Book Review: War Horse

March 15, 2012


Things seemed to have been a bit busy, since I have been traveling about to see family on my trip. However, I was able to get in some reading during my stay. Recently, I finished a book that I got from Barnes & Noble. Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.

One day, prior to the start of World War I, a man buys a horse, later named Joey, at an auction, just to make sure that somebody he hates does not get the horse. The horse and the man do not get along real well, but the man's son, Albert, and Joey develop a strong bond, even through the harsh training the horse had to be put through on the farm. However, after World War I began, Albert's father sells Joey to the military, in order to pay off debt. A few Moments later, Albert promises Joey that they will be together again. Now, Joey must experience life as a horse during wartime, possibly never to see Albert again.

Up next to computers and technology, I have an interest in history. However, I eventually learned that archeologists just create stories around what they find, thus creating artificial evidence, so they are not very credible sources, just like many of you should rightly be doubtful of whether what I say is fact or not, since the only credibility I have is my degree and experience in computers, aside from being well read. This book, being based in a historical setting, has caught my interest and was an enjoyable read. I liked how we were able to get to know Joey's feelings towards people. Usually, stories revolving around animals are presented through the eyes of the child that grew up with them. The first-person point-of-view is not really new, but I think that is what makes the story so good and unique. It just made Joey seem more human-like, though obviously he is a horse, and deserving of sympathy, since we get to understand where he is coming from. There was tons of action around, no matter whether Joey was on the frontlines or on the sidelines. Of course, a war is happening, so it would be dull if there were no action involved. I also liked that no matter where Joey ended up, he was able to find friends, whether they were English, French, or German. The reason of the start of World War I, discussed in the early chapters was pretty accurate, but only according to what historians claim started it. The story pacing was nice and caught my attention right from the first chapter and held it. Also, I could picture practically everything that was happening. This is practically a difficult feat and I have come across people that have no talent at doing so. Those books and stories have rightfully received negative reviews from me, but I can safely say that this is not one of them. The book held my attention right from the start and held it through to the end and even allowed me to see everything.

The book was not perfect by any means, neither is anything man-made, but there certainly were not any problems that are worth mentioning. The errors were certainly at an acceptable level. In fact, I can only count one error that was obvious, but that error is not enough to take down the quality of the story or the book, so I will not discuss the problem.

With no problems worth mentioning, I cannot find anything that would make this a bad book. For those looking for an enjoyable story or those with a strong interest in history, I certainly recommend this title. I'm not sure about everyone else, but this book is certainly worth a look.

What are your opinions of War Horse? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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