Moon Is Down, The

by John Steinbeck (1942)

6/10

Not very artful but interesting nonetheless, this essentially reads like a stage play with a heavy-handed message. It’s always engaging but is also the most stilted of anything I’ve read by Steinbeck.  The message is predictably justice-oriented, though the war setting makes it more inspirational than many of his works.

It’s curious to think that this was controversial when he wrote it at the beginning of WWII– according to the introduction in my edition, many folks objected to him humanizing the Nazi surrogates. Today this approach seems pretty intuitive — that even bad guys are human beings with human motivations — so I guess we’ve progressed as a culture in terms of perceiving the nuances of evil.

Now if only we could wipe out those barbaric animals in the Middle East. . .

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