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War Horse #1

War Horse

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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?

165 pages, Hardcover

First published June 3, 1982

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About the author

Michael Morpurgo

416 books2,508 followers
Sir Michael Andrew Morpurgo, OBE, FRSL is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the Second World War, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to write. He left teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife. They have three farms in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire, open to inner city school children who come to stay and work with the animals. In 1999 this work was publicly recognised when he and his wife were invested a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to youth. In 2003, he was advanced to an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) in 2004. He was knighted in the 2018 for his services to literature and charity. He is also a father and grandfather, so children have always played a large part in his life. Every year he and his family spend time in the Scilly Isles, the setting for three of his books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,160 reviews
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,284 reviews119k followers
July 2, 2020
In the tradition of National Velvet and Black Beauty, War Horse is a moving tale of a horse and a time. The horse is Joey. The time is World War One. After bonding with thirteen-year-old Albert at the family farm, Joey is sold to the Army by Albert’s struggling dad. And so the adventure and a series of encounters with a wide range of people begins.

An image from Spielberg's magnificent film - from AOL

They run the course from a loving teenage French girl to cruel Teutonic warriors, from kindly British officers to equally generous German soldiers. Joey bonds with another horse in his tour of duty, as a sort of big brother. Even without dialogue Morpurgo conveys their attachment. This is a book clearly written for a YA reader, maybe even a Y without the A. It is written simply and is easy to read. Joey is presented as a remarkable steed, and is lavished with enough appreciation to make an adult gag at times, but keep the hankies handy as there is very moving heartbreak as well. In addition, Morpurgo offers commentary on war and a look at the horrors entailed in that War To End All Wars. War Horse is a fast, enjoyable, emotion-rich read, even for an old oater like me.

I read this in anticipation of the film being released in December 2011. It was, IMHO, amazing, not only capturing the essence of the book, but doing so in a lush, classical format that was a pure joy to behold. So it's sappy. So what? It is a great film that does justice to a great book. And John Williams' score for the film was spectacular as well.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.5k followers
September 23, 2021
War Horse (War Horse #1), Michael Morpurgo

Sir Michael Andrew Bridge Morpurgo, OBE, FRSL, FKC is an English book author, poet, playwright, and librettist who is known best for children's novels such as War Horse.

War Horse is a children's novel by British author Michael Morpurgo. It was first published in 1982.

The story recounts the experiences of Joey, a horse purchased by the Army for service in World War I France and the attempts of young Albert, his previous owner, to bring him safely home. It formed the basis of both an award winning play (2007) and an acclaimed film adaptation (2011) by Steven Spielberg.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز ششم ماه نوامبر سال 2013میلادی

عنوان: اسب جنگی؛ نویسنده: مایکل مورپرگو؛ مترجم: پروین علی پور؛ تهران، افق، چاپ دوم 1392؛ ئر 189ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

هشدار برای آنان که که کتاب را میخواهند بخوانند، لطفا از ادامه خوانش خودداری فرمایید؛

استیون اسپیلبرگ، از این داستان فیلمی دیدنی ساخته، و پرداخته اند؛ «جویی» نام اسب جوانی است، که مزرعه داری خریداریش میکند؛ پسرش «آلبرت»، تیمار «جویی» را، به گردن میگیرد، و دل به «جویی» میسپارد؛ او بارها و بارها، به سبب رفتار نامناسب پدرش، با «جویی»، با پدر خویش درگیر میشود؛ جنگ جهانگیر نخست آغاز میگردد، و پدر مزرعه دار، به دلیل بدهی، و بی خبر از پسر خویش، «جویی» را به سروان «نیکلاس»، افسر مهربان سواره نظام، که از جنگ دل خوشی ندارد، میفروشد؛ پس از کشته شدن سروان ...؛ «آلبرت» نیز داوطلبانه، به خدمت سربازی، و به اروپای در حال جنگ پای می‌گذارد؛ ...، دو سرباز یکی «انگلیسی»، و دیگری «آلمانی»، زیر آتش دشمن، برای نجات جان «جویی»، جان خویش را به خطر می‌اندازند؛ پس از نجات اسب، آن دو برای تصاحب اسب، تنها با یک شیر یا خط، غائله را پایان می‌دهند، و هیچ درگیری فیزیکی بین آن دو، رخ نمی‌دهد؛ سرباز «آلمانی» پیشنهاد میکند، کشتی بگیرند، اما سرباز انگلیسی، شیر یا خط را پیشنهاد می‌کند، و همه چیز مسالمت آمیز پایان می‌یابد، و آن دو با دست دادن با یکدیگر، به سران و دولتهای جنگ‌ افروز خود، پیام صلح می‌دهند؛ چند سال پیشتر هم همین کتاب را خوانده بودم، دیشب (روز هشتم ماه اکتبر سال 2015میلادی) کنار تختم بود، گفتم دوباره یک دو فصل میخوانم تا خوابم ببرد، ساعت پنج صبح 189ص دوباره پایان یافت

