Saturday 11 August 2012

Book Review - War Horse

Title: War Horse
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Publisher: Egmont UK Limited
Release Date:  7 November 2011 (this edition) book first released 1982
ISBN-13: 9781405259415
In 1914, Joey, a young farm horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him.
My Review
I had never read Michael Morpurgo before. This is one thing that whenever I told anyone they would usually gasp in shock and say "what, never?" or similar. So with all the hype over the last year about War Horse with the Stage Show making a splash and the film being made that I would give it a go. I added myself to the request list at the library and waited.
Well, let me just say it wasn't at the top of my list, but I was watching the Olympic Diving qualifying rounds that were almost 3 hours long and decided to read whilst it was on, but I didn't want anything to big or long or involved so I picked this off my pile.
I will admit that it started to take my attention away from the Diving a little bit as I got further into the book. 
I was skeptical about it at first, war is so depressing so I tend not to read books set in that time, but this one is handled so well and delicately that it wasn't too bad.
This book is told from 'Joey's' point of view. Joey is the horse, this brings an interesting new angle to the story and I rather enjoyed it. It starts when Joey is just a few weeks old and is sold at market, torn away from his mother and bought by an angry farmer. It's not all bad though, Albert the farmer's son instantly takes to Joey and promises to look after him and the pair become a great team. That is until the war starts and Joey gets taken away as a Cavalry Horse. From then on he is thrown into danger and a number of different positions, struggling to survive, making friends, fighting enemies and wondering if he will ever find a true home again.
I will say that I got attached to Joey, I wanted him to make it and I hated him getting hurt (either himself or his friends) and I did tear up a bit at some of the deaths he saw. It's a reminder just how brutal these wars were and the number of lives that were sacrificed and wasted.
I wouldn't say this was the best book ever written, or that I totally loved it, but I found a sort of respect for it and I did find myself hooked into it. I can see why Morpurgo is so popular. I would even consider reading some of his other books.
This book is aimed at Middle School children so sort of 8-13 I would guess, and does a good job of introducing such a sensitive topic to them.
So overall this book was a pleasant surprise and actually only took me about an hour and three quarters to read. 
My Rating


roro said...

i loved the movie
gr8 review

barmybex said...

I've ordered the movie, can't wait to watch. :D