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Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of the invading battalion, along with his staff establishes his HQ in the house of the democratically elected and popular Mayor Orden. As the reality of occupation sinks in and the w Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of the invading battalion, along with his staff establishes his HQ in the house of the democratically elected and popular Mayor Orden. As the reality of occupation sinks in and the weather turns bleak, with the snows beginning earlier than usual, the "simple, peaceful people" of the town are angry and confused. Colonel Lanser, a veteran of many wars, tries to operate under a veil of civility and law, but in his heart he knows that "there are no peaceful people" amongst those whose freedom has been taken away by force. The veil is soon torn apart when Alexander Morden, an erstwhile alderman and "a free man," is ordered to work in the mine. He strikes out at Captain Loft with a pick axe, but Captain Bentick steps into its path and dies of it. After a summary trial, Morden is executed by a firing squad. This incident catalyzes the people of the town and they settle into "a slow, silent, waiting revenge." Sections of the railroad linking the port with the mine get damaged regularly, the machinery breaks down often, and the dynamo of the electricity generators gets short circuited. Whenever a soldier relaxes his guard, drinks or goes out with a woman, he is killed. Mayor Orden stands by his people, and tries to explain to Col. Lanser that his goal – "to break man’s spirit permanently" – is impossible. The cold weather and the constant fear weighs heavy on the occupying force, many of whom wish the war to end so that they can return home. They realize the futility of the war and that "the flies have conquered the flypaper." Some members of the resistance escape to England and ask the English for explosives so that the townspeople can intensify their efforts. English planes parachute-drop small packages containing dynamite sticks and chocolates all around the town. In a state of panic, the army takes the Mayor and his friend Dr. Winter, the town doctor and historian, hostage and lets it be known that any action from resistance will lead to their execution. Mayor Orden knows that nothing can stop his people and that his death is imminent. He tells his wife that while he can be killed, the idea of Mayor (and freedom and democracy) is beyond the reach of any army. Before his execution, Mayor Orden reminds Dr. Winter of the dialogues of Socrates in the Apology, a part he played in the high school play, and tells him to make sure that the debt is repaid to the army, i.e., that the resistance is continued.


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Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of the invading battalion, along with his staff establishes his HQ in the house of the democratically elected and popular Mayor Orden. As the reality of occupation sinks in and the w Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of the invading battalion, along with his staff establishes his HQ in the house of the democratically elected and popular Mayor Orden. As the reality of occupation sinks in and the weather turns bleak, with the snows beginning earlier than usual, the "simple, peaceful people" of the town are angry and confused. Colonel Lanser, a veteran of many wars, tries to operate under a veil of civility and law, but in his heart he knows that "there are no peaceful people" amongst those whose freedom has been taken away by force. The veil is soon torn apart when Alexander Morden, an erstwhile alderman and "a free man," is ordered to work in the mine. He strikes out at Captain Loft with a pick axe, but Captain Bentick steps into its path and dies of it. After a summary trial, Morden is executed by a firing squad. This incident catalyzes the people of the town and they settle into "a slow, silent, waiting revenge." Sections of the railroad linking the port with the mine get damaged regularly, the machinery breaks down often, and the dynamo of the electricity generators gets short circuited. Whenever a soldier relaxes his guard, drinks or goes out with a woman, he is killed. Mayor Orden stands by his people, and tries to explain to Col. Lanser that his goal – "to break man’s spirit permanently" – is impossible. The cold weather and the constant fear weighs heavy on the occupying force, many of whom wish the war to end so that they can return home. They realize the futility of the war and that "the flies have conquered the flypaper." Some members of the resistance escape to England and ask the English for explosives so that the townspeople can intensify their efforts. English planes parachute-drop small packages containing dynamite sticks and chocolates all around the town. In a state of panic, the army takes the Mayor and his friend Dr. Winter, the town doctor and historian, hostage and lets it be known that any action from resistance will lead to their execution. Mayor Orden knows that nothing can stop his people and that his death is imminent. He tells his wife that while he can be killed, the idea of Mayor (and freedom and democracy) is beyond the reach of any army. Before his execution, Mayor Orden reminds Dr. Winter of the dialogues of Socrates in the Apology, a part he played in the high school play, and tells him to make sure that the debt is repaid to the army, i.e., that the resistance is continued.