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 31/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Baba.
3,503 reviews732 followers
August 17, 2022
Runner-Up Whitbread Book Award 1982. Now this is also an acclaimed play and a great film, this a remarkable book, looking at war through a lens that one wouldn't even consider a possibility, from a non-human perspective! ...and it works so well! This story is taken from the viewpoint of a horse that took part in the First World War and is also about the quest of the war horse's original owner's (a farmer) son to find / rescue him. 8 out of 12.

2014 read
Profile Image for P .
687 reviews317 followers
May 2, 2016
“I can hate you more, but I'll never love you less.”

This book is so beautiful in many ways. I wanted to weep all day after I finished. War Horse is very unique because it's told by Joey, a horse being thrusted into the war on the Western Front. The story is innocent, yet it's so sensational and full of angst from the characters. I felt attached to the story from the first chapter and couldn't peel my eyes off then. Morpugo created such a striking story about the war with a horse and a boy trying to find each other. I could perceive about everything through this book and lost a lot of tears by reading only.

“They fight a war and they don't know what for. Isn't that crazy? How can one man kill another and not really know the reason why he does it, except that the other man wears a different color uniform and speaks a different language?”

I can read this book and watch the movie without getting bored. And Tom Hiddleston always slay me with his acting skills.

Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book807 followers
May 29, 2020
War Horse is one of the best-known children’s novels by Michael Morpurgo. And it is an enormously poignant little book.

As the title suggests, it is the odyssey of a horse, Joey, brought from Devon across the English Channel and into France and the hell of the Great War, both through the English and the German trenches. The story is narrated in simple language (in, say, the tradition of Ernest Hemingway) from the unusual perspective of the horse. And this is done with an incredible sense of humanity and compassion, not just for Joey, but for all the men and women who lived, suffered and died during this long and most absurd butchery.

Spielberg’s adaptation to the screen is probably one of his best war movies, although we mostly lose the horse’s point of view.
Profile Image for Mario.
Author 1 book185 followers
April 11, 2015
If somebody told me that book written in horse's POV would be this emotional, I wouldn't have believed it.

From page one, I knew that this wasn't going to be happy and light read (even in chapter 1 so much happened). It dealt with war, and how unfair and stupid it is. But it also dealt with so much more than that. It's a story about friendship, loyalty, love and survival. And I felt like this book was so much longer than it actually was. I guess that is because so much happened in it. But surprisingly, even though it was short, not one part of this book felt rushed (at least to me).

Now off to see the movie. Hopefully it'll stay faithful to the book.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,176 reviews1,065 followers
May 13, 2020
Small Books can often leave big impressions and this is the case with War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.

Michael Murpurgo writes wonderful children's novels and I had loved some of his books very much and War Horse is one of those books that leaves a lasting impression.

This is not a novel with a complicated plot or twists and turns but a beautiful story simply told and I find sometimes these can be the best.

Warhorse is a moving story about a horse called Joey and his experiences during service in the first world war. Joey a farmhorse is sold to the army and witnesses battle from both side of the trenches.

This book is aimed at the 9-12 year old market(but can be enjoyed by readers of any age) and the author really knows how to tell a story and how to educate his reader while doing so. I found the war scenes appropriate for the age group this book was aimed at and yet enough to make the reader feel the horrors of war.
I loved the way Joey the horse seemed to give hope to the men on the battlefield and while war was all around them the horses gave the soldiers a sense of calm and hope.

