Customer Reviews for

The Moon Is Down

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The Moon is Down

Simply a masterpiece. A review cannot do this work of literature justice. Steinbeck's perfect prose and amazing understanding of humanity and its civilizations make this one of the most eerily realistic works of fiction I have ever read. The characters are essentially: ...
Simply a masterpiece. A review cannot do this work of literature justice. Steinbeck's perfect prose and amazing understanding of humanity and its civilizations make this one of the most eerily realistic works of fiction I have ever read. The characters are essentially: The Conquerors and The Conquered. Each possessing of an array of different people with different personalities and quirks. It's a short, easy read that is as enjoyable as literature as it is a piece of commentary.

posted by Janus on March 1, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Review for Honors English 9 Million Word Project 5

The Moon Is Down is an inspiring tale that illustrates both sides of a war. The Nazis act as if they are in control of the situation, but because they are concentrating on the war so intensely, they have no idea how it is affecting them. The soldiers begin to become ter...
The Moon Is Down is an inspiring tale that illustrates both sides of a war. The Nazis act as if they are in control of the situation, but because they are concentrating on the war so intensely, they have no idea how it is affecting them. The soldiers begin to become terrorized by the war. I like how John Steinbeck shows empathy for these men of war and prove that underneath their rugged uniform is just another human being with human qualities. I found it boring how Steinbeck just directly stated the characters' personalities and what their history was. It would've made the book more interesting if Steinbeck gave inferences and let you draw your own conclusions about the characters. I especially enjoyed Steinbeck twist in his story when the soldiers turned into the victims and the citizens became the villains and made the soldiers fear them. I felt that Mayor Orden is the ideal politician that all politicians should strive to become. He shows zero trepidation when the soldiers are entering his house and he never made a single move without the consent of what the townspeople would want. As they are holding a gun to his head and are about to kill him he still never gives in to what the Nazis want. The thing that I found to be very strange was the amount of trust that the citizens had in Mayor Orden. Never did they once test his leadership skills. Even in today's society this is extremely unlikely. There are usually a few people who are on both sides to what the government is doing.

posted by 2358545 on December 7, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Review for Ms. O'Holla's English Honors II class

    I would consider this novel a great work by author John Steinbeck. Though it may come across as overly simplistic at first, it is this simplicity that makes it so deep. The novel depicts both sides of war, that of the conquerors and the conquered. The novel, which was written as anti-Nazi propaganda, surprisingly depicts the German soldiers as human beings with feelings just like the villagers, as opposed to cruel heartless savages. In my opinion this is what makes the book so spectacular. By depicting the Nazis as normal people, it gives the novel a greater sense of reality and allows the reader to feel more of a relation to the characters. Not only do the Nazis have feelings, but more importantly, they have weaknesses too. Steinbeck describes their fear of the townspeople and how, though they are the individuals conquering the town, they are frightened of its inhabitants and wish to return home. I find this to be quite an interesting and effective approach in the work. In most cases, propaganda would depict the enemy as a villain, but Steinbeck depicts them as nothing more than weak, unstable individuals, giving his readers a feeling of confidence. Also, in an effort to help his readers relate to the book, the story takes place in an unnamed town in an unnamed country. This is quite ingenious because it allows any reader to see themselves in the story. The novel itself is essentially about nothing more than the two viewpoints of war, but the method which this is done is what makes it a masterpiece. Steinbeck¿s way of depicting neither side as an enemy is masterful and unique making the novel a piece to be not only enjoyed but respected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2006

    Eerie parallel to present-day Iraq

    Has anybody else noticed that Steinbeck's fable of occupation and resistance sounds a lot like what must be going on in Iraq these days? How ironic that America, once the liberator, is now the occupier. As i read this short novel, I could imagine U.S. soldiers in Baghdad experiencing similar feelings as the Nazi soldiers -- I appreciate how Steinbeck compassionately painted their humanity too, as well as their cruelty. War does indeed to horrible things to everybody, on all sides. Excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2007

