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'Tonight I Want To Feel Alive',
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This review is from: Private Peaceful (Paperback)
"I happened to interview three farm boy veterans, then well into their eighties, when I was researching my book War Horse. They told me something of what they had lived through. There was no poetry in their stories, only horror and regret and great sadness for the loss of good friends. So I came to write Private Peaceful." - Michael Morpurgo took something away with him after those interviews, and he gifts that to you, the reader.
I admit, even now, as an adult, I am enthralled by many of Michael Morpurgos works. He writes with such skill that anyone, young or old, can find themselves caught up in the world he creates for them. Even my dad read it, on my recommendation, and he found it stunning too.
In this particular tale, Private Thomas Peaceful has endured much. And, through every hardship, his brother Charlie has been there to help him through.
The story is written in a first-person narrative and this helps the reader to be there alongside him as he sits his vigil. The waiting, is interspersed with his memories of his times as a child, through to present day, and always with Charlie there beside him.
It is one of those stories that you cannot put down. You want to just read it from start to finish in a single sitting, because it grips you. It is funny, it is sad, it is touching, filled with lines of thought that makes your heart ache.
"They've gone now, and I'm alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won't waste a single moment of it. I shan't sleep it away. I won't dream it away either. I mustn't, because every moment of it will be far too precious."
As the hours, minutes, and seconds, fall through the inevitable hourglass of time, you know the waiting is almost over - his night time vigil is going to end. And so is the world as he knows it.
I won't tell you why he is waiting. I won't tell you how it ends. I will tell you that if you plan to read any of Michael Morpurgos books, then do read this one. It is written in quite simple terms, but it is extremely effective, and I guarantee this book will move you before you close that final page, whatever age you are.