30 review for The Moon Is Down

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    ‎The Moon is down, John Ernst Steinbeck The Moon Is Down, a novel by John Steinbeck fashioned for adaptation for the theatre and for which Steinbeck received the Norwegian King Haakon VII Freedom Cross, was published by Viking Press in March 1942. The story tells of the military occupation of a small town in Northern Europe by the army of an unnamed nation at war with England and Russia (much like the occupation of Norway by the Germans during World War II). تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 19 ‎The Moon is down, John Ernst Steinbeck The Moon Is Down, a novel by John Steinbeck fashioned for adaptation for the theatre and for which Steinbeck received the Norwegian King Haakon VII Freedom Cross, was published by Viking Press in March 1942. The story tells of the military occupation of a small town in Northern Europe by the army of an unnamed nation at war with England and Russia (much like the occupation of Norway by the Germans during World War II). تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 1968میلادی عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، مترجم: پرویز داریوش؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، سازمان کتابهای جیبی: موسسه انتشارات فرانکلین، 1341، در 182ص، اندازه 11در5/16س.م.، موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی، سده 20م، جنگ جهانی دوم، 1939م تا 1945م؛ عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، ترجمه: پرویز داریوش؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، اساطیر، 1365، در 162ص؛ عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، ترجمه: پرویز داریوش؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، امیرکبیر، 1377، در 153ص، شابک 9640004626، 9789640004623؛ چاپ پنجم 1389؛ عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، ترجمه: پرویز داریوش؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، انتشارات علمی فرهنگی، 1384، در 161ص، شابک 9644456734؛ عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، ترجمه: کریم احمدی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، عارف، 1362، در 192 ص، عکس عنوان: ماه پنهان است؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک، ترجمه: احمد حسینی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، ناژ، 1393، در 205ص، شابک 9786006110172؛ نیروهای مهاجم وارد قصبه ای کوچک شده، با کمترین خونریزی، آنجا را تسخیر میکنند؛ قصبه یا جزیره، یک مقام رسمی به عنوان شهردار دارد؛ نیروهای مسلح آنجا دوازده تن هستند، که آنها هم صبح روز یورش، به لطف جاسوس نفوذی، دنبال نخود سیاه فرستاده شده اند؛ مردمانی که سالهاست رنگ جنگ به خود ندیده اند؛ مقام رسمی خود نمیداند چند اسلحه دارد، و اسلحه ها کجا هستند، ولی مهاجمین میدانند؛ مردمان قصبه، در روزهای نخست، چنان آرام هستند که برخی از مهاجمین، قصد ماندگاری دارند، و از ازدواج و گذران دوران بازنشستگی خویش در آنجا، سخن میگویند؛ آنجا دارای یک معدن ذغال سنگ است، و نیروی مهاجم، به محصول آن معدن نیاز دارد؛ نخست همه چیز ساده به نظر میرسد، اما...؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/09/199هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Propaganda is a word often spewed in anger or indignation at some form of manipulative or self-serving communication. It’s generally viewed as objectionable, ugly, and immoral. Meet the honorable, dignified exception to that stereotype. John Steinbeck’s 1942 novel, written to support the Allied effort during WWII, is propaganda as pure as freshly fallen snow, as righteous and moral as love for humanity. It is propaganda in affirmation of freedom, self-determination, and the indomitable will of pe Propaganda is a word often spewed in anger or indignation at some form of manipulative or self-serving communication. It’s generally viewed as objectionable, ugly, and immoral. Meet the honorable, dignified exception to that stereotype. John Steinbeck’s 1942 novel, written to support the Allied effort during WWII, is propaganda as pure as freshly fallen snow, as righteous and moral as love for humanity. It is propaganda in affirmation of freedom, self-determination, and the indomitable will of people to persevere and overcome. PLOT SUMMARY: The story begins with a peaceful, democratic village swiftly invaded and occupied by aggressive, fascist army bearing all of the telltales of Nazi Germany. “By 10:45 it was all over. The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war was finished.” The brilliant irony of the novel’s first words is revealed only later as we learn that “the war” has barely even begun. We meet the simple, hardworking people of the village, who seem perplexed, but not, initially, embittered by the invaders. We meet the enemy, Colonel Lanser and his officers, none of whom are presented as “mustache-twirling” villains. Just soldiers doing a job. The initial interactions are cordial, almost bizarrely so, and there is a sense that things may not be so bad. Wrong..it is...and Steinbeck deftly, methodically commences to bleed the air of lightheartedness out of the narrative, and reveals the underlying severity of his message. This brings me to the first major kudo I wish to bestow on Steinbeck. His manipulation and control over his material is impressive, and he effectively confounds your expectations through the slowly escalating gravity of the story’s tone. After the initial brutal invasion, including the killing of a group of the town’s soldiers, is glossed over and depicted in a casual, almost humorous fashion, I was thinking that this may be something akin to a black comedy. Not the case, and Steinbeck begins to turn the screws. The invaders need the townspeople to work the coal mine (the town’s coal resources were the reason it was targeted). The town people do not take kindly to being “forced” to work the mines. The invaders insist… Tension…animosity…hatred…violence ensue that I will leave for you to discover. THOUGHTS: The horror of war, the enduring strength of freedom, and the self-defeating process of using humans to impose “inhuman” oppression, these are the messages of Steinbeck's work. I want to talk a little about this latter aspect first, because it’s something you don’t see portrayed enough in stories about occupying forces. Usually, you see the damage that is inflicted on those that have been deprived of their liberty, and Steinbeck certainly does reflect this in the story. However, he also shows the dehumanizing, destructive effect of the occupation on the occupier. As the townspeople become resentful and openly antagonistic, it begins to take a devastating toll on the enemy soldiers, who simply want to go home to their own families and feel like they have been lied to by their superiors. They find they must constantly be on their guard and can never travel alone, which has a serious effect on their morale. “Fear crept in on the men in their billets and it made them sad and it crept into their patrols and it made them cruel.” These soldiers, just like their captives, have lost their freedom, and Steinbeck’s portrayal of their desolation powerfully closes the circle on the “there are truly no winners in a war of aggression” theme. There are only victims. On the other side of the coin, Steinbeck extols the right of people to live free and inner resolve that comes from the yearning to self-determine. His message, delivered throughout the second half of the story, is that the very nature of invasion and occupation give rise to the invaders downfall by reorganizing the previously self-interested and peaceful townsfolk into a cohesive band of freedom fighters. