So first, how creepy/accurate is this cover? It sums up the book perfectly.
I never read this book growing up. I never even saw the (child scarring) movie either. I went in knowing it had something to do with rabbits. And that was it.
The beginning of the book actually had an intro written by the author in which he explained how the book came about. He made up stories for his daughters as he drove them to school or on trips. One story in particular caught their attention and eventually became Watership Down. When he finished the story (after many trips, the audiobook was about 16 hours), his daughters told him he should write it down and turn it into a book. He didn't want to until one night he was reading a story to them before bed and realized that the book was terrible and wanted his daughters (and other children) to have been options.
After writing the book however, he had trouble selling it. Publishers rejected it as saying it was not appropriate for young children, but older children wouldn't like it since they would consider rabbits as childish. He did finally find a good agent who got the book sold and the rest is history.
I did like the book. It's a really interesting story which I don't even know how to categorize. I wouldn't say it is a children's book. It has some rather scary/scarring moments. I definitely yelled at my phone a few times when I thought certain characters were about to die. But it's a really good book.