Joey is a warhorse, but he wasn't always. Once, he was a farm horse and a gentle boy named Albert was his master. Then World War I came storming through and everything changed. Albert's father sells Joey to the army where the beautiful, red-bay horse is trained to charge the enemy, drag heavy artillery, and carry wounded soldiers not much older than Albert off of battlefields. Amongst the clamoring of guns and slogging through the cold mud, Joey wonders if the war will ever end. And if it does, will he ever find Albert again?
War Horse Movie Tie-In EditionFeatured
Part of what makes this story unique is that it's written from the horse's point of view. In doing so, it gives the reader an interesting take on humans as well as war. We get to see the value that was placed on horses like Joey during the war and how that value translated into their treatment and care. If their value was high in the eyes of their current owners, then they were well fed, cleaned properly and looked after. If not, they were half-starved, left out in the cold and made to endure grueling work often resulting in death for some.
Joey meets many new people along his journey most of whom are kind to him, although a few aren't. He never gives up hope of being reunited with his master and searches the faces of each new group of soldiers he comes upon in the hopes of finding Albert. He also befriends another horse, Topthorn and together they brave the front lines, the treacherous weather conditions and other various hardships of war.
Author Morpurgo writes Joey so convincingly, with all his emotional ups and downs that it's very easy to forget that he's a horse and not a regular, two-legged soldier. War Horse is a moving story that reminds us that even in the midst of all the sadness, despair and death that is "war", you can always find hope.
I sorry to say, but I preferred the movie over the book. They had similar story lines but there were slight variations. There was the German possession of Joey, where the two brothers looked after Joey and Topthorn. I thought that this part was better than the book. Also the part with Emile, as in the book, she looked after the horses for the Germans, while in the movie, she hid them from the Germans. Also, the movie was not told in Joey's view, so it was possible for them to make things happen to Albert, like the gas attack. Over all, I thought that the movie was a whole lot sadder, because I cried in that, and I didn't while reading the book.
I was really annoyed how Joey was like a super genius and knew every single world in the English language. I really don't think horses are linguists as well, because Joey could understand English, German and French.
In all, this book was a great work, but the movie is definitely worth watching.