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The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
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The Moon Is Down (1942)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,350782,676 (3.83)1 / 302
  1. 10
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (pdebolt)
  2. 10
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)
  3. 00
    The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Involving the reactions of communities under German occupation
  4. 00
    The Silence of the Sea and Other Stories by Vercors (raton-liseur)
    raton-liseur: Publiés la même année (1942) et en français par le même éditeur (les Editions de Minuit), ces courts récits portent tous deux un regard original sur la relation entre l’occupant et l’occupé, redonnent un visage humain aux protagonistes du conflit et délivrent, quoique de façon différente, un message de dignité et de fidélité aux principes humanistes.… (more)
  5. 00
    Arslan, or A Wind from Bukhara by M. J. Engh (infiniteletters)
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English (71)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  All (78)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
The moon is down by John Steinbeck
Had no idea what this book was even about, had just seen who it was by and knew I wanted to read it.
I'm often asked who I'd want to have dinner with and I would always pick John Steinbeck. Have read many of this other works and have enjoyed them.
This one is about wartime in Denmark and how the residents are treated, they band together, some are traitors. Didn't even know the country had coal mines and liked how the kids found the explosives in the snow.
His books make you think about things a bit more deeply.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Sep 18, 2017 |
The Moon Is Down takes place in an unnamed town in an unnamed country that has been capture by an unnamed enemy that is at war with England and Russia. Since the book was first published in 1942, it is clear that the enemy is Nazi Germany. The enemy also has several stereotypes portrayed that would have been associated at that time with Nazi Germany, such as being "a timely people." Furthermore, the head of the enemy occupation in the town, Colonel Lanser, refers many times to his experience fighting in World War I.

The message behind this story seems to be quite clear. Even if the Nazis are able to conquer you, you can never truly be conquered. They will be the ones facing an enemy as their soldiers will be forced to live among an enemy who will quietly go about their lives with secret hatred for them, and the Nazis will have to look over their shoulders at all times for the secret acts of rebellion that will both threaten their control and their lives. This feeling of not belonging continuously weighs on the German both emotionally and physically as the Northern European snow continuously buries them in a blanket of white. The Nazi soldiers become sympathetic and human and you begin to see everyone as the loser in a battle that has been forced on them by the Nazi leaders in Berlin.

I loved this story. It was fantastic. Steinbeck got into the heads and lives of ordinary people in the way that he does best, and there were many themes to consider as I progressed through the book. It was very well done. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Feb 5, 2017 |
i didn't expect to like this so much for the writing after reading the introduction, which seemed to think of this little book much more as a work of propaganda than a work of literature. but i really like the writing here, from beginning to end. the characters aren't deeply drawn, but they're as rounded as they need to be for this story, propaganda or not. and i love that the "conquerors" are real people and if you're not rooting for them, at least you know that they're not one dimensional monsters. and i normally like the harsh truths and tragic endings, but i like the message of freedom and hope in individuality within community in this one, even as the ending for specific people isn't so positive. it's been a little while since i've read john steinbeck and i'm reminded why i like him so much. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Sep 2, 2016 |
A small town in an unnamed northern European country is occupied by an invading group with a "Leader." Alex Morden, one of the townspeople, kills one of the invading soldiers. His death sentence is decided even before his trial, and the town's mayor is powerless to do anything about it. The power of the novel lies in the psychological insights of the people of the town facing oppression and even the struggles of some of the invading force. While I recognize its literary merit, it wasn't really a book I personally enjoyed that much. It's a short work and worth the three to four hours it will take most to read it. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jul 12, 2016 |
John Steinbeck was America's Vercors (The Silence of the Sea). The Moon is Down transformed European Resistance, not with a love story, but by breaking The Silence with dynamite.

He explored the depth of Occupation hatred, not by exposing more brutal German savagery, rather letting the words of both the German soldiers and the Mayor and the people of his town
illuminate both good and evil.

How can we not have learned that life is not about killing? ( )
  m.belljackson | Jul 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coers, Donald V.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hemelrijk, TjebboTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To
PAT CONVICI
A Great Editor and
a Great Friend
First words
By ten-forty-five it was all over.
Quotations
... one of the tendencies of the military mind and pattern is an inability to learn, an inability to see beyond the killing which is its job.
We trained our young men for victory and you've got to admit they're glorious in victory, but they don't quite know how to act in defeat.
They think that just because they have only one leader and one head, we are all like that. They know that ten heads lopped off will destroy them, but we are a free people; we have as many heads as we have people, and in a time of need leaders pop up among us like mushrooms.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat." This compelling, dignified and moving novel was inspired by and based upon the Nazi invasion of neutral Norway. Set in an imaginary European mining town, it shows what happens when a ruthless totalitarian power is up against an occupied democracy with an overwhelming desire to be free.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140187464, Paperback)

Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America?s greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery Row, In Dubious Battle, The Long Valley, The Moon Is Down, The Pastures of Heaven, and Tortilla Flat. Penguin Classics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers?and to the many who revisit them again and again."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

This seems a simple -- almost an obvious book -- until its overtones and undertones begin to do their deadly work. Then one realizes that, compact in less than 200 pages, is the story of what is happening to the conquerors and the conquered the world over, today. The yeast of freedom, of democracy, the soul of unconquerable man, is working to destroy those who deny freedom. No country is named -- but it might be Norway. No person nor persons are named -- but their types are truly drawn. Mayor Orden stands as a hero with none of the trappings of heroism. Curseling, the traitor, epitomizes the Quislings of the world. And the story? A tale of the unnamed men and women who are breaking the morale of the conquering beast with silence, hate, mass resentment, and the use of weapons forged by imagination and passion while the weapons of the enemy become powerless to break their strength, their unity of anger. An extraordinary achievement.… (more)

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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