This audiobook is 32 hours long and I had to check it out 3 times to get it finished. It was SO MUCH INFORMATION. But it was really well-presented and enjoyable. It covers the years from roughly 1900 through 1914, detailing the complex threads of political and cultural issues that eventually led to WWI.
In true books-about-animals form, this story is abominably, unrelentingly sad with some sprinklings of joy. I liked it all right, but… seriously, authors, could we make an effort to write HAPPY animal stories? I’m looking at you, Rawlings, Sewell, Salten, and Knight, all of whom had devastating effects on my childhood (and adulthood) emotional well-being. I mean, War Horse (along with the abovementioned works of Rawlings, Sewell, Salten, and Knight) is well written, but but but but BUT
This was like reading bad fanfiction. If I had a dollar for every time a dude character made comments “in his nasal tone” or how many times the American MC was referred to as “the sandy-haired youth” instead of Luke, I could buy enough chocolate to self-medicate back to sanity. There was basically no real plot thread or point to this story. It was rambling, with lots of internal agonies from the three MCs (one British, one American, one Austrian, all young fighter pilots). The American agonises over his responsibility for the “blackened bloated corpses” (another phrase that gets used a million times) of the Germans he kills. The British dude agonises over whether he is gay. The Austrian, I honestly don’t know why he was even in the story at all, but I seem to recall he agonised a lot about flying. The romantic encounters of the young men with various females were all just awkward beyond words. The reader of the audiobook was also pretty terrible.