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The Moon is Down


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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.

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  • 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
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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.

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