    H.R. English Honors II, 3A

    This book was both interesting and full of meaning. Although not all the soldiers¿ characters were fully developed, Steinbeck pulled them all together to create a representation of any soldier. Also, even though it is clear that the story occurred during World War II, it can be put into almost any war setting which adds a completely new aspect to the book. One thing I specifically enjoyed about this book was the realistic development of the townspeople throughout the book. Steinbeck shows that even though they started off as warm friendly people, it only takes one instance of hatred to turn them around. Also, as the book progressed, the townspeople became stronger and by the end learned how to stand up against the enemy. This was an intriguing and strong ending that really brought the whole book together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Review by a student

    The Moon Is Down is a unique and interesting look at the situation of World War 2. It does not villainize or stereotype. Instead, it shows that all people, average citizens and Nazis alike, are subject to human emotion and human weakness. Some critics criticized Steinbeck for making the Nazis too human, and not evil enough. I disagree. The Nazis did horrible, unforgivable things, but they were still people, and showing them as such makes the book more realistic. Because the characters are shown as real people with real faults and imperfections, it is easy to believe that what happens in the book could actually have occured. Indeed, many people reading the book in other countries at the time were suprised at how well Steinbeck depicts their situation. One thing I did not like about the book was that it failed to adress the persecution of the Jewish communities in Germany, and the countries taken over by Germany. I think that this is a very important issue that should not have been overlooked.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    M.C. English Honors 2, block 3A

    This was a good book, and I enjoyed it a lot. I liked how Steinbeck portrayed the enemy army as reluctant and dishearted to murder people and destroy the town, as opposed to the usual way of thinking of the evil and vicious enemy. This shows that there are good and bad qualities in everyone. Additionally, the peaceful townspeople grow cold and gloom hangs over the town. I felt this was important as it shows that war changes people, and that the 'good' people can become evil too. It's intresting because Steinbeck characterizes the two opposing groups (invaders and invaded) differently than what people would normally characterize them. For example, the invaders start out idealistic, and grow meek and frightened as the war goes on. The invaders would normally be portrayed as fierce, powerful, and hating, not meek and frightened. As for the invaded, they start as peaceful and confused citizens, then grow cold and hating. Cold and hating are normally characterisitcs of the invaders as meek and frightened are usually characteristics of the invaded. The Moon is Down is the first of Steinbeck's works that I have read, and I would definetely like to read another one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    English 3 honors

    In general, this book was pretty good. To me, it definitely stood out from the rest of the novels that i've read, because Steinbeck doesnt just develop one point of view. He gets rid of the superficial labels of 'villian' and 'victim', and allows readers to feel a sense of compassion for the supposed 'villian' side. Steinbeck gives them very humanly qualities, which makes the readers hesitate on whether or not to love or hate them throughout the course of the novel. It's a good thing that he chose to write in this perspective because if you think of nazi soldiers, automatically, your opinion towards them would be negative, and I think that the author just wanted to let everyone know that they too, are human. Also, this book was a nice way to read about what it was like during World War II--much more interesting than reading from a boring textbook. But all in all, I recommend this book to everyone, because it's a great piece of american literature, because it's an easy read and really gives you a whole new outlook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    The moon is Down