I bought this book for my ten year old and as the film War Horse is now showing in the cinema I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie and I really enjoyed this book.

One of my favourite books by Michael Murpurgo is Private Peaceful.
Profile Image for Emily B.
419 reviews412 followers
July 7, 2022
A beautiful and touching story. Not overly complicated or grim but simple and clean and easy to follow but also easy to care about the characters.
Profile Image for Erastes.
Author 31 books274 followers
September 11, 2011
I'm clearly the only person in the world who doesn't like, doesn't get, this book.

The horse is a Gary Stu (See here if you don't know what one of those is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue) - he knows everything, from what guns and cannons are, to what wire is and what it can do, the terms for everythng in his world, including politics and the type of bit in his mouth.

I'm used to anthropomorphic animals, and have been since I was born--but Joey should be dressed up in a waistcoat and walking on his hind legs because he has the human intelligence of one of the pigs from Animal Farm or Benjamin Bunny.

When you compare this style of "horse point of view" with Black Beauty or something well done like Watership Down, you can see the failings. In Watership Down, the rabbits didn't understand CONCEPTS such as "a road" - they see a hard river that smells wrong - and elil run up and down the road, not hunting the rabbits, but as deadly as anything else in their world. Whilst they learn how to cope with the road, they never understand it. But Joey understands everything, both ideas and concepts--and that's just irritating.

He knows English, despite having no horse communication at all - then when he's abroad, he understands German and French! someone has said that this aspect of it emphasises the anti-war message, but I'm afraid I just don't get that at all.

A horse is a fight or flight animal--its instinct is to run away and I'm afraid that MM doesn't represent a horse at all in this book. He's simply telling the story of a man in a horse's body, and really--it would have been a better book if he'd told it from the point of view of a man.

I understand that I'm one lone voice in the wilderness here, though, so I doubt anyone will agree with me.
Profile Image for Janete on hiatus due health issues.
648 reviews264 followers
January 19, 2022
4.5 stars in fact. I would have given this book 5 stars if the last chapter had been longer and told more about Albert's and his horse Joey's story after the end of World War I. But I found the plot and the building of the characters great.
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,214 reviews334 followers
June 8, 2022
What a moving and beautiful story! I couldn’t help but shed tears for the horse and the boy’s love for his horse. I also loved how another soldier promised to take care of the horses like his children. Beautiful illustrations. I loved the details in the illustrations like the forest below with the squirrel and birds in the trees. War is terrifying for both sides and it’s definitely sad for animals being used. I’m unaware of this story so this picture book is my first read from the author. It definitely won’t be my last read though. The characters both people and horses were well liked. I enjoyed the story of Joey and his adventures. He experienced so much and I’m glad he found himself a friend to share the war hardships with.

This book followed Albert the boy and Joey the horse. They were like brothers because they grew up together on the family farm. When the bell rang to inform everyone about war, that the Germans have marched into Belgium and the army needed all of the horses they could find. The army needed horses for cavalry, pull carts and guns, wagons and the injured. It was rough and soon Albert’s dad needed money to feed his family so he sold Joey to the army. As soon as Albert found out what his dad did, he enlisted himself to the army to try to find his horse Joey. Albert went to battle in far-off France. Huddled in the trenches, Albert was determined to find his horse Joey. At war, Joey found a friend in another horse named Topthorn. They endured the hardships of war together. When the captain riding Joey was down, Joey and his friend Topthorn was captured by the enemy. The German army used them to pull the ambulance carts filled with injured soldiers. Later their job changed to hauling guns. Topthorn soon became unwell. Soon they met Friedrich who treated them with the utmost kindness. In the woods, another unexpected event happened and Joey had to say goodbye to his war friends. Big machines like tanks came and Joey ran. He ran until he was tired and laid down. The reunion between Albert, Joey, and the enemy was heartbreaking.

