more similar to the deleted scenes one finds on a DVD. So while it is immensely enjoyable it is not one complete story but several stories linked together.

Richard Adams’ writing style is as strong as ever and the characters still hop from the page (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). But instead of a full novel we receive a book divided into three major sections, each touching on different things from the original book.

The beginning deals with the legendary rabbit El-ahrairah. The trickster deity of the rabbits is show to be no less than the mythic deities of our own histories. Winning victories for all rabbit kind through the most challenging of tasks and daring to go where he must to ensure the future of rabbits everywhere. This is not to say that El-ahrairah is not without his own desires, as he also searches for immortality for himself.

The next portion is more about El-ahrairah’s companion and sidekick Rabscuttle. Who, while not as huge a legend is indeed a hero in his own right. I don’t want to ruin anything for someone picking the book up but Rabscuttle deals with a problem as challenging as any faced by Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig and the others in the first book.

The final portion deals with the rabbits we loved in the first. With new little challenges and difficulties that crop up in their lives.

Now, those reading this should realize the characters have grown and changed. Their personalities are different, sometimes in drastic ways. That said, I am thankful Mr. Adams did not make a sequal to the original as I doubt anything could compare to it. I suggest this book as sort of afterward to the original, best enjoyed as a sort of dessert to Watership Down‘s main course.

-Eric Kuntz