The Moon Is Down
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Occupied by enemy troops, a small, peaceable town comes face-to-face with evil imposed from the outside—and betrayal born within the close-knit community
In this masterful tale set in Norway during World War II, Steinbeck explores the effects of invasion on both the conquered and the conquerors. As he delves into the emotions of the German commander and the Norwegian traitor, and depicts the spirited patriotism of the Norwegian underground, Steinbeck uncovers profound, often unsettling truths about war—and about human nature.
Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s self-described “celebration of the durability of democracy” had an extraordinary impact as Allied propaganda in Nazi-occupied Europe. Despite Axis efforts to suppress it (in Fascist Italy, mere possession of the book was punishable by death), The Moon is Down was secretly translated into French, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, German, Italian and Russian; hundreds of thousands of copies circulated throughout Europe, making it by far the most popular piece of propaganda under the occupation. Few literary works of our time have demonstrated so triumphantly the power of ideas in the face of cold steel and brute force. This edition features an introduction by Donald V. Coers.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
shoot, five, ten, a hundred for one.” Orden said quietly, “A man of certain memories.” Lanser stopped in the middle of an order. He looked over slowly at the Mayor and for a moment they understood each other. And then Lanser straightened his shoulders. “A man of no memories!” he said sharply. And then, “I want every weapon in town gathered. Bring in everyone who resists. Hurry, before their tracks are filled.” The staff found their helmets and loosed their pistols and started out. And Orden
chair. She looked nervously at the door and she walked to the stove and, coming back, her face grew hard and her eyes grew punishing and she said, “Do you want to go to bed with me, Lieutenant?” “I didn’t say that! Why do you talk that way?” Molly said cruelly, “Maybe I’m trying to disgust you. I was married once. My husband is dead. You see, I’m not a virgin.” Her voice was bitter. Tonder said, “I only want you to like me.” And Molly said, “I know. You are a civilized man. You know that
conquest. Our people are invaded, but I don’t think they’re conquered.” There was a sharp knock on the door and the room was silent. Molly’s needles stopped, and the Mayor’s outstretched hand remained in the air. Tom, scratching his ear, left his hand there and stopped scratching. Everyone in the room was motionless. Every eye was turned toward the door. Then, first faintly and then growing louder, there came the tramp of the patrol, the squeak of their boots in the snow, and the sound of their
not dare to put weapons in the hands of common people.” Orden stared at him. “Oh! I hadn’t thought of that. Well, we can only see. If such people still govern England and America, the world is lost, anyway. Tell them what we say, if they will listen. We must have help, but if we get it”—his face grew very hard—“if we get it, we will help ourselves.” Winter said, “If they will even give us dynamite to hide, to bury in the ground to be ready against need, then the invader can never rest again,
Lanser covered his eyes with his hand, and then his shoulders straightened and his face grew hard. “I’m not a civilian, Hunter. We’re short enough of officers already. You know that. Get to your work, Major. I have to see Corell.” Hunter smiled. He went to the door and opened it, and he said out of the door, “Yes, he’s here,” and over his shoulder he said to Lanser, “It’s Prackle. He wants to see you.” “Send him in,” said Lanser. Prackle came in, his face sullen, belligerent. “Colonel Lanser,