War Horse was an excellent read and well written. I loved it when humans treated horses with respect and considered that they have feelings like we do. The friendship story was awesome and I loved how the horse jerked his head when he recognized the call of his friend Albert. This story is great because readers have both views of the war: the boy Albert and the horse Joey. Joey even saw how it was like in enemy territory and he got to know that the enemy were as exhausted of the war as anyone. It’s good for readers to see both views and understand how both sides felt during the war. My kids and I loved the happy ending. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!

xoxo, Jasmine at www.Howusefulitis.com for more details

Many thanks to HarperCollins 360 for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
Profile Image for Stephanie *Eff your feelings*.
239 reviews1,173 followers
May 10, 2013
I listened to this on audio and was listening to this while making my way to a ‘gig’ at Wooster College in Ohio, where I was to draw caricatures. Drawing caricatures for the public requires a certain amount of upbeat interaction, so it might not have been a good time to cry over Joey the War Horse. I hope my Eyes weren’t all puffy.

Joey is a special horse. Special enough to be purchased to serve in the first world war as a Calvary horse. But the whole time he is in the war he longs for the day he can go home to his boy, Albert. Joey was sold to the war effort against Albert’s wishes by his father and Albert vows to join up when he’s old enough and bring his horse back against all odds.

Joey’s time was not easy in the war. Quite frankly he went through hell. He suffers many losses along the way, but he keeps going. Will he find Albert? Read it and find out.

This is a wonderful little book.

Profile Image for Liz.
600 reviews506 followers
October 19, 2015

A book about war. About fighting and surviving.

A book about friendship and loyalty. And about death and grief and moving on.

Written from the POV of a horse, this book was absolutely breathtaking. And honetsly, not only the book. I cried when I read the book and I cried even harder when I watched the movie.
It was one of the few books I read that was actually about WWI. Since so many books are about the Second World War I was very intrigued about a book that pictured the First one!

The main part is of course Joey and how he survived during the war, how he helped and how human beings actually helped him.
He was such an observing and loyal and caring and loving character. I am very sceptical about animal POV's but this one was remarkably beautiful.
I would choose Joey over nearly every other book protagonist.

But then there was also Joey's particular strong bound to some of them like first and foremost Albert.
Albert taught Joey things that saved his life more than just once. Besides, Albert promised to find him, he was his first and most important friend.

Then, there was the very gentle and wise Captain Nicholls who reminded me on an older version of Albert and Major Stewart with his horse Topthorn who soon became Joey's best friend during the war.

Every character who was mentioned in the book was in its own way important and showed a particular view on life and the war. Every single character actually loved and appreciated the horses, everyone cared!
This book was short, but it was strong and it was beautiful.
I loved every sentence, every word and every character and plot twist!

I highly recommend the book to everyone and I also recommend the movie that turned out to be a little bit different than the book, but it was still breathtaking!
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,008 reviews104 followers
November 13, 2021
With this poignant and heart-wrenching novel, with his War Horse, author Michael Morpurgo (while of course focussing primarily on the main character, a so-called war horse, who like Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, personally narrates his own story) demonstrates both clearly and also rather painfully not only the utter futility and wanton destructiveness of war in a general sense, but that like poor Joey, the common foot soldiers (in this particular case, the British and German soldiers of WWI) are basically and for all intents and purposes similarly and simply, tragically, disposable pawns in a deadly, pernicious game (one that is gleefully played by the TRUE culprits, high army officers both German and British, the respective governments of England and Germany, while common soldiers, and yes, their horses, are being slaughtered en masse, and that the former therefore share equal blame, equal condemnation).

For while many if not perhaps even a majority of the soldiers, the enlisted men (although they generally engage in their so-called duties without rebellion or complaint) would rather the war were over, would rather perhaps even not consider their counterparts across the trenches as enemies, the officers generally frown upon this attitude, and the German and British governments actually both seem to want and desire the war to continue unabated (or at least, it certainly appears as though this is the very much case). And truly, the Welsh soldier who rescues Joey when the war horse becomes trapped in No Man's Land clearly underscores the above and salient, frustrating factoid of war when he points out to a German soldier (who is also trying to rescue Joey) that if it were up to the individual soldiers (both German and British) the whole war, which he rightfully labels a wretched mess, could likely be over and sorted out in record time, and there would be no more weeping widows, no more crying children (and no more horses used as basically cannon fodder, worked into the ground until they either collapse or are horribly injured, are killed in battle).

