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426 of 444 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some horse sense...
Set in three European countries where war hits hard in 1914, Morpurgo's book surprisingly puts its focus with a young horse, through whose eyes and mind the reader is familiarized with the atrocities of war as they unfold. While as a literary device this might appear cheap or far-fetched, here it functions in quite a unique way.
Whether witness, victim or...
Published on 4 Oct 2004 by Christian Spriet

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War Horse
There's no denying that this is a book for young adults and the content and writing style reflect this. I thought that the horrific nature of war was not described in detail as it seemed that the horses spent a great deal of time 'out to pasture' or away from the front line. I must add that I have not seen the film adaptation of the book. An easy, enjoyable read, but not...
Published on 27 Feb 2012 by Glittergirly


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426 of 444 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some horse sense..., 4 Oct 2004
By 
Christian Spriet "Chacklee Chack" (Bruges, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Set in three European countries where war hits hard in 1914, Morpurgo's book surprisingly puts its focus with a young horse, through whose eyes and mind the reader is familiarized with the atrocities of war as they unfold. While as a literary device this might appear cheap or far-fetched, here it functions in quite a unique way.
Whether witness, victim or participant, Joey (the horse) merely undergoes whilst observing without interacting by means of speech the way that humans would.
The restraint which the author imposes on his narrative in selecting this point of view just works wonders. The further into the story, the reader (whether adult or youngster) gradually conceives a growing sympathy with the war horse and ends up nearly identifying with his animal companion.
Along with Joey, he gets to interact with the people (civilian or military) who temporarily own him and gradually will, of his own account, make a distinction between the ones who approach him fairly or harshly. As he is dragged into the avalanche of warfare, he gets to make sense of the horse's gratitude and emotionality one way, and his pain or distress, another.
To cut (not such) a long story short, to say that Mr Morpurgo does perfect credit to whoever gets dragged into the nightmarish abyss of war at any time and any place, is no exaggeration. His understated style only adds to the qualities that characterize the book as it is.
Perfection is not of this world, so the word goes, but this one comes ever so close.
War horse is a gem. It is a must-read, and not just for young readers.
Read and understand why, at times, books are indispensable.
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166 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go War Horse!!!, 11 Oct 2008
A Kid's Review
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Hi I am only 10 but this is the best book i have read in 10 years.I love the story it can get sad at times and make you cry but it is very enjoyeble. This is a book for keeps a must read.if you like this book then you will also like Born to run.WAR HORSE IS THE BEST!!!!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Partner to Private Peaceful, 17 May 2009
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is the story of a young British soldier tried for cowardice in the First World War. Powerfully written and unflinching in its portrayal of barbarity it is definitely a book for older teens.

In War Horse Morpurgo has found a story which still illustrates the horrors of the First World War, but in a way which will appeal to and be understood by younger readers from about 11 upwards.

This story is told by Joey, a horse brought up in a rural farming community in the South of England, who is sold by the farmer to the recruiting officers looking for cavalry horses to take into battle.

Joey's account of the war takes him across France and across No Man's Land to both sides who are fighting. He is set to work both as a cavalry horse and pulling guns and ambulances as well as having to work the land. His journey shows us the war from every possible angle and shows the human side and cost of such an epic story, as all the while he searches for his original owner Albert, who had vowed to come and find him no matter what.

Despite the subject matter this is a strangely unsentimental story, which works so well because it is told through neutral eyes.

It has recently been translated as a stage play by the National Theatre in London and has just transferred to the West End. It is a remarkable telling of what is a remarkable book, and if you enjoyed this I urge you to go and see it if you possibly can.
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162 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and realise the futility of War..., 4 Oct 1999
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
A tremendous book, and it deserves to be up there with Black Beauty. The tale of a horse that becomes part of World War1, and it views the war from both sides. The story is tightly written, the narrative excellent, and the things that happen will live with you long after the book is finished. A climatic scene between enemies is the highlight of the book and should make children (and adults) realise the futility of war. Get the tissues out...this is a wonderful, thought provoking story-with,I hasten to add, a sort of happy ending. Read it yourself, then give it to your children - a wonderful, wonderful book!
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112 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
I read this book when I was about ten, it was amazing, totally absorbing, I got to the major war scene when I was in quiet reading at school, and cried. Thirteen years later, I have never forgotten this book, it's wonderful, and the author is great and really knows how to capture a reader.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, 13 Sep 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
I love it!,it's the best book I've ever read! It's sad good,exciting,and touching.
I'd recomend it to people who love adventure and who love animals. Charlotte age 8
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WarHorse, 14 July 2009
By 
B. Leyland (Derbyshire ,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
A brilliant book, very poignant. I bought it after seeing the west end play based on the book -which I would also highly recommend. When I had finished the book I passed it onto my 9 year old great nephew who also read it non-stop and thoroughly enjoyed it though he sad it was rather sad. Definitely appeals to all age groups! An easy read but a good one
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Fantastic Author, 31 Aug 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Micheal Morpurgo is an amazing author and you can truly relate to his books. When I read war horse I was close to tears it is a fantastic book full of mixed emotion. The end is different to what I expected although better. It could easily be a true story as it is so realistic and Joey is a delightful horse that every farmer and every army should have. Once I had picked it up I could not put it down again I was so glued to the book. It is so good the whole of my family are trying to get their hands on it. Once I had finshed war horse I went out and brought farm boy which is also good and a follow up of war horse. Every animal/horse lover is sure to enjoy it whatever their age.
Thumbs up!
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...especially with the illustrations as well., 16 Dec 2005
By 
Charliecat (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
This is the classic story of Joey a beautiful and courageous red bay with a white cross on his forehead. Joey is bought by Albert's father. Albert falls in love with him and their friendship is a lasting one. However Albert's father needs money and sells Joey to the Army. Joey goes off to the horrors of the First World War. He meets amazing people, Captain Nicholls, Emilie, Mad Old Friedrich and more amazing horses, including his faithful friend Topthorn. Although Joey suffers much ultimately it is a story of hope.
The illustrations set off this special edition perfectly. It is a beautiful story destined to be a great childrens classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric spellbinder, 20 Oct 2010
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
This book is a very moving protrayal of both the appalling experience of warfare in the carnage of the First World War and also in restoring faith in the human spirit. Both a tear jerker and a compelling story. The touring concert version dramatically presented by Michael Morpurgo with the backup of musical talent of John Tams is a very engaging experience which I would strongly recommend. ( I haven't - yet - seen the actual play but someone who has said "It will stay with you forever!" Can't better that!)
Could I also very strongly recommend an adult novel on a very similar theme published many years earlier. This is simply called " JACK" by BRIAN CARTER and tells the story of a young Irish lad joining up in WW1 to try and find his favourite horse, compulsorily purchased for the war effort, as in War Horse. Brian Carter's novel is a powerful and engaging adult read, thereby exploring more graphically the themes raised in War Horse. I thoroughly recommend it - try and locate a copy and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Audio CD - 7 Jan 2010)
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