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. The armies measures to try and maintain control over the populace backfire, as they must, and the extremes to which the oppressed will go to secure that which was taken only becomes more amplified. “Don't you know you will have to kill all of us or we in time will kill all of you? You destroyed the law when you came in, and a new law took its place." Finally, I will begin my wrap up with one of my favorite quotes from the story, in which Steinbeck sums up his view on the futility of war. War is treachery and hatred, the muddling of incompetent generals, the torture and killing and sickness and tiredness, until at last it is over and nothing has changed except for new weariness and new hatreds. Steinbeck’s novel is a large story told on a very small stage. He doesn’t mince around with nuances or delicate philosophies. He goes straight at the fundamentals. It will stay with you long after you reach the end. 4.5 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    John Steinbeck published The Moon is Down in 1942. While not directly naming either Norway or Germany, the reader understands that the setting is Norway during the Nazi German occupation, which began in 1940. Written for easy adaptation to the theater, Steinbeck evokes Ibsen with his play-like, scene-focused action. When the novel was published, Nazi German forces occupied much of Europe and North Africa and the Anglo-American and Russian allied forces had yet to check Nazi aggression and expans John Steinbeck published The Moon is Down in 1942. While not directly naming either Norway or Germany, the reader understands that the setting is Norway during the Nazi German occupation, which began in 1940. Written for easy adaptation to the theater, Steinbeck evokes Ibsen with his play-like, scene-focused action. When the novel was published, Nazi German forces occupied much of Europe and North Africa and the Anglo-American and Russian allied forces had yet to check Nazi aggression and expansion. Steinbeck has created a simple, strident and moving declaration of the indomitable will of a people who refuse to give in to tyranny. The character Mayor Orden, a symbol of unassuming yet steadfast resistance and leadership, sums up the theme of the novel when he says: “Our people are invaded, but I don’t think they are conquered”.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Short and bitter sweet, The Moon is Down shows what becomes of docile countryfolk when they are invaded and subjugated. Not sure what to expect from this lesser known work by Steinbeck, my first impression after a few pages was that I was in for a light comedy, a sort of Catch-22 anti-war declaration, apparently with silly citizens and gullible army officers acting out a daffy pre-"Hogan's Heroes" farce. But then it turned serious and dark, and actually hopeful. There are small heroes, tiny victo Short and bitter sweet, The Moon is Down shows what becomes of docile countryfolk when they are invaded and subjugated. Not sure what to expect from this lesser known work by Steinbeck, my first impression after a few pages was that I was in for a light comedy, a sort of Catch-22 anti-war declaration, apparently with silly citizens and gullible army officers acting out a daffy pre-"Hogan's Heroes" farce. But then it turned serious and dark, and actually hopeful. There are small heroes, tiny victories. The struggle is not valiant. There are no action-packed depictions. It is furtive. Victory over their oppressors is implied. But the main point is that those supposedly conquered should struggle against their oppressors. Most will and most will never give up the fight. Aspects of The Moon is Down had a deja vu familiarity about them and then one particular scene jarred my memory and sent me back 30 years or more to a TV version of All Quiet on the Western Front. In it actor Richard Thomas (aka "John Boy") plays a German. I think in the early 80s he was trying to get away from his good-guy Waltons persona. Playing a soldier from an antagonistic army pushing himself on a woman from the conquered country would do it. Well anyway, the scene in question is not, to my recollection, from All Quiet..., but rather from this book. I hope Steinbeck got some credit.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    By 10:45 it was all over. The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war was finished. Not quite. In Steinbeck's 1942 story of a small unnamed town invaded by an unnamed enemy, the war was far from finished. The book begins with an almost farcical tone - the mayor needs to have his ear hairs trimmed before his meeting with the conquering colonel, the ratfink mole who's been informing on the townsfolk seems surprised that he should not continue to live amongst them, and one of the sol By 10:45 it was all over. The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war was finished. Not quite. In Steinbeck's 1942 story of a small unnamed town invaded by an unnamed enemy, the war was far from finished. The book begins with an almost farcical tone - the mayor needs to have his ear hairs trimmed before his meeting with the conquering colonel, the ratfink mole who's been informing on the townsfolk seems surprised that he should not continue to live amongst them, and one of the soldiers is bitten by the mayor's feisty cook. Because of the ease the invading army had in taking the town, the officers assume that the local citizens will fall into line and accept them as their new rulers. The mayor predicts that things will not be that easy. "The people are confused now. They have lived at peace so long that they do not quite believe in war. They will learn and then they will not be confused anymore." Things turn ugly after an incident at the local mine, and the mayor's prediction comes true as the oppressed people begin to exact their revenge. Steinbeck presents a unique look at life during wartime, and humankind's desire to be free.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Well before the United States entered World War II, John Steinbeck became involved in several government intelligence and information agencies because he wanted to fight fascism. By September 1941 Steinbeck decided that he would write a work of fiction using what he had learned from European refugees about the psychological effects of occupation on people living in countries which had come under Nazi control. This novella is the result. Set in a village in an unnamed country, it focuses on the e Well before the United States entered World War II, John Steinbeck became involved in several government intelligence and information agencies because he wanted to fight fascism. By September 1941 Steinbeck decided that he would write a work of fiction using what he had learned from European refugees about the psychological effects of occupation on people living in countries which had come under Nazi control. This novella is the result. Set in a village in an unnamed country, it focuses on the experiences of the locals as they deal with occupation by the armed forces of another unnamed country. The text makes it clear that the occupier is meant to be Germany, and while the occupied land could be a number of European countries, it is very much like Norway. The narrative describes the arrival of the enemy soldiers, the reaction of the villagers to occupation and of the soldiers to the act of occupying, the involvement of a local collaborator and the population's growing determination to resist the enemy and fight for freedom. Even though the work was specifically designed to be a piece of anti-Nazi propaganda, Steinbeck avoided stereotyping the invading soldiers. Instead, he showed them as human beings with differing attitudes to their role, missing home and their families and trying to justify their position to the locals. He was criticised for this. While many critics praised the work, some influential critics accused Steinbeck of being soft on the Nazis and suggested that the novella would demoralise victims of Nazi aggression in occupied Europe. Those particular critics were wrong. After the war, the King of Norway gave Steinbeck a medal in honour of the influence of the work in Norway and it later came to light that although the Nazis banned the book, it