    The novel, The moon is down by Stephen Crane, is one that looks at war from the prospective of both the conquerors and the conquered. It focuses on human nature and shows how in spite of our different roles in this world, when it comes to war, we are equally affected by battle. I appreciate how Stephen Crane depicts both groups without being bias or taking sides. Crane does not portray the enemy soldiers as evil and wicked. They are men who have a job to do, but on the inside they desperately want to return home to the love and comfort of their families. Not only this but the coldness of the townspeople instills a fear in the troops, fear that the people will revolt. Throughout the novel, Crane shows how this fear keeps them in distress and anxious about what the invasion could lead to. Crane also develops the townspeople as being a determined group that refuses to be conquered. They are a village of free people and they intend to stay that way. Even in the event of the invasion, when the townspeople are most vulnerable, they bond together for the sake of each other and of course for freedom. Crane allows the reader to choose sides in The Moon is Down. He also brings to light the struggles that plague the human mind during war, no matter what side of the battlefield someone is on.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    Although harshly criticized by the critics of the era, John Steinbeck's novel, u The Moon is Down /u , was prevalently appreciated by many populations of a variety of war-faced countries. Because of his sympathetic development of not only the conquered, but the conqueror, Steinbeck puts a twist on the cliche image of 'violent invaders'. While many countries tried to ban his work, the propaganda spread, showing appreciation towards not only his unique literary styles, but also for his recognition of the soldiers internal conflicts and the subdued one's growing rebellion. Personally, the depictions of the soldiers, assumed to be Nazis, helped create a sense of humanity behind their imperialistic incentives and duties. In the same way, Steinbeck efficiently incorporates the poignant title, 'Moon Is Down', from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, as it implied that 'danger was on it's way', bolstering the consistent fears the townspeople faced. At the same time, Steinbeck had a few duller moments in his writing technique. For example, when developing each soldier as an individual, Steinbeck blatantly states each physical and emotional characteristic, in separate paragraphs, in almost a list format. Such development is usually performed through the characters actions or through inferences made by description. Overall, though, the book was a heartwarming war story, that didn't involve victory and heroism as seen in majority of war novels. Proving his non-bias as he never even states that the soldiers were Nazis, Steinbeck gave a realistic point of view on the invasion, creating a novel thats relative to all of mankind, at a human perspective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2007

    The Moon is Down

    John Steinbeck's 'The Moon is Down' exhibits all the characteristics of an everlasting classic. The author skillfully portrays the Nazi soldiers as commanding but he also reveals a deeper, quieter side that allows the readers to reflect on the hardships that war has on both the invaders and the invaded. The townspeople are suddenly out of their element as they realize that their freedom has been ripped away from them. The reader can connect with these simple characters that develop over the course of the book, and feel like they are experiencing the effects of war right along with them. This book exhibits the themes of betrayal, which is born within the community, pride which is found in the citizens eyes, and revenge as the quiet citizens find their voices. Not only does Steinbeck create life-like characters but he also depicts vivid settings that prove to be crucial to the plot development. The reader will be mesmerized at how Steinbeck ironically creates a peaceful and serene outdoor setting though hate crawls through every household and people are in fright. Steinbeck also uses snow as a recurring archetype that hides the evil which parades through the streets. This is a story of how a quiet village which 'doesn't like to be conquered' fights for a chance at revenge against the powerful Nazi soldiers '111'. John Steinbeck details and uses of imagery allow his novel 'The Moon is Down' to stand out from all the other war novels. Though this book is simple, it leaves the reader to reflect and possibly change their opinion about war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2007

    Moon is Down

    In the Moon is Down, John Steinbeck creates a world in which a small, peaceful town is invaded by an enemy and calmly obeys their orders in oreder to not cause further trouble. Steinbeck develops the people as a whole from quiet and obedient to fierce and brave fighters. The novel portrays how war destroys the innocence in people and makes them fight for their freedom and survival. Furthermore, the author writes in a unique narrative style that helps readers understand the author's specific point of view. Although the novel is written in a simplistic and easy to understand manner, it is still an amazing piece of literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    Excellent leadership book

    Written mainly as anti-German propoganda, this short novel provides great discussion on leadership, both military and civil. Despite the short length, the characters are very well developed. Definitely a story about ethics/morality in war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    A Hard, Realistic and Sympathetic View of War

    John Steinbeck, my favorite author, wrote this novellette as much like his better known works. It's very sympathetic to not only the conquered people but also the conquerers. It truly shows the way war is. Full of despair, hate, longing and killer depression. I was simply blown away by it. It's a good quick read for hard core Steinbeck fans

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    Posted December 15, 2011

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