Sunday, 11 October 2009

The great horse

Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo is a classic example of a war book. It tells the story of a horse who gets sold to a man and is trained by his son then has to learn how to plough in a week, and then gets shipped off to the British army fighting the First World War in France. From then he gets captured by the Germans and lives with the Germans for a while, pulling waggons. Then he gets stuck in barbed wire in No Man's Land and eventually the English army win a toss against the Germans and he comes back to them.

This is a very touching story because it's so sad to learn that a horse just get pushed around like that and gets involved in war.

I have seen the play as well as read the book and there is one major annoying thing, it was that in the play the horse was sold for 39 guineas and there was this whole thing about the mortgage and in the book he was sold for three guineas. There's a big difference. Films and plays should not change books.

This book is good for eight plus because there are some bits that you need to be old enough to understand. My star rating is four out of five because of the major difference between the play and the book, because I think it's very confusing.

I learned that horses have so many jobs in war and that horses are more cared for nowadays. My dad took me to the Imperial War Museum and I saw an exhibition about the trenches. I have no idea how any horse or man survived in the trenches. They were really unpleasant because of the stench and because you got lice and there were rats and frogs. I would highly recommend people to visit the Imperial War Museum. They should also see the play of Warhorse as well as read the book, it was really good.


  1. i loved the play and i just bought the version of the book which is illustrated with watercolours. thanks so much for your review.

  2. It's probably a good idea to just rate the book (which is great) and then enjoy the play (which is also good) while not dwelling on all those silly facts that get invented for film and theatre scripts.

  3. A very interesting review, Ben, I also saw the pla and loved the puppetry, but I wasn't sure they really got into the mind of the horse. Too many humans!

  4. A brilliant review! I have yet to see the play but I enjoyed the novel very much. There is also a book about the making of the play, which I found very interesting. It's called The Horse's Mouth, and it gives a lot of fascinating detail about how the puppets were created.

  5. By the way my name is Judah. not Ben!!!!

  6. Great review Judah. What did you think about the connection between the horse and the boy? Did you feel sorry for the boy and believed that he actually would find the his horse eventually?