was translated, illegally printed and distributed throughout occupied western Europe. And not only in Europe: the book was also circulated in parts of China under Japanese occupation. If anything, by portraying the occupying soldiers as human beings and not as monsters, Steinbeck showed that they could be defeated. The work has the feeling of a parable, almost of a fairy tale. It is heavy on dialogue and relatively light on description. In common with many short works, the characters are lightly sketched in rather than well-developed. As befits a work of propaganda, it is somewhat didactic in tone. Overall, it's fair to say that in terms of literary merit, this is far from Steinbeck's best work. However, the simplicity of the writing had a purpose. As I was reading, it struck me that the work would have been relatively straightforward to translate. To translate a work of literature generally requires background-speaker level fluency in the original language and the language into which the work is to be translated. However, the language in this work is relatively simple and the complexities of metaphor and idiom are avoided. Anyone reasonably competent in English could have translated the work with the assistance of a good dictionary. That Steinbeck could adapt his writing style to such an extent, while still producing elegant prose, is a testament to his skill. Even though this is not Steinbeck's best work, it's still a thought-provoking read. It gets four stars for being a satisfying literary work and an additional star for being an interesting historical artifact.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Henry Martin

    I must admit that my reading this year has been all over the place - some philosophical works, some Balzac, some classics, some indie titles, some surrealism - so when I reached for this unknown-to-me Steinbeck, I had no idea whether I was going to like it or not. But alas, it is Steinbeck. Despite being rather short, this book delivers much food for thought. Looking at the GR database, many readers have labeled this book as propaganda (apparently, it was written as such). Yet, I cannot label it I must admit that my reading this year has been all over the place - some philosophical works, some Balzac, some classics, some indie titles, some surrealism - so when I reached for this unknown-to-me Steinbeck, I had no idea whether I was going to like it or not. But alas, it is Steinbeck. Despite being rather short, this book delivers much food for thought. Looking at the GR database, many readers have labeled this book as propaganda (apparently, it was written as such). Yet, I cannot label it the same way and maintain clean conscience. This little book is so much more than propaganda. In fact, it reminds me a little of my all-time favorite war story - Pins and Needles by Boris Vian. Why? Well, for starters, neither one is about a war. They both use war as a backdrop to a larger drama - the drama of human beings and their inability to coexist together in peace. They both center on the uselessness of war, on the idiocy of following out-of-touch leaders, of the blindness of following orders, and of the struggle to reconcile with the inutility of it all. Where Vian centered on a single soldier as a part of the machine, Steinbeck centers not on the machine itself, but rather on the players (the wheels) that make the machine turn. He focuses equally on the conquerors and the conquered, and their interactions. The details about the location are so minimal that the location itself becomes almost impertinent. And isn't that true in a real war, after all? Wars are not about places; they are about victories and losses. And as Steinbeck points out, the conquerors often win battles, but the conquered win wars, because they are not following a leader or an agenda. They are in it for themselves. Unlike the more contemporary books I read recently, The Moon is Down is written almost entirely as a dialogue between the various parties to the story. And here is where Steinbeck shines - in the dialogue, which advances the story without being boring, overdone, or cliched. We have friends talking, enemies talking, and through their exchanges we not only see the progress of the war itself, but also the progress of the change which is taking place inside the oppressed. This is a wonderful story about two men - one conquered and one conqueror. One elected and one appointed. They both know the nonsense of it all, and they both agree on it, yet both have to follow their duty as required by their office. An excellent read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Himanshu

    Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. Such a thing is war where a haze creeps over our minds, a foggy mist of confusion that dilutes the outline of real versus unreal. Then some words are put together on makeshift pieces of paper to form a book that gets circulated stealthily and the strength is delivered. A strength which Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. Such a thing is war where a haze creeps over our minds, a foggy mist of confusion that dilutes the outline of real versus unreal. Then some words are put together on makeshift pieces of paper to form a book that gets circulated stealthily and the strength is delivered. A strength which is unquantifiable and unfathomable as it is a strength of the heart. What can the enemy do to tackle it really? What torture, treachery or massacre could break this resolve? None, because those words in some surreptitious way have provided a freedom to the foggy minds. A freedom which paves an unassailable path towards a single objective of defeating the enemy. I have a very good habit of not reading the reviews before picking up a book and a very bad habit of forgetting the ones that I've read long back. So luckily for me, I didn't know the background of this novel until I read the brilliant Afterword by Donald V. Coers. Imagine my countenance when I came to know that this work by an author who I utterly adore has been labeled as "Propaganda" and it turned out to be successfully so. To put it simply: Through an anonymous pseudo plot, Steinbeck has written a simple yet powerful work on the Nazi occupied Norway during the WW-II. Over the period of 1940-1942, Steinbeck had actively volunteered for various government information and intelligence agencies, which brought him in contact with various displaced refugees from recently occupied countries like Norway and Denmark among others. This brought to his notice various underground resistance activities going on in their native lands, thus subsequently leading him to write this piece of fiction which was first published in USA in 1942 after making a few changes and borrowing the title from the beginning of Act 2 of Macbeth. It was released at the time of the attack on Peal Harbor, making it one of the biggest literary controversies of that time. The critics even went on to label Steinbeck as naïveté. But by this time, the book had found its way to western Europe as a stealth dagger to give it's people the much needed fuel to carry on the resistance. But, how does a man living thousands of miles away write something so simple yet powerful that most of a continent and even China for that matter, amidst the most cruel war of all time, recognize it as one of the indispensable contributors towards their independence? To which Steinbeck responded: "I put myself in your place, and thought what I would do." OK sir, if you say so. All of that said, this book was different from his other works, the strong muscled The Grapes of Wrath, or the earthly wise Of Mice and Men, or the life encompassing East of Eden. It was a war book alright, but the enemy was so human, the native's emotions so palpable, the atmosphere so dense, and the revenge so deep rooted that it breaks the shackles that binds a propaganda book to the war time, and transcends to the glorious eternity. There were to be found the elements of Wodehousian humor and Dostoevskian tragic psyche too. What more could I ask for? Maybe just my epitaph by his words that would forever refuse to die against the coldest of steel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James

