Jump to content

The Moon is Down


Recommended Posts

I seem to reading a lot of John Steinbeck at the moment, his writing is so good I`m hooked.

This is my latest read.

Set in an unknown country which has been invaded, it deals with the population`s reaction and response to this.

It was published in 1942 and what I found very interesting was the reception it received in different countries. The Americans critics thought that Steinbeck made the invaders too human, while in most occupied European countries it was very well received with much secret printing taking place.

Prehaps the characterization is not as good as in say the Grapes of Wrath but I found this very readable and finished it in almost one sitting. I have to add it is not a long book, only 112 pages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...

The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck is a small gem of a novel. Actually novella would probably be more accurate, and it was later adapted into a play by Steinbeck.

It tells the story of a small coastal town, with an important coal mine, in an unnamed country, which is invaded by an occupying force, also unnamed but presumably Germans to judge by references to being at war with England and Russia, and to previous wars fought in France and Belgium.

The brilliance of this work lies in the fact that, rather than focusing on the resistance itself, or on the violence on either side, it is a character driven book. We see the disillusionment of the occupying force, and the strength of the townsfolk, in wonderful portraits of the very human people involved on both sides. Steinbeck uses simple declarative sentences to build a nuanced picture of a complex situation. And does so while showing the humanity of everyone involved on both sides. Truly an outstanding work! 5 stars!

ETA- I apologize for not seeing that there was already a thread on this book. Hopefully one of our moderators will move this to its proper spot????

Edited by Dan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 years ago I actually couldn't finish Of Mice and Men. If it hadn't been for my previous love of Cannery Row,east of Eden and Grapes of Wrath I might not have ever read any more of his work. So glad I didn't let that put me off of his stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By lunababymoonchild
      This is a short story about a boy growing up on a farm in America. Apparently I did not read it all in my copy.
      Amazon summarizes it well : Young Jody Tiflin lives on his father's California ranch. He is thrilled when his father gives him a red pony, and later promises him the colt of a bay mare. Both these gifts bring joy to Jodi's life - but tragedy soon follows. As Jodi begins to learn the harsh lessons of life and death, he starts to understand what growing-up and becoming an adult really means.
      As one would expect from Steinbeck the whole thing is superb.  I'll read the rest of it someday.
    • By lunababymoonchild
      A short novel.
      From Amazon : 
      Steinbeck's first major critical and commercial success.
      Danny is a paisano, descended from the original Spanish settlers who arrived in Monterey, California, centuries before. He values friendship above money and possessions, so that when he suddenly inherits two houses, Danny is quick to offer shelter to his fellow gentlemen of the road. Their love of freedom and scorn for material things draw them into daring and often hilarious adventures. Until Danny, tiring of his new responsibilities, suddenly disappears...
      Very well written it shows Steinbeck at his best.
    • By lunababymoonchild
      This is either a short story or a novella - I've seen it referred to both - around 94 pages (my copy).  I read it in two sittings.
      The book is about a poor fisherman who finds a giant pearl and the aftermath.  I thought I knew what would happen but I didn't.  Superb writing and a great story with much in the way of poignancy, well worth reading.
    • By Dan
      Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck was a perfect antidote to the heaviness and heavy lifting of Faulkner and the mean spirited jaundice of John Fante. This is a sweet, clever, fun and funny book which looks for the oft hidden nobility in people, while gently poking fun at the inherent absurdities of life.
      The storyline is a continuation of Cannery Row. Doc is back from the war but feeling an unaccustomed emptiness, which the other denizens of Cannery Row try to help him fill. He tries to remedy it with scientific study, but it turns out what he really needs is a girl.
      This is actually a very literate and philosophical romantic comedy, though there is never any real doubt as to the outcome. I love the characters and Steinbeck's writing and couldn't care less that the plot is ridiculous. In these Monterey novels Steinbeck just makes me feel better about life and my fellow man.
      Tempting to say only 3.5 stars because the bar was so low, but dangit, I loved the experience of reading this book and I'm giving it 4stars.
    • By My Friend Jack
      Thanks to a recommendation from someone on the Reading FC site, I read this book a few weeks ago. Most enjoyable, although not the sort of thing I would usually try. I mentioned it to a colleague recently, who said that one of Steinbeck's books (I can't remember which ) was her all-time favourite.
      Anyway, this is certainly a refreshing change from my usual diet of sci-fi, fantasy and biogs!
  • Create New...