WWI, but actually ANY war, period, is thus and fortunately portrayed by the author as never in any way glorious, as always utter madness and wanton destruction, as an all-encompassing evil that serves no purpose except death and mayhem. Morpurgo's War Horse presents an evocative, poignant and brilliant anti-war message, whilst also showing that historically, the so called Great War (WWI) was also not the fault of any one country, that it was a lethal and dangerous horror for which ALL of Europe, but especially the respective governments, the higher ups, from ranking army officers to the various European heads of state should blamed, should be held equally accountable.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,847 reviews3,363 followers
November 12, 2017
This story wrecked me. It's a children's book but definitely of a dark(er) nature as it deals with experiences from WWI. And it is all written from the persective of Joey, the titular horse.

Joey was sold to a farm when young. There, he met Albert, his friend, brother, master. Albert's father, who bought Joey when drunk to stick it to a neighbouring farmer, is not a man one can like (easily), but Albert is not only young and idealistic but also kind and gentle. One day, Joey is sold to the Army for the war and taken away from Albert.
During the war, Joey meets another war horse as well as a number of people - soldiers of all ranks, civilians from different walks of life, ...
Thus, this is the story of youth growing up (the horse as well as the boy), the horrors of war (especially this war as the author doesn't neglect to also point out some of the new inventions used for the first time during WWI and describe their effects both physically and psychologically), grief and loss, hope, love, and faithfulness.

World War I was not just horrible, but gave the word "horrible" a whole new dimension. There are many accounts out there but reading about such a scale of pain and suffering is never easy, no matter if the facts are conveyed in a non-fiction book or through fictionalized accounts. This book is no different. Add to that the fact that it is from an animal's perspective and you might understand why I cried so hard as seldomly before. The writing is simple and yet intricately detailed, every landscape comes to life and the people as well as animals are wonderfully portrayed with the appropriate layers to their personality traits.

This is also a Folio Society edition, meaning it is an illustrated version of the book. And what illustrations! Alan Marks not only added little sketches in some chapters but contributed these wonderful colour illustrations as well:

The icing on the cake, if you will, is this bookmark that was designed specially for this edition:
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,766 reviews352 followers
April 28, 2017
Such a touching hero's tale and such a daring point of view for its audience. I am not an animal person (to the chagrin of my family members) and the beginning chapters of this book just ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it. For Joey to be a survivor and still have such love in his soul is so moving.
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
March 1, 2018
See my FULL review of this book on my blog along with others at: shesgoingbookcrazy.com
”That’s what war is all about, my friend. It’s about which of us is the madder.”


I remember when I saw this movie when it first came out in theatre. At the time, I didn’t realize it was an adaptation from a book. Naturally, when I learned of its origins, I had to read the book as well! War Horse is told in a similar fashion to Black Beauty, as it is told from the horse’s (Joey’s) perspective. While this point-of-view may be slightly limiting as it leaves out a lot of human emotion, I appreciated how it simplified the narration and actually made everything come across more bluntly. Just like humans, Joey and the other horses felt and experienced raw emotions throughout the war. Fear, anxiety, comradery, sacrifice--however, they came across without jadedness. Unlike humans, animals feel emotions without complications. This narration bled into the human characters throughout that were pivotal in Joey’s story, as their complicated situations were unraveled to reveal the jewels underneath.

The main point about this book that I love is the theme of human value. Despite the fact of there being a war going on, there weren’t any ruthless characters that only wanted to kill, kill, kill. Everyone had a sense of general right and wrong and understood the fact that war is ugly, traumatic, complicated, and tiresome.
”The horse is yours. Take good care of him, my friend,” and he picked up the rope again and handed it to the Welshman. As he did so he held out his other hand in a gesture of friendship and reconciliation, a smile lighting his worn face. “In an hour, maybe, or two,” he said, “We will be trying to our best again each other to kill. God only knows why we do it, and I think he has maybe forgotten why. Goodby Welshman. We have shown them, haven’t we? We have shown them that any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other. That is all it needs, no?”

This element of humanity is undeniably prevalent in a pure form to show how humans can only take so much. For a majority of this war, the people didn’t even know what they were fighting for. They didn’t hate each other--they knew they were all equals, and they respected each other in that.

