Wednesday, 22 January 2014

"War Horse" | Book Review

I finished reading "War Horse" yesterday, and what a story.

It's told from the perspective of a young farm horse, Joey, who's sent to help the troops fight in WWI. Joey starts off helping the English in the war, and after a period of rest is recruited for the Germans before returning to the English again.

Seeing Joey on both sides and reading his observations of the people surrounding him provides a very interesting perspective. Oftentimes in war, there is perceived to be a "good" and "bad" side. The truth of the matter is that you'll find both kinds of people fighting on either side. Joey encountered kind and cruel people on each side, all of them affecting him and his view of the war and the people involved in it.

I really love the way this story portrays the bond between humans and animals. Joey and his human, Albert, share an unbreakable bond that carries the two of them through the war in the hopes of being reunited. It's not only this strong bond that's shown in the story; even just seeing horses makes most of the soldiers happy. The horses are not just animals to them, they're friends and comrades.

The writing style itself is simple, and most people will breeze through the novel. It's very emotional, particularly in the last third of the book, through which I basically sobbed. My pillow was soaked in sad, salty tears.

"War Horse" is a wonderful story not only about the deep bonds we're capable of forging with animals, but also of the human condition. All this from a rather unique perspective: a horse.

Have you read "War Horse"? Seen the play or movie?

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