    Loved it and very nearly rated it as a 5. Written ostensibly as intelligent propaganda for the allies in WWII - and from reading the afterword in the edition I read, it was seemingly massively effective and influential in that context across many occupied countries. Whilst being criticised as being over simplistic, I feel the book stands extremely well indeed as a novel in its own right - simply written and with such clarity, it goes to the heart of the human experience and is all the more power Loved it and very nearly rated it as a 5. Written ostensibly as intelligent propaganda for the allies in WWII - and from reading the afterword in the edition I read, it was seemingly massively effective and influential in that context across many occupied countries. Whilst being criticised as being over simplistic, I feel the book stands extremely well indeed as a novel in its own right - simply written and with such clarity, it goes to the heart of the human experience and is all the more powerful for doing so. An overlooked classic in my eyes - don't miss.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    My take, partially at least, for The Baffler: https://thebaffler.com/latest/winters... *** I first read this in one night when I flopped drunk on my friend's girlfriend's couch after a night around the bars. It's so timely as to be telepathic. One character literally remarks, regarding the town his troops are occupying, how he is puzzled that there were no flowers or candy thrown at the soldiers who "liberated" them, as everyone had promised they would. I mean, Come On, how can that not blow y My take, partially at least, for The Baffler: https://thebaffler.com/latest/winters... *** I first read this in one night when I flopped drunk on my friend's girlfriend's couch after a night around the bars. It's so timely as to be telepathic. One character literally remarks, regarding the town his troops are occupying, how he is puzzled that there were no flowers or candy thrown at the soldiers who "liberated" them, as everyone had promised they would. I mean, Come On, how can that not blow your mind, just a little bit? It was written as Allied propaganda during WW2 explicity at the request of the government, with Steinbeck's full compliance. It was contraband in Italy, where one could be put to death for transmitting it. it was printed on tissue paper to be smuggled through fascist occupation and the courageous souls who took it upon themselves to get it out to the Allied soldiers narrowly missed death more than once. This is what Literature's all about- for me. Writing (and reading!) like your life depended on it. And it's immensely gratifying to know that for some, it actually did. It's not necessarily a literary masterpiece, but its of sufficient quality to be valuable as a piece of art than as a simple historical artifact. It's even sympathetic to the Nazi characters! They are portrayed as human beings, not monsters, since that would be ironically to play into the fascist game after all- didn't the Nazis, for example, attempt to claim that they were superhuman? An overtly propagandistic novel which actually addresses the humanity of the enemy (and that's quite an enemy we're talking about here) is a mightily impressive and respectable feat, says I. I'm just glad I read it. What it represents, on several levels, is gratifying and positive that this very minor book should never be forgotten.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    A small town is forced to decide to what extent it will cooperate with a tyrannical invader. Powerful and haunting - evil has rarely been exposed in truer banality.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️

    “We’ve taken a job haven’t we?” “Yes, the one impossible job in the world, the one thing that can’t be done.” “And that is?” “To break man’s spirit permanently.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    I went through most of my life not knowing that The Moon is Down even existed. I haven't been the most fervent fan of John Steinbeck, so that could be the explanation, but in all the classes I've been in, in all the discussions of Steinbeck's work or dicussions of stories of WWII, I've never heard of this book. When I stumbled upon it in my local used book shop I couldn't help wondering why it was new to me. I figured it must just be a terrible book, unworthy of attention, a rare Steinbeck failu I went through most of my life not knowing that The Moon is Down even existed. I haven't been the most fervent fan of John Steinbeck, so that could be the explanation, but in all the classes I've been in, in all the discussions of Steinbeck's work or dicussions of stories of WWII, I've never heard of this book. When I stumbled upon it in my local used book shop I couldn't help wondering why it was new to me. I figured it must just be a terrible book, unworthy of attention, a rare Steinbeck failure, but I went ahead and bought it anyway (it was only a buck and a quarter). Then it sat on my shelf for a couple of years. I dragged it along with me to the Caribbean (where we're staying for 2014-2015), determined to give it a crack on the beach sometime. That time was over the Christmas break, and within about twenty pages I was trying to figure out the real reason for my ignorance of this book because it isn't a failure on the part of Steinbeck. The Moon is Down is sparing, as are all of Steinbeck's novellas, and there is a beauty in his chosen simplicity. The cast of scantily drawn characters seems to be a deliberate part of that simplicity. It is as though Steinbeck wants us to find ourselves in any or all of the men and women who inhabit this little world of Conquerors and (Un-)Conquered, Vanquished and (Un-)Vanquished, so he spares us too much detail that could get in the way of our ability to relate. And herein may lie the reason why The Moon is Down has been pushed to the fringes of Steinbeck's work, because the characters (at least two thirds of them) that Steinbeck wants us to relate to are Nazis inhabiting a town in the midst of WWII. We all know the discomfort that comes with being able to empathize with or relate to Nazi characters, but that discomfort can only be intensified by the fact that Steinbeck himself never gives his occupiers the name Nazi. The only place the word Nazi appears on my book, in fact, is on the back cover. I imagine anyone reading this book when it was released, or even folks who might read the book now without a back cover-spoiler, would be angered when they realized that the Nazis of Steinbeck's novella are not so different from they themselves or from their troops that might this very second be occupying another place somewhere in the world. Occupiers as hated by the Occupied as Steinbeck's Nazis in The Moon is Down. I'd be willing to wager a pay cheque (don't get excited, that's practically nothing these days), that Steinbeck's book has been quietly set aside because of that very discomfort, which is a shame because it is telling an important story that I am better for having read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Soldiers loyally following their Leader act on the advice of a small coal mining town’s traitor to take it over for the benefit of their ongoing war. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck is wartime novella about a how occupying soldiers learn that peaceful townspeople do not like being told what to do. Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of th Soldiers loyally following their Leader act on the advice of a small coal mining town’s traitor to take it over for the benefit of their ongoing war. