Watership Down by Richard Adams | DNF Review


I have to say that I have never set a book as DNF. It’s something that I’m very proud of and I always make an effort to finish every book that I start, even the ones that I don’t particularly like. However, I’m willing to dash this rule for this book. I know that it’s a classic and loads of people absolutely adore this book and I’m sure that if I had read this book when I was much younger I would like this book a lot more than I did. I just wasn’t engaged or interested in any aspect of this book: I didn’t care about the plot or the characters or the writing style and had to force myself through most of the pages and even skim read some of them. I know that if I had read this book a few years ago I might be having a completely different story, but this book just wasn’t for me.

Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of friends, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

My first problem with this book should come as no surprise from me and that was the abundant lack of female characters. In the 128 pages that I read there wasn’t a single female character. Yes, this book was published in the 70s but I still don’t see that as an excuse. Maybe this was the point and was a deliberate choice made by the reader but I couldn’t find any reason to make the cast exclusively male. Secondly, I found there simply too many characters with similar personalities to distinguish between any of them and thus form any kind of connection to any of them. The long and short of it is that I just didn’t care.

I’m not happy to say that this is the first book I’ve ever marked as DNF-ed and I don’t feel that I can really give it a rating because I haven’t read it in its entirety. I found this book to be boring and unengaging and simple, but that is just my personal opinion.


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