Tuesday, 25 February 2014

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head.

This opening line introduces a setting and reveals character by showing us a rather dismal past we may assume has affected the narrator or perhaps even defines him/her. This is proper use of setting so early in a story, a place and time, which the reader can easily imagine, that has shaped the characters.

But I remember well enough the day of the horse sale. The terror of it stayed with me all my life.

And so the first conflict and inciting event are introduced nice and early. By paragraph 2 we learn that the narrator is a horse. Some may be turned off by this somewhat anthropomorphic story and told from the point of view of an animal. For others this will be what hooks. As this novel is targeting the children's market, the premise should appeal. The idea of a story being told from the point of view of a horse in war time, is interesting regardless of tastes, as it offers the possibility of a fresh perspective.

First thing said:

"Not bad for three guineas, is he?"

Some person says this, not the horse.

Verdict: Pass

Theodore Moracht

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