Comparably, the theme of friendship is very strong. Deep friendships between men, horses, and men to horses, exist in several examples. Albert and Joey--Joey and Captain Nicholls--Joey and Topthorn--Joey, Topthorn, and Emilie, and several other connections overflow this book with friendship. I believe this is the aspect which makes this book so emotional because the deepness of affection between characters in untainted ways is tangible. It’s so tangible, in fact, that several characters willingly faced their fears in order to sacrifice for one another.


This book is devastatingly heart-wrenching at times but makes you feel so good at others. It’s a short read, but is packed full of virtue, respectful characters, and honorable missions--both by horse and man. It was a refreshing read and completely cleansed my palate. This book is aimed at children to young adults, but can easily be read and appreciated by someone of any age. I would highly recommend this read to anyone.

Vulgarity: The “H” word is only used once.
Sexual content: None at all.
Violence: Seeing how this book is about WWI, the evidence of violence is there. However, the author does a wonderful job in its portrayal and steers clear of gore, unnecessarily graphic scenes, and the like.

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Profile Image for Joshie.
338 reviews62 followers
April 16, 2019
Childhood memories always appear like pixelated images you can't fully decipher. Whenever someone asks me what my earliest childhood book memory it often goes back to little me clutching and reading Black Beauty on the living room floor.

Reading War Horse gave me the same childhood innocence and affection — deeply caring over another horse, Joey (another unforgettable horse of literature for me was Orwell's Boxer in Animal Farm), as he ventured in a world at war, of violence and cruelty, and find kindness, camaraderie, and family. I have always been a skeptic of people's true intention and although War Horse can be mawkish, at times slightly unbelievable, the bond and connection between animals and humans whilst blood was meaninglessly shed, were heartrending. I sniffed and got teary-eyed at some parts of the story, these being and .

I try my best to avoid books focusing on animals but sometimes I have to give in. It's impossible to refute animals' impact, I believe, just like nature have, in our little human lives.

My copy is a Folio Society Edition where the stunning illustrations made reading War Horse a personal and engaging experience:
Profile Image for Jessica Edwards.
Author 14 books785 followers
August 3, 2020
Such a beautiful story.
Watched the film immediately after reading and couldn’t stop crying.
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
March 11, 2021
I’m not crying, you’re crying! Sniff...

I’ll admit, I’d never heard of this book before Steven Spielberg adapted it into a really rather wonderful film. As soon as I saw the movie, though, I added it to my to-read list. Said list is very long, however, and I’ve only just got around to reading the book.

Verily, it hath broken me. What an amazingly good tale. I had no idea the book was narrated by the titular horse but I loved it. Sure, it’s a narrative conceit, as the horse knows things a horse could never know but, darn it, it works. I can’t remember the last time I was so invested in a book.

Anyway, I’m off to get my COVID-19 vaccination now, so I’ll catch you all later...

My next book: Rosa Alchemica
Profile Image for Karen & Gerard.
Author 1 book23 followers
September 1, 2011
This is a double wow book for me! Joey, the war horse, tells about his adventures during World War 1 and the special bond he has with a young boy named Albert. At only 160 pages or so, it goes very fast. I loved it! I look forward to seeing the movie which is coming out on Christmas.
(Gerard's review)

War Horse is a touching book that kept my interest all through. Although it is a children's book, I enjoyed it but must admit I got teary-eyed reading it. Parts were very sad but I loved the ending! Joey, the horse, tells his story about living on a farm with a boy named Albert and then being sold to the army because Albert's dad needed money to save his farm. The horse goes through a lot but Albert never gives up looking for him.
(Karen's review)
Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
108 reviews120 followers
October 18, 2018
This was probably not intended as a children's book, it has plenty for the adult reader, offering more depth than many books written for adults for adults. The narrative style is sufficiently engaging that it has great potential for reading at a single sitting.
Making Joey, the (war) horse, the narrator was a brilliant move on Michael Morpurgo's part, since it simultaneously encourages children to think about the effect of their actions on others (for who could not empathise with Joey?) and helps to show that neither humanity - nor not a lack of it - observes geographical or political borders.

