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'Watership Down' Author Richard Adams Died On Christmas Eve At Age 96 (theguardian.com) 46

Initially rejected by several publishers, "Watership Down" (1972) went on to become one of the best-selling fantasy books of all time. Last Saturday the book's author died peacefully at the age of 96. Long-time Slashdot reader haruchai remembers some of the author's other books: In addition to his much-beloved story about anthropomorphic rabbits, Adams penned two fantasy books set in the fictional Beklan Empire, first Shardik (1974) about a hunter pursuing a giant bear he believes to be imbued with divine power, and Maia (1984), a peasant girl sold into slavery who becomes entangled in a war between neighboring countries.
Adams also wrote a collection of short stories called "Tales From Watership Down" in 1996, and the original "Watership Down" was also made into a movie and an animated TV series. In announcing his death, Richard's family also included a quote from the original "Watership Down".

"It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

"'You needn't worry about them,' said his companion. 'They'll be alright -- and thousands like them.'"

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'Watership Down' Author Richard Adams Died On Christmas Eve At Age 96

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  • novel - movie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Saturday December 31, 2016 @01:01PM (#53584891)
    I read the novel in grade school as an assignment, then the whole class got to watch the movie as well. There is no better way to traumatize kids than the mass-death scene in the warren. I won't forget that ever.
  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Saturday December 31, 2016 @01:28PM (#53585005) Homepage Journal

    Watched it multiple times a few years back - it was the kid's favourite for a while. Not sure if he really got it, mind.

    Remember noting that the voice actors were like a who's who of British theatre, and that most of them had gone to the great owsla in the sky.

    • Watched it when I was little more than a kid, and then read the novel... one of the few times that really worked out.

      I still remember much more of it than a movie I saw last year..

      Great story: tharn, hrududu, Hazel, Bigwig, the General

  • illiterate AC day... (Score:5, Informative)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Saturday December 31, 2016 @01:31PM (#53585013)

    ...based on the prior comments. Watership Down is a fine work even though it was made into a mediocre animated feature. And Maia is not just about a slave girl, it's about a sex slave girl. It's the sort of thing more people on here probably like to read, if only they knew how.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I seem to have become functionally illiterate for story books, finding useful information in manpages, documentation and parsing code for typos and syntax errors I've become very good at. Further most story books try to get me to 'feel/emote' for fictional characters in bad situations and I am already exhausted with the people and situation around me to want to invest.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      "And Maia is not just about a slave girl, it's about a sex slave girl"
      I pondered whether to include that in my story submission but decided against it.
      But it's true that not only is sexuality woven throughout the story, it's very explicit, more so than any other mainstream fantasy story I can recall.

  • Adams was the first author I ever wrote a personal letter to. I received a very nice response from his secretary, addressing my comments (not just a form letter) and a photo of Adams, which I kept in a frame for years. I must have been 10 or 11 at the time...

    Some years later I wrote extensively on Adams' The Girl in the Swing, as part of a chapter in my lit dissertation (pairing it with two other contemporary novels about mother-daughter violence, Morrison's Beloved and Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills). I o

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