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The Moon Is Down (1942)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,3651043,814 (3.84)1 / 331
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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» See also 331 mentions

English (94)  Italian (4)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Czech (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
I'm pretty sure that Americans should read this book a few times. Steinbeck clearly outlines the futility of occupying a town (country) full of people who love their land and feel that they are a free people. I wonder why this book isn't used in our schools. Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”

Edit: I'm now reading [b:Once There Was a War|4800|Once There Was a War|John Steinbeck|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348516021l/4800._SY75_.jpg|551523] and found that Steinbeck wrote this as WWII propaganda for the OSS (CIA). I wish that I could feel good about that. ( )
  rabbit-stew | Dec 31, 2023 |
This is an excellent short novel about conquest and war, the costs and challenges of invasion and conquest, and what free people can do to resist being conquered. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
Written as a propaganda novel during World War II, Steinbeck's short novel tells of a few people in a small town conquered by an invading army. The invaders are clearly intended to represent Germany, though it is never specified. The invaded country is also unspecified, and could represent any of countries German invaded, or which had reason to fear invasion.
We observe just a handful of interactions between a handful of characters. There is the Colonel in charge of the invading army; the local traitor who aided the invaders in advance with information; the mayor and the town doctor, both loyal to their people, even while the invaders try to use them to gain control; and a few other men on the invaders side, and few men and women on the town's side.
The invaders will always follow orders from above. But the invaded people refuse to be conquered. ( )
  fingerpost | Jun 17, 2023 |
“A light in the daytime is a lonely thing.”

“Our people are invaded, but I don’t think they’re conquered.” - That quote pretty much sums up this book. A town is taken over by soldiers from an enemy country, but the people of that town don't simply give in. Steinbeck shows us how the resistance of the people slowly, but steadily, erodes at the confidence of the soldiers and lets doubt creep in to their 'victory'. It reminded me a bit of what is happening currently, and for the last year, in the Ukraine.

The beginning of the book also reminded me a bit of the beginning of the movie "Inglorious Bastards". Even the man in charge of the enemy forces have similar names - 'Lanser' in this book and 'Landa' in the movie. I kind of felt like the unnamed invading army were in fact the Germans as well. Just my thinking on it.

An excellent book about the effects of war, and in my opinion, the overall pointlessness of it. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Mar 12, 2023 |
8432222399
  archivomorero | Dec 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coers, Donald V.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hemelrijk, TjebboTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonsson, Thorstensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lie, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lieberman, FrankCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Low, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novák, Jiří ZdeněkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orozco, Jose ClementIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szinnai, Tivadarsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To
PAT CONVICI
A Great Editor and
a Great Friend
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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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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.

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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.
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Penguin Australia

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