Children will learn a lot about the First World War and readers young and old will appreciate the various roles of the horse in warfare on both sides. An excellent read.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 27 books5,589 followers
February 6, 2020
One of those books where the movie makes a big splash and then you realize, hey, it was a book first?! Being someone who feels traumatized by Black Beauty even years later, I didn't plan on reading this. But my 11yo read it for Battle of the Books, and to my SHOCK she (the child who is still talking about how sad The One and Only Ivan is) loved this and urged me to read it. So I did! And I loved it. Joey is great, and I liked how "horsey" it was without being too pedantic. Short, interesting, and not too depressing! And the movie is excellent as well.


Profile Image for Joy D.
1,681 reviews203 followers
July 1, 2021
I had seen the movie a few years ago and loved it, so I had to read the book. It is a touching story of friendship. It is also historical fiction about World War I, told from the perspective of Joey the horse. Joey is shipped across the English Channel to France and participates in the last cavalry charge. He witnesses trench warfare, is captured by Germans, and spends time with a French farming family. He encounters both kind and mean-spirited people on both sides. I think employing the horse’s perspective helps dilute the horrors of war in a way that younger people can learn the history of the era without becoming overwhelmed. It is an anti-war story that portrays the impact on both people and animals.
June 26, 2020
4.5 Stars

Wow! This was so close to being 5 stars I wish it was LONGER!

This is an emotional and heart-warming story all told through one brave horse’s experience of war. I mean this book really got me in the feels amazingly written and unexpectedly emotional.

I am not always 100% on war film but this really was a beautiful book! I’m not an emotional person and this one nearly had me crying a few times I LOVE joey and I don’t even like horses.

"‘Why does this war have to destroy anything and everything that’s fine and beautiful?’

“They fight a war and they don't know what for. Isn't that crazy? How can one man kill another and not really know the reason why he does it, except that the other man wears a different color uniform and speaks a different language?”

As well as being exceptionally emotive I was also clever and very well written. A brilliant story especially for kids to understand the history of war there wasn’t any blood or guts but it was still just scary and true.

Honestly I can’t say anything bad about this book other than to make it at least double the size!

Worth every second spent on this which really wasn’t a lot!
Profile Image for Stephen Robert Collins.
553 reviews46 followers
December 15, 2017
This was my Top Book of 2012 out of over 100 books .
This was really fab book it is wonderful book about WWI that is not run of mill WWI book.
The only puzzling thing for me was how the horse could understand more than one language
Profile Image for Mahsa.
304 reviews335 followers
August 17, 2016
اگه کنجکاوید قابل باورترین تصویرسازی ممکن از افکار و احساسات یه اسب رو بخونید، و اگه دوست دارید با یکی از خاص‌ترین اسب‌های جنگی آشنا بشید و جنگ رو‌ از نگاهش بخونید، اسب جنگی رو‌ ورق بزنید.
با این کتاب از زبان و نگاه یه اسب خوندم، و همین یک دلیل کافی بود تا من به سادگی دوست‌ش داشته باشم. اما همه‌چیز فراتر از تصوراتم بود، و من به خیلی دلایل دیگه، خوندنِ روایت این اسب فوق‌العاده یعنی "جویی" رو فراتر از انتظارم دوست داشتم.

با صفحات این کتاب، همراه جویی از حس قشنگش نسبت به صاحبش و دوستش آلبرت، از جدایی تلخش از آلبرت و ورودش به جنگ و وقایع جنگ خوندم. خودم رو‌ وسط بمباران‌ها دیدم، وسط سختی‌ها و ترس‌هایی که یه اسب در جنگ تحمل می‌کنه. کنار آرامشش بودم و شادی‌های کوچکش. با نگاه این اسب جنگ رو خوندم، کشته‌ها رو دیدم و همراه جویی از مرگ‌شون غم سنگینی رو حس کردم.

دوست شدن با جویی برای من فقط چند صفحه طول کشید؛ خیلی زود باهاش ارتباط برقرار کردم، با شادی‌ش آروم شدم و با سختی‌هاش نگران. جویی خیلی زود با یه اسب دیگه هم در جنگ ارتباط برقرار کرد؛ تاپثورن. دوستی این دو اسب اونقدر قشنگ و خاص بود که توصیفش سخته. تاپثورنی که موقع خوردنِ آب از نهر، سرش رو توی آب تکون میداد تا جویی رو خنک کنه. چه واژه‌ای رو‌ میشه به کار برد درباره دوستی اونها؟

Topthorn, I noticed, always shook his head in the water before he started to drink so that alongside him I was showered all over my face and neck with cooling water.

