Malcolm's Reviews > The Moon Is Down

The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: lit-like, fiction-contemporary

It has been years since I read a Steinbeck (and then only the major ones – Grapes of Wrath, Mice & Men, and so on) but a student recommended this to me recently, and it is quite stunning. It deals with the local's response to the German occupation of a small Norwegian town in 1940, and in particular the quiet but seemingly leaderless resistance to occupation. Its spare style and Steinbeck's way of storytelling by dealing with the lead-up to a climax-moment rather than the moment itself makes the resistance pervasive and even more threatening to the occupiers. I know nothing of the novel's history or reasons for its being written, but reading it in the context of wars in and occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan, and the obvious policy and military failures in both, suggest to me that perhaps the Ministry (in the UK) and Department (in the US) of Defence should have it on their military planners' reading lists. Simply fantastic.

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