The Absolute at Large

The Absolute at Large

By (author) Karel Capek , Other Stephen Baxter


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In this satirical classic, a brilliant scientist invents the Karburator, a reactor that can create abundant and practically free energy. However, the Karburator's superefficient energy production also yields a powerful by-product. The machine works by completely annihilating matter and in so doing releases the Absolute, the spiritual essence held within all matter, into the world. Infