Thursday, 12 July 2007


AUTHOR: Michael Morpurgo


DATE READ: June 2007

NOTES: This book was written for young people but nonetheless has achieved an adult audience. The prose is simple but still manages to create a wonderful picture of the English countryside in the early part of the 20th century, the evolving relationships of the Peaceful family and the horrors of the Great War. He describes the brothers at war in a brilliant way as the supposed heroic adventure of going to fight gradually becomes a living hell on earth.

The dramatic twist at the end of the story works well and I have to admit the last few pages were read with tears falling down my face.

Two negative thoughts: I realise that he was writing for a young audience but I felt that the “baddies” were a bit crudely portrayed. The Colonel in the big house and the vicious Sergeant were both a bit like cartoon characters. Rural poverty and the cruelties of war were caused by the class politics of the time not by individuals.

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