Wednesday, 28 December 2016

AN UNFORGETTABLE BOOK: WATERSHIP DOWN

Some books that make a huge impact on us; WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams was one of those books for me...

Cathy says:
I didn't have books as a child unless you count BUNTY and JACKIE annuals and the armfuls of books I borrowed from the libraries. But a proper book, all for me? That didn't happen until I was twelve, and the book was WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams. It was a paperback book with a drawing of a big rabbit's face on the cover. That was a bit worrying. I liked rabbits, I just wasn't sure what my friends would make of it. Would they think it was childish? (Note: WATERSHIP DOWN is not in any way whatsoever a childish book - it's a dramatic, violent, heart-wrenching adventure. Be warned!) It was one of those books that glues itself to your fingers... I read all weekend and couldn't bear to leave the book behind on Monday morning. I slipped it into my school bag, hoping I'd get a chance to read it at some point.

Luck was on my side. Our English teacher was late coming to class that day, and while the class clumped around chatting by the door, I edged away and found a radiator to sit on, pulled the book from my bag and was very careful to put my hand over the picture of the rabbit on the front. Soon I was miles away, lost in the world of the story... and then the most embarrassing thing ever happened. The coolest boy in our year walked right up to me and asked me what I was reading. This boy had never even looked in my direction before, let alone spoke to me, but now, crimson-faced, I had no choice but to show him the cover of the book. I fully expected to be laughed at and ridiculed for reading a book with a rabbit's face on the front, but I couldn't have been more wrong. 'Watership Down is the best book I've ever read,' he told me, and I made a new friend that day and also learned an important lesson: reading is cool.

The book has stayed with me over the years, one of the few books I re-read from time to time. I also love the animated film of the story. Imagery and symbolism from the book are a part of my lexicon and my belief system; when my beloved dog Kelpie died in October, I sat in the park with her and the words 'stopped running' ran through my head over and over. This Christmas, the book's author Richard Adams 'stopped running' too, and that's what has prompted this blog post. He lived to be an old, old man and I'm glad about that. I never met him, but often talked about his book in my own events and after one such event a little girl came up to get one of my books signed and told me that Richard Adams was her grandfather. In true fangirl fashion, I mumbled on about how much I loved him, and could she please tell him who important he was to me. 'Um, OK,' the girl said. That was the closest I ever got to meeting him, but the books of Richard Adams made a huge impact on my life. Thank you for the magic, Mr Adams.

'My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today.'

If you've never read WATERSHIP DOWN, I recommend it. Which book has had a life-changing effect on YOU? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...

1 comment:

  1. *cough* my answer to that would be Dizzy... ;o) <3 xxx

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