Book Review

War Horse By Michael Morpurgo || Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be doing a review for ‘War Horse’ By Michael Morpurgo today! Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse is very well-loved by many of my fellow social media and close friends but unfortunately, this book is not for me and I despised it even though it has a great cover. Well, we will go more in-depth into the review later on. As for now, we will jump right into my little summary for War Horse.

War Horse is a Young Adult, Historical Fiction novel following a perspective of a horse named- Joey as he was sold to the army to be a cavalry horse. 

Now, let us dive right into the review as I have had a lot of thoughts on this book that I would like to share with all of you today. 

Disclaimers:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and…
  • This review may contain minor spoilers from the book. So, be aware of the spoilers if you do not want to be spoiled.

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“He laughed to himself he said because if he did not laugh he would cry.”- War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

Synopsis:

A powerful tale of war, redemption and a hero’s journey.

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope.

But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

My thoughts: Introduction

“Blind terror drove me on, with my flying stirrups whipping me into a frenzy. With no rider to carry I reached the kneeling riflemen first and they scattered as I came upon them.”- War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

Before we get into the review, I would like to speak on the glorious cover of the novel. I have to give some credits to the person who had created this masterpiece because of how beautiful it is! Firstly, I loved how minimalistic it is with a horse on the front cover. Secondly, I liked the colours that blend in with the overall piece. Lastly, I adored the fact that there is no blurb on the cover because it would not have fit in nicely and perfectly on the cover art. 

Now, let us get into the actual review for the book because we have taken plenty of time on the cover art review! So…

We will now be addressing on the pacing of this novel. I liked (sarcasm) how thin the book was, yet how long it took me to finish this book due to the dullness that the story had provided (which I will be ranting and giving you guys more details later on in the review, as for now…). This book is 180 pages long and it took me three days to finish. THREE! I know, right? The font for the wording in the book was not even small and in fact, they were quite large. So, the only reason why it took me so long to finish it was because of the lack of motivation to pick the book up due to the dryness that this book had contained. Therefore, I did not like how slow the pacing of this book was. 

Moving on, I will now be spouting on the atmosphere and setting of this book. The atmosphere did not blend into the story perfectly like some other novels do. It was all over the place and nothing seemed to really make any sense. Also, the author tried to make it suspenseful but he kind of… failed? (Sorry! I know I sounded like a meanie but I do not wish to sugarcoat anything. Therefore, the word was used). Thus, I did not like the atmosphere that the author tried to create to make this book feel much more… Better.

In addition to my former paragraph, the book was set in a time where the first world war was being held and the story was told from a perspective of a horse. Now, I disliked the point of view from the horse because it does not really let you know or absorb anything that is occurring in the war and when it is actually told, you can just see glimpses of the war that is being held as the setting of the story. Therefore, I just disliked how the author used this period of time to tell a story of a horse who went through war but hid every detail of the war from the reader. 

Furthermore, I would like to present the topics of the beginning and the ending of the book which was both a good and a bad. The beginning of the novel was not good because it was boring and people just came and ‘went’ (died) throughout the horse’s life which the author tried to make me feel sadness due to the death of that person, but he just did not pass since that character was under-developed. However, the ending of this book was great! It was 100000x better than the beginning because I was happy that the owner and the horse had finally reunited. Therefore, I loved the ending more than the beginning of the novel.

Finally, we have to discuss the relationships that had taken place in this book! I felt the genuine relationship between the horse and its owner- Albert. It was beautiful and I am currently feeling the need to gush about it but I am afraid that I would not stop so… Let’s not do that. Although the relationship between them was beautiful, I felt how under-developed the character, Albert, was. Therefore, I did enjoy the relationships in this book!

Now, let us get into the audiobook section of this review!

 

Audiobook:

I did not listen to the audiobook because the book is relatively short. Therefore, I do not think that there is a need for this section as for this review! 

Now, let us move into the writing section of this review!

Writing:

“I can hate you more, but I’ll never love you less.”- War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

I did not like the writing style for this book. That is all.

Just kidding, we will get into the specifics on why I loathed the way this book was written right here, right now. So, let us begin with…

The typos. I did not like how there were so many typos in this book. Mind you, I thought it was an accident when I read the first sentence with typos. However, as I ventured deeper into the novel, more typos appeared and I started to think if the typos were displayed on purpose but it does not seem like it. Either way, it threw me off the edge for reading the typos. Therefore, this is the first reason for my distaste for the writing style.

An example of the typo sentence will be given down below:

“I wants you lads to keep your eyes peeled back and wide open- then we’ll all live to eat our breakfast, if it’s on this morning.”

Uhm.. No, thank you.

Moving on, we have the lack of consistency and special effects that the writing for this book had contained. The lack of consistency in the writing style was what bothered me the most because there was a character in this book who does not speak well but all of a sudden, he had spoken so well that it just does not click with the character’s language-wise. Therefore, an inconsistency in writing style.

In addition to my prior paragraph, there were not any special effects on the writing style, such as flashbacks, character growth, etc. The story just went on and on but nothing was there to add on to the overall story and plot. Thus, I was mildly disappointed by the effects that were not placed in the book.

Now, let us get into the characters section of this review!

Characters:

“That’s what this war is all about, my friend. It’s about which of us is the crazier. And clearly you British have an advantage. You were crazy beforehand.”- War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

Albert: To be honest, there is not much to say about the character- Albert. He was a little stubborn but most of the time, he was kind. However, according to what I have said earlier, I found his character to be unrealistic and one-dimensional due to the fact that he was underdeveloped. Therefore, I do not feel or rather, have any of my emotions flowing for what he was going through. 

Joey: I do not specifically like the way the book was written from his perspective because he was a whiny horse and he indirectly killed a man who has had a future ahead of him but just died out due to the horse’s selfishness. Therefore, I do not like the way it was written even though it is a clever way to present a story.

Topthorn: I liked Topthorn the horse more than Joey the horse because he had more substances in him and he was also much more likeable. Plus, he was a fun character with great features. Therefore, he is the only horse that I actually loved in this book. 

Emily: She had more elements in her characteristics than the rest of the characters that were exhibited in this novel. And although I think she had so much potential to be a better character or a more fleshed out character, the author failed to deliver a more satisfying and well-crafted character. Therefore, I found her character to be better than the others but she was not an overall great character to read about.

Captain Nicholls: I do not understand why Captain Nicholls is one of the top figures on Goodreads’ War Horse characters list and the reason why I said that is due to the fact that he was not really shown in the book and he died on page 51. Also, there were not any views on how he actually departed. Therefore, I have nothing much to say about him.

Overall:

I am giving this book a 10% rating. This was a disappointing read as I was expecting more out of it and the only reason why I gave this novel a 10% rating is that of the ending and some other aspects which I really enjoyed. Therefore, I do not recommend it to anyone unless you are looking for an extremely short book to read.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for War Horse By Michael Morpurgo! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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12 thoughts on “War Horse By Michael Morpurgo || Book Review

  1. Wow, Max!

    You really do break down a book. Thank you for being so complete. I am a little scared of you review Chronolocity, but if you did you would honestly tell me what you thought. Thanks for your honest break down of War Horse. The movie was great and though.

    Thanks,

    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading this review just felt so good! I don’t like Micheal Morpurgo’s writing style, and almost in almost every book he writes, someone dies. Do you like the authors Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett? I would highly recommend their books.

    Liked by 1 person

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