A stunning story from a master storyteller, published for the first time in an adult edition.
Both a love story and a deeply moving account of the horrors of the First World War, this book will reach everyone from 9 to 90.
Told in the voice of Private Tommo Peaceful, the story follows twenty-four hours at the front, and captures his memories of his family and his village life – by no means as tranquil as it appeared. Full of vivid detail and engrossing atmosphere, and leading to a dramatic and moving conclusion, Private Peaceful is both a compelling love story and a deeply moving account of the First World War.
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Longer novels from Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo are always a particular treat, and Private Peaceful is no exception. Tragic, surprising and engaging in equal measures, Morpurgo's novel charts both the childhood of young Thomas Peaceful in the early years of the 20th century, and his eventual underage enlistment in the British army to help fight the First World War.
It is, above all, a poignant story of war and about all of its many life-changing effects on those involved--also the brutality of the commanding regimes and the relentless squalor of trench warfare. It's not for the squeamish--Morpurgo tells it like it was and his honest insight is on every page for all to appreciate.
"Tommo" Peaceful is recalling his childhood from those terrible battlefields. He remembers his big brother Charlie taking him to his first day of school, the death of his father, his mum working hard to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table. He remembers his brother Joe, who some called simple, but who to Tommo was very special. He also recalls the only girl in his life, Molly, and how Charlie somehow took her away from him. But as the World turned to War, he had to grow up fast. Together Charlie and Tommo enlist and are sent to France, almost immediately, to what could only be described as pure hell on Earth. Bullets, bombs, death. Shells, noise, dirt. Disease, rats, stench. Charlie and Tommo fight for their lives and to stay together--facing certain death in the face every time they try to advance the British lines.
Morpurgo rattles through his narrative at some speed, gracefully capturing both the horror of war and the ecstasy of life. The ending is shocking and memorable. This is difficult, emotionally draining but highly recommended reading. (Recommended for ages 10 and over.) --John McLayReview:
‘Time and memory shape this work…the style is simple and eloquent, the pace as gentle as it is persistent and ominous…Nearly a century later, Morpurgo invites his reader to enter a defining moment in history through the doorway of individual experience. It is a humanizing and humane work, rooted in the land of England and the wastelands of Europe. It brings alive the holocaust of young men at the beginning of the twentieth century for those who might not even be aware that the killing fields existed.’ Guardian
‘[Michael Morpurgo] writes here about events that should never be forgotten nor forgiven, and does so most effectively.’ Independent
‘Full of warmth as well as grief, conveying vividly how precious it is to be alive.’ Sunday Times
‘Written from the heart.’ Observer
‘A deeply moving portrayal of camaraderie and courage, innocence and brutality. Deserves to last as an insight into the First World War in the same way as Goodnight Mr Tom.’ Telegraph
‘A poignant, elegiac novel.’ Daily Mail
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Book Description Harper Collins Publ. UK 2006-01-01, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Adult Ed. 0007219180. Bookseller Inventory # HDT6052SCGV04262013H5699B
Book Description UK General Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0007219180I5N00
Book Description HarperCollins 05/06/2006, 2006. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780007219186
Book Description HarperCollins, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Private Peaceful This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780007219186
Book Description HarperCollins 05/06/2006, 2006. Book Condition: used-good. - GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780007219186
Book Description Harper Collins Publ. UK. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: Very Good. 0007219180 Very good - Light wear - Bumping to corners - Great reading copy! (Shelf 23 Row 1). Bookseller Inventory # SKU1049854
Book Description HarperCollins, 2006. Book Condition: Fair. This book has soft covers. Ex-library, With usual stamps and markings, In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Bookseller Inventory # 4252755
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. An EX LIBRARY copy complete with protective cover and in VERY GOOD condition.May have some library identification marks/stamps. Daily dispatch from UK warehouse. This book is in VERY GOOD overall condition, showing only light signs of previous ownership. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002609136
Book Description HarperCollins, 2006. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st Paperback. 200 pages. Minor wear to edges of covers. Bookseller Inventory # 97676
Book Description HarperCollins, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Yellowing to page ends. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000365010