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck is wartime novella about a how occupying soldiers learn that peaceful townspeople do not like being told what to do. Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. The town is important because it is a port that serves a large coal mine. Colonel Lanser, the head of the invading battalion, along with his staff establishes their HQ in the house of Orden, the democratically elected and popular Mayor. As the reality of occupation sinks in and the weather turns bleak, with the snows beginning earlier than usual, the townspeople are getting angry and confused. Lanser, a veteran of many wars, tries to operate under a veil of civility and law, but knows that amongst those whose freedom has been taken away by force there are no peaceful people. A miner quits and when kills an officer who orders him back to work in the mine. After a summary trial, the man is executed by a firing squad, but the incident catalyzes the people of the town to begin resisting. Transportation and communication lines are taken out, mine machinery breaks down often, and whenever soldiers get comfortable, they are killed including a young lieutenant infatuated with the widow of the miner who stabs him to death before escaping to the hills. The cold weather and the constant fear destroy the occupying force’s morale, many of whom wish the war to end so that they can return home. Members of the resistance escape to England and ask the English for explosives so that the townspeople can intensify their efforts. English planes parachute-drop small packages containing dynamite sticks and chocolates all around the town. In a state of panic, Lanser takes the Mayor and his friend Dr. Winter, the town doctor and historian, hostage and lets it be known that any guerilla action will lead to their execution. Mayor Orden knows his people will not stop active resistance and accept his imminent death. Knowing that the townspeople will use the dynamite any moment, Orden and Winter discuss Socrates in front of a stunned Lanser until the first explosion. Orden calmly walks out the door before Lanser can verbally order his execution. Published in the spring of 1942, Steinbeck wrote this obvious propogandist novella to inspire the Allied war effort and through clandestine publishing in occupied Europe to inspire resistance fighters against their German occupiers as well as collaborators. While the town and country are unnamed, it was not hard to tell it was Norway given the clues Steinbeck sprinkled throughout the text. The Moon Is Down is also a wonder example of John Steinbeck’s writing that is a quick read for anyone deciding if they want to read his more famous works to learn his style. While written for more political than literary purposes that does not diminish the impact of the narrative nor does Steinbeck not put in his best work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is filled with ironic humor. Line after line after line. Or is my brain twisted?! Isn't it kind of funny that the value of propaganda, which is what this was when it was originally written in 1942, all depends on which side you stand? Propaganda is usually seen as "bad literature". Not here. This is the first time I have read propaganda that gets its message across through humor, and it is good! Here is a little background information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon... **************** This is filled with ironic humor. Line after line after line. Or is my brain twisted?! Isn't it kind of funny that the value of propaganda, which is what this was when it was originally written in 1942, all depends on which side you stand? Propaganda is usually seen as "bad literature". Not here. This is the first time I have read propaganda that gets its message across through humor, and it is good! Here is a little background information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon... ******************** On completion: I thoroughly enjoy the ironical humor delivered in this book. Steinbeck wrote it during WW2 as encouragement to the people of those countries which were occupied by the Germans, to encourage resistance! I believe Steinbeck has through humor achieved his purpose. I removed one star because the message delivered is a bit heavy handedly presented in the latter half. Heck, it was meant to be written as propaganda. It certainly achieved its purpose.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melindam

    Still as good as the first time I read it some 20 years ago. Steinbeck is such an amazing writer who has me quite in his thrall. More details to come.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christina Gouthro

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “The people don’t like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. You will find that is so, sir.”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Such a brilliant little novel! It begins quite slowly, but after about forty pages I was fully pulled in. Written in 1942, it's a clear parallel to the unfolding of WWII, although the occupying forces are never attributed to a particular region. It's a fascinating exploration of the human spirit under duress - for both the conquered, and the conquerors. The fact that Steinbeck shows the human side of the conquerors themselves was refreshing too, and reinforces the fact that war is a game very fe Such a brilliant little novel! It begins quite slowly, but after about forty pages I was fully pulled in. Written in 1942, it's a clear parallel to the unfolding of WWII, although the occupying forces are never attributed to a particular region. It's a fascinating exploration of the human spirit under duress - for both the conquered, and the conquerors. The fact that Steinbeck shows the human side of the conquerors themselves was refreshing too, and reinforces the fact that war is a game very few people want to play. Steinbeck proves again he is a fantastic writer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Withdrawn from Llanilltud Fawr English Department. No dedication. Opening: By ten-forty-five it was all over. The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war finished. HATTIP: It was Melki reading this a short while ago that sent me ferreting out my copy. I couldn't help but see Klaus Kinski in the rôle of Tonder. Uplifting read and suddenly I want to make millions of little blue parachutes to help those beleagured females in America who would prefer an abortion without the Victorian sh Withdrawn from Llanilltud Fawr English Department. No dedication. Opening: By ten-forty-five it was all over. The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war finished. HATTIP: It was Melki reading this a short while ago that sent me ferreting out my copy. I couldn't help but see Klaus Kinski in the rôle of Tonder. Uplifting read and suddenly I want to make millions of little blue parachutes to help those beleagured females in America who would prefer an abortion without the Victorian shame tactics, or how about a drop in Russia where the anti-Putin contingent would get a fair election result. Wait, even better - how about North Korea or Falun Gong adherents, Sudan even. A world full of blue parachutes to aid the metaphorical white hats.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Conor Ahern

