My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very interesting book...and quite touching, in a clean and non-cloying way.
I am familiar with the play, so I knew the basic plot line. I wish I had read the book first ... the play is SO powerful - and so theatrically charged with the larger-than-life stage puppets who play the horses - that the book seemed somewhat small to me. But, that's okay. It's really a small story - even though it's played against the world stage during intense and climatic moments.
It was a surprise to find the book is written in the first person - by the horse! Now, if I had known that, I might not have read it (it's just too cute an idea for me), and I would have been the real loser. Because it is completely believable and the way Joey (the war horse) reacts to people and other horses gives him a well-defined and completely rounded character. I truly care about this horse.
The writing is crisp and clean. No messy, paragraph-long descriptions of the battlegrounds or the lovely British countryside where the story begins and ends - yet, it is pitch perfect worded in a way that you can see every detail. The emotions of both people and horses are handled in the same efficient and heart felt way.
I highly recommend - to EVERYBODY! This isn't a war story, a horse story, a kid's story, a soldier's story - it a story of dignified loyalty and love that is rarely told as well.
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...Now, go make something beautiful!
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