عجیبه اگه بگم با اینکه راوی یه اسب بود، همراه کتاب اشک ریختم؟ همراه شدن با جویی آسونه، اونقدر آسون و قشنگه که تمام مدت یه اسب رو در کنار خودم تصور می‌کردم. با شادی‌ها و استراحتش لبخند زدم و با سختی‌هاش اذیت شدم. و قشنگ‌تر اینکه این اسب رو به هیچ‌وجه نمیتونستی با یه انسان که مدام قضاوت‌ میکنه اشتباه بگیری. جویی فقط میدید، احساس می‌کرد، و برای ما تعریف می‌کرد.

میدونم لزومی نداره مطمئن باشم با این کتاب افکار یه اسب رو کامل و درست خوندم. ولی هرچی که بود، موفق شد باعث بشه باورش کنم، و باعث شد تمام مدتِ خوندنش یه اسب به رنگ قرمز رو‌ تصور کنم، یه اسب با نگاه نافذ و خاص. با خوندن جویی، نمیتونستم آرزوش نکنم، نمیتونستم لبخند نزنم، نمیتونستم باورش نکنم.
جویی یه اسب دوست‌داشتنی بود؛ یه اسب که هر اسبی و هر انسانی، آرزوی همراهیش رو داره.
و‌ حالا بعد از پایان کتاب، وابستگی به جوییِ این قصه رو بین تک‌تک سلول‌های بدنم احساس می‌کنم. و درد دلتنگیم شاید برابری میکنه با کسی که سال‌ها صاحب یه اسب بوده، و حالا وقت خداحافظی اون‌هاست.

He coughed intermittently all night and slept only fitfully. I worried over him, nuzzling him and licking him to try to keep him warm and to reassure him that he was not alone in his pain.

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خاطره ی تقریبا مرتبط با حس کتاب: علاقه ی من به اسب‌ها یه علاقه ی معمولی نبود هیچ‌وقت. و با چندباری که به یه اصطبل سر زدم، این علاقه به یه ارتباط قشنگ تبدیل شد. همونجا بود که جویی خودم رو‌ پ��دا کردم.
با همون دیدار اول با این اسب، کلی باهاش حرف زدم و پیشونیش رو‌ نوازش کردم. من اونموقع هنوز مطمئن نبودم که یه اسب میشنوه، گوش میده، و احساس می‌کنه.
درست همونجا بود که فهمیدم اون اسب تمام حس من رو گرفته، و تمام مدت گوش میداده.
اون موجود نازنین همینکه عقب رفتم و ازش فاصله گرفتم، چندین بار محکم کوبید به در. اونقدر به این کار ادامه داد تا من شک کردم. و‌ همینکه برگشتم و کنارش ایستادم، آروم شد و سرش رو پایین گرفت. من برای اینکه مطمئن بشم اشتباه نکردم، دوباره عقب رفتم و اون اسب دوباره با عصبانیت به در کوبید.
اونجا بود که هاج و‌ واج‌ موندم؛ که با همین چند دقیقه ی کوتاه، تو من رو فهمیدی؟ دوست داشتنم رو حس کردی؟
با همون چند دقیقه، اون اسب من رو حس کرد، تمام علاقه‌م به خودش رو فهمید و خیلی خوب منو گوش کرد.
پیش نمیاد با به یاد آوردنش دلتنگ نشم... و با خوندن جویی این دلتنگی قشنگ‌تر شد.

پ.ن: عکس قدیمی و بی‌کیفیت از اسب بی‌نظیری که گفتم.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 6 books2,015 followers
October 1, 2017
I thought the movie was just OK since Hollywood rarely does horses well. The incessant snorting about drove me crazy, so when I ran across this audio book at the library, I thought I'd see if the book was better. It was & it turns out the movie was fairly faithful to the book, so bring plenty of tissues. It reminds me a lot of "Black Beauty" since it is told from the horse's point of view. Yes, it's a bit sappy at times, but not terribly often & gives a great view of WWI. Better yet, it's short, so there is no excuse not to read this. Go get it now.
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