Well, I'd read Watership Down years ago. Years after it had been recommended to me. I think I was in a book store and happened upon a used copy - remembered the suggestion and decided to pick it up. Anyway, I remember being really pleased with the ending then and figured it would be an easy second read. I was surprised at how much of the book I'd forgotten. I'm not really good at giving a profound or educated-sounding review. I'll do my best tho.
I found it intriguing at the beginning, that Fiver felt they needed to leave and a few were willing to follow - just on faith. It reminded me of those stories you hear about trusting the Spirit and finding later that it saved your life or put you in a position for something important. It also reminded me of the few people who believed in the Church initially and had to strike out on their own, even with the trials the bunnies faced when trying to just get to a safe place and start a new warren. I couldn't remember right away what it was about that first place that was dangerous, but it was all too good to be true. Lulled into security. The frog in the boiling water analogy. Fattened up and fed a lie. Comfortable enough with the good that they were willing to take the risk with the bad.
My description of General Woundwort and Efrafa would be exactly as Markie put it. He was one nasty fella. It kind of reminds me of the bad guy in Australia (which I just saw last night, so it's fresh and easy to compare to, sorry). Untouchable, well organized and really, really mean. I loved the analogy that his dominance and control over the rabbits was slowly destroying the whole warren. That the female rabbits couldn't have babies anymore, etc.
Anyway, their escape from Efrafa was exciting and I loved the water part. I loved that it ended happy. I loved that Bigwig stood right up to General W. There are so many things to analyze in this book. The stories they told alone could be quite a thing. I do wish I had written my review as soon as I finished - because I'm 2 1/2 books beyond Watership now. Thanks for letting me in on your book club! I can't wait to find out the next book.