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Posts Tagged ‘war horse book review’

How Did I Find This Book?

A few weeks ago me and the future hubster went to a movie, “Ides of March”.  SIDERANT:  Which by the way I suggest that you not waste your time seeing unless you’re a Ryan Gosling fan.  The movie ended with no conclusion and my synopsis was “well, at least Ryan Gosling is hot or I would be pissed about spending 1.5 hours of my life and $10 to see this”.

The highlight of the movie was actually a preview called “War Horse”.  I saw that it was based on a book so of course I had to pick it up when I got home on the Kindle.

War Horse Movie Poster

About The Author and Book

There is more to tell than just about the book since it’s actually been made from a novel, into a musical and now into a Steven Spielberg directed movie.  SIDERANT: The last five years have been VERY nice to Michael Morpurgo and his family financially if I had to take a guess.

The book was originally written by Michael Morpurgo in 1982 and was inspired from a variety of places.

  1. From a WWI veteran that hung out at a local bar and a fellow villager that had been assigned in cavalry
  2.  His experience working with a charity group called “Farms for Children” where inner city kids work on a farm for a week.  During this time he met a boy who has an unspoken connection with a horse that was inspiring to him
  3. Lastly, a disturbing painting that he had seen done by F.W. Reed in 1917 that showed horses in WWI charging into no-man’s land through barbed wire.  He said that the sight haunted him but that he wanted to show the war through the eyes of the horse
Then the book was picked up by Nick Stafford and written into a play that was also called “War Horse” that was performed at the National Theater in London.  It opened in 2007 and was critically acclaimed because of it’s extremely life-life horse puppets that were manned by more than three people per horse.  After winning numerous awards the show was then transferred to 2010 to Broadway…and already has stacked up five Tony Awards including “Best Play”.

War Horse Play: Credit of Paul Kolnik of Lincoln Center Theater Production

In 2010 as well, Steven Spielberg decided to adapt the book and play into a full length movie.  And as you know, Steven Spielberg rarely disappoints so I had to read the book after seeing a few of the scenes in the trailer and after reading the novel, I have high hopes that the movie will actually be better than the book which is rare but in this case could be executed depending on how he interprets the relationships and emotions of the horses.

War Horse Play: Joey the Plow Horse

“War Horse” is a children’s book that teaches them about the trials of WWI through the eyes of a horse…which is probably the only way to teach children about war while they are in 5th or 6th grade since it’s just an all too horrible thing to fathom or grasp through a “Saving Private Ryan” type of format or human interpretation.

Overview of Book

A beautiful Bay foal with a white cross on his nose named Joey is purchased from an auction and dragged back home to become an English plow horse.  But no one could have prepared him or his loving master, Albert, for what was about to come next or how close WWI was about to hit home.
From a plow horse to a cavalry war horse within one afternoon, Joey is forced to endure multiple years of running into machine gun fire, being handed off between multiple owners crossing enemy lines numerous times and lose many people and horses that he grows close to.  But will he ever be back where he really belongs and somehow find his way back to Albert on the farm?

Review

It’s a kid’s book so you have to be prepared for the fact that you will read it in two sittings but all in all I found the book very moving, touching and interesting since it was from a horse’s point of view instead of a human’s.  SIDERANT: But I might be biased since I’m an ex-horse owner as well as a horse freak.  I’m the girl that always wants to go and pet the riot squad horses that are in downtown Minneapolis or Madison…even though I know better and that they are trained to be bad a**es that plow down hippies and gang bangers, not pets.

Albert and Joey

I’m very excited to see the movie as I’m pretty sure that they will be able to add details in that weren’t entirely spelled out (romance that Albert has and some of the specifics in the closing that seemed rushed).
Lastly If you get to read the book or see the movie you’ll have to let me know what you thought in the comment section below!

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