This has been one of my favourite books for quite some time and I have now finally got round to writing my thoughts on it. Here, Michael Morpurgo has created a simple idea that becomes a beautiful story, grounded in reality. Warhorse is the powerful story of a horse named Joey that discusses how his life develops detailing how he builds a friendship with his Albert Narracott, how he survived the First World War and how he is eventually reunited with Albert at the end. (Of course with a lot of struggle in between)
As a teenager, this book appealed to me because it was different. Unlike anything else I have ever read, the horse narrates the plot and I think that this represents Morpurgo’s opinion on universal suffering in war. Since then, this has been made into a film and a play and I have been lucky enough to have seen both. Obviously, in the film the narrative perspective changes and although the perspective is what I originally liked about the book, the constant changing perspective between Albert and Joey’s life on the screen and stage is the concept that makes this so great.
There are some absolutely fantastic and deeply moving scenes that make this story my favourite and these include the mutual co-existing of the troops on the discovery of the wounded horse and when Albert and Joey rediscover each other during the war, after being separated for so long. The British and German troops are brought together through Joey and the very symbolic scene of them working together to help the horse reiterates the author’s intention of the anti-War viewpoint. This is a scene that also gave me goosebumps when watching the play recently, it just seems so real and lifelike after all of the war scenes that surround it and this immerses the scene and allows it to stand out easily. ( As a side note, every time that I think of this scene it reminds me of the football match between the British and German troops that took place on Christmas Day) The other scene that I mentioned where Albert and Joey are reunited is also an incredible seen to read, watch and behold. Obviously the idea of the two finding each other during the War is slightly far-fetched but is definitely necessary to cement the concept of friendship that Morpurgo so rightly presents in his novel. It is clear that relationships and friendships are definitely the most important features that are identified throughout.
Overall, this book has been a favourite of mine for quite some time and I am so glad that both the film and the play do it justice. Unsurprisingly, this book (and the film and the play) gets an unbeatable 10/10. The truly beautiful friendships that are created with the wonderful scenery and the simplistic plot make this novel more than a novel and with the recent developments onto the big screen and the stage makes this novel truly come to life. I sat in the very front row for the play and I was so immersed in what was going on, I completely lost myself. If this book is new to you, then please go and discover and enjoy!