    This was a quick little bit of agitprop from one of my favorite authors. It's short and reads a lot like a play--apparently by design--and has an interesting history. But I wasn't very invested until the very end. The simple reminder that "herd men" win battles but independent minded people win wars is a helpful and hopeful one to remember. This was a quick little bit of agitprop from one of my favorite authors. It's short and reads a lot like a play--apparently by design--and has an interesting history. But I wasn't very invested until the very end. The simple reminder that "herd men" win battles but independent minded people win wars is a helpful and hopeful one to remember.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    John Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down is a fictional study of an unnamed Western European town that is overrun by the Germans during World War II. The invading troops figure that they will be welcomed with candy and flowers (like Dick Cheney's supposition on invading Iraq); but a different reality altogether comes to pass. The locals are sullen and unwelcoming of the conquering troops, and begin to commit acts of sabotage -- which, of course, are met with public executions. Steinbeck examines the sit John Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down is a fictional study of an unnamed Western European town that is overrun by the Germans during World War II. The invading troops figure that they will be welcomed with candy and flowers (like Dick Cheney's supposition on invading Iraq); but a different reality altogether comes to pass. The locals are sullen and unwelcoming of the conquering troops, and begin to commit acts of sabotage -- which, of course, are met with public executions. Steinbeck examines the situation both from the point of view of the conquered and of the conquerors, leaving the reader wondering why anyone would want to occupy another country. Point well taken -- and nicely expressed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Steinbeck wrote this novel in support of the occupied territories of Europe during WWII. The novel centers on the invasion of an unnamed Northern European country (like Norway) by unnamed conquerors (like the Germans), and reads almost like a play. In fact, it was later adapted for the theater by Steinbeck himself. Its atmosphere of staunch socio-political defiance reminded me of Ibsen's 'An Enemy of the People'. It's not perfect; the setting and some of the conversations could have been better, Steinbeck wrote this novel in support of the occupied territories of Europe during WWII. The novel centers on the invasion of an unnamed Northern European country (like Norway) by unnamed conquerors (like the Germans), and reads almost like a play. In fact, it was later adapted for the theater by Steinbeck himself. Its atmosphere of staunch socio-political defiance reminded me of Ibsen's 'An Enemy of the People'. It's not perfect; the setting and some of the conversations could have been better, especially given the rich material that Steinbeck was working with. But in the end that doesn't take away from the novel as a symbol of the freedom of the human spirit, and of the self-assertion and self-expression of a people under oppression. "The people don't like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. You will find that is so, sir."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    The Moon is Down was written in 1942 as a piece of propaganda when Steinbeck was working for the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI), a precursor of the CIA. It depicts a peaceful country, similiar to Norway or Finland, that has been invaded by a larger, stronger country. It tells of the local townspeople's efforts to regain freedom from the invaders, who are shown similiar to the Nazis. The invading soldiers are portrayed with real human emotions, not just as a cold military machine. Fac The Moon is Down was written in 1942 as a piece of propaganda when Steinbeck was working for the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI), a precursor of the CIA. It depicts a peaceful country, similiar to Norway or Finland, that has been invaded by a larger, stronger country. It tells of the local townspeople's efforts to regain freedom from the invaders, who are shown similiar to the Nazis. The invading soldiers are portrayed with real human emotions, not just as a cold military machine. Faced with an active local resistance movement where the soldiers were fearing for their safety, one soldier said, "The flies have conquered the flypaper." This little novel was translated, printed secretly, and distributed by the local resistance in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France. Even the Chinese, who had part of their country occupied by Japan, published it in 1943. It's a book that makes the reader think about freedom and war from the points of view of both the invaders and the conquered people.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    If you're ever scouting for a robust, fast read, Steinbeck's war novella might be the ticket. Very popular when it was published in 1942, THE MOON IS DOWN concerns an invading force snatching a small European town. Troubles ensue. Though the names aren't given, you know Steinbeck is talking about the Nazis probably occupying Norway. "The Leader" is Hitler. There's a patriotic verve here, but it doesn't grow overly hokey or schmaltzy. The violence isn't graphic, and Steinbeck's prose often shines If you're ever scouting for a robust, fast read, Steinbeck's war novella might be the ticket. Very popular when it was published in 1942, THE MOON IS DOWN concerns an invading force snatching a small European town. Troubles ensue. Though the names aren't given, you know Steinbeck is talking about the Nazis probably occupying Norway. "The Leader" is Hitler. There's a patriotic verve here, but it doesn't grow overly hokey or schmaltzy. The violence isn't graphic, and Steinbeck's prose often shines out. I'm not sure why he isn't read more now. I don't recall him on any of my college reading lists. What a shame. I'll put him on my reading list for 2010.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Bunting

    This is the first "obscure" John Steinbeck I've read and it wasn't on my radar until a week ago. This is totally out of Steinbeck's typical wheelhouse of the working class in California during the 1930s. This book was used as propaganda in the Second World War and the Nazis threatened to (and probably did) kill people who were found with copies of this book. It was copied in secret and garnered some criticism for making the invaders "human." I found this book fascinating. It's set up as a caution This is the first "obscure" John Steinbeck I've read and it wasn't on my radar until a week ago. This is totally out of Steinbeck's typical wheelhouse of the working class in California during the 1930s. This book was used as propaganda in the Second World War and the Nazis threatened to (and probably did) kill people who were found with copies of this book. It was copied in secret and garnered some criticism for making the invaders "human." I found this book fascinating. It's set up as a cautionary tale to conquerers (which are obviously the Nazis) that if you push a mild and meek people, they could have the fire switched on in them. It has the typical Steinbeck style of a colorful cast of ordinary characters who are faced with extraordinary circumstances. Humanizing the conquerors was an interesting choice and made this a human story, not just a war story. I ended up lining quotes that spoke to me about the nature of mankind. The build-up to the end raised it a half star but the ambiguous ending kept this book from a solid 4-star rating for me. I would recommend it if you are a Steinbeck fan and want to read something different than his more famous works. If you're brand new to Steinbeck, I would steer you to his more popular/universal works first. 3.5 Stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    I read this when I was fifteen and loved it. I was always interested in World War Two and was fascinated by the whole idea of a villiage being taken over by Nazi soldiers and how resistance grows, almost inevitably. When I read it again recently I was surprised by how some of the characters were much less interesting than I had remembered them. The part where the woman looks like she is about to have sex with the German soldier really effected me as a fifteen year old, but not quite as much as a I read this when I was fifteen and loved it. I was always interested in World War Two and was fascinated by the whole idea of a villiage being taken over by Nazi soldiers and how resistance grows, almost inevitably. When I read it again recently I was surprised by how some of the characters were much less interesting than I had remembered them. The part where the woman looks like she is about to have sex with the German soldier really effected me as a fifteen year old, but not quite as much as a forty-four year old - good to see we grow up in some way. I remember stopping reading Steinbeck novels to make sure that I had some left for later in life. Which, if nothing else, shows just how stupid I was. I think I would have enjoyed his novels much more at fifteen than I do now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yogeeswar

