Richard Adams: Watership, Shardik, Girl in a Swing, and more

Extollager

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#1
I've just finished a rereading of The Girl in a Swing and thought Chrons people might like a place in the Literary Fiction area to discuss this author. My sense is that, like me, quite a few people have read his first few novels, but I don't seem to run across comments on books written in the past 25 years or so.
 

Stephen Palmer

author of novels
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#2
The first three books are outstanding. Classics.
The Girl In A Swing I did like, but it felt so different to the first three that it was a bit of a shock.
Maia I couldn't finish. I think he had a touch of Old Man's Syndrome - that Jack Vance also succumbed to.
But those first three books will always be wonderful.
 

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
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#3
I read The Girl in a Swing quite a few years ago (about '97 I think) and I have to say, it was one of the most haunting books I have ever read. I just couldn't get it out of my head for many days after.
 

galanx

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#4
The last one I read was Maia (1984): half an interesting look at a society on the verge of shifting from an aristo/republican state to a burgeoning empire; half explicit S&M pornography. I gave up after that. Saw a copy of "The Girl On the Swing" that had a naked girl on a swing on the cover; figured Adams was at it again so didn't bother.
 

Verity

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#8
I stumbled across an audio version of Watership Down on Radio 4 recently, adapted by Brian Sibley. I thought it was very well done - the rabbits being simple without being stupid. And they made Kehaar female (because why not? The does only get a look in later on in the book).
 

dannymcg

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#9
I'd read Watership Down and the Plague Dogs a long time ago.
Never heard of Shardik until I was reading Stephen King's the Dark Tower series - it went on my TBR list at that point.
I was unaware until looking on Google that the author had died between the previous post in this thread and my comment today
 

MWagner

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#10
Watership Down is one of those books that has suffered an inexplicable decline in profile. When I first read it, around 1980 or so, it was regarded as one of the classics of children's and fantasy literature. The copy in my elementary school library was well-worn. There was even an early RPG based off the premise (Bunnies and Burrows).

For some reason, it doesn't seem to have survived in the popular imagination the way books like Narnia and the Hobbit have. I was saddened to see my kids' school library does not have it. Maybe it's considered too heavy for young readers today.
 

AndrewT

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Jan 21, 2012
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#12
Watership Down is among my top five best reads of all time. It's a superior work in all respects. But I did not like Shardik so much. It seemed clunky and a little boring to me. I also started the Plague Dogs but did not finish. I had started to view Adams as a bit of a one-hit wonder. You may disagree and explain why.
 

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