    Brilliant 4.5 Stars 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. This may be a novella, but one that contains a strong message. I read this with such rapture, even felt sorry as the book was very short. The Leader here is sardonically meaning Hitler, whose imbecile way o Brilliant 4.5 Stars 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. This may be a novella, but one that contains a strong message. I read this with such rapture, even felt sorry as the book was very short. The Leader here is sardonically meaning Hitler, whose imbecile way of war, which proved disastrous is meticulously captured in this book. Yes he did conquer but it does not mean that he ruled over those conquered lands. Soldiers wins battles, but it is free people who win wars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    “The Moon is Down” is a fine work of wartime propaganda, and more nuanced than most, which explains why it's still read so long after its initial purpose was served. A modern-day reader can easily see how it must have provided encouragement to members of the resistance in Nazi-occupied countries. Nevertheless, it's still a work of propaganda, and suffers from being didactic, as such works always are. (It's even more didactic than most John Steinbeck novels, including his best, tended to be.) Whi “The Moon is Down” is a fine work of wartime propaganda, and more nuanced than most, which explains why it's still read so long after its initial purpose was served. A modern-day reader can easily see how it must have provided encouragement to members of the resistance in Nazi-occupied countries. Nevertheless, it's still a work of propaganda, and suffers from being didactic, as such works always are. (It's even more didactic than most John Steinbeck novels, including his best, tended to be.) While “The Moon is Down” may not be top-tier Steinbeck, it's still worth reading both for historical reasons and on its own terms.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    What an odd little Steinbeck relic! Purposely written as anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II, it carefully avoids actually naming the Nazis or Germany or the invaded country where it is set. The fable-like story aims to motivate and aggrandize underground resistance movements. It seems that Steinbeck intended the novel to be released simultaneously as a stage play, which explains the heavy reliance on dialogue with a very stagey tone and the unmistakably awkward way characters enter and exit What an odd little Steinbeck relic! Purposely written as anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II, it carefully avoids actually naming the Nazis or Germany or the invaded country where it is set. The fable-like story aims to motivate and aggrandize underground resistance movements. It seems that Steinbeck intended the novel to be released simultaneously as a stage play, which explains the heavy reliance on dialogue with a very stagey tone and the unmistakably awkward way characters enter and exit scenes. An effectively told story, because, y'know, Steinbeck, this remains more of a novelty or footnote in his amazing career.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina Stind

    If all propaganda was this intelligent and well-written, human beings could stand up a bit taller and a bit prouder. Steinbeck wrote this as during WWII to support the people and countries occupied by Nazi-Germany - Denmark being one of them - and he did a marvellous job. The book is about a small, peaceful town in a small, peaceful country which is occupied by a conquering force - helped on the way by a traitor in the town. At first, the town people are surprised and not really able to grasp it If all propaganda was this intelligent and well-written, human beings could stand up a bit taller and a bit prouder. Steinbeck wrote this as during WWII to support the people and countries occupied by Nazi-Germany - Denmark being one of them - and he did a marvellous job. The book is about a small, peaceful town in a small, peaceful country which is occupied by a conquering force - helped on the way by a traitor in the town. At first, the town people are surprised and not really able to grasp it all: The people are confused now. They have lived at peace so long that they do not quite believe in war. They will learn and then they will not be confused any more.(10-11) And so it goes - the people have very little experience in war and none at all in defeat (1), as Steinbeck writes in the beginning, but they learn. And the conquering force instead discovers what's it like to deal with a people hating them and having to constantly look over one's shoulder. The book follows both the conquerors and the conquered people. The leaders - Colonel Lanser and Mayor Orden - are both portrayed as decent and civilised people, both caught up in the war without the opportunity to do different. They both seem a bit tragic - Colonel Lanser because he's been in war before and know that the thinks he and his soldiers do to keep the situation under control are without effect but he's powerless to change the cause of events. Mayor Orden is just a simple man, mayor of a small town and with no experience. But he also has a role to play and play it he must - even if it means dire consequences for himself. Both men have a set of determined actions to play out and both are unable to escape. A very well-written scene illustrating the similarities between the two men is when Mayor Orden and his longtime friend Doctor Winter try to remember Socrates' speech from Apology and Colonel Lanser enters the room and help them and together with Winter wish for Orden to remember it all... Socrates himself got caught in a web he couldn't escape - and so are these men. This is not so much a propaganda against Nazi-Germany as it is against war. It's clear that Steinbeck viewed war as unable to solve any conflict and that it just meant playing out a series of pre-determined actions, each action causing a set counter-action so nothing new will ever come of war, innocent people will just be caught up in the actions of their commanders. And the reason the aggressors will never succeed is that they try the one impossible job in the world, the one thing that can't be done - and that is [t:]o break a mans spirit permanently (54). I guess this sentence is one of the most important ones in the book - and what was part of keeping it so heavily circulated in several countries during WWII. Even when it looks the darkest, there will always come a light later on... The human spirit cannot be locked down and kept away from the light - and between free men, there is always new leaders ready to lead the people against the oppressors. A beautiful and well-written novella that I enjoyed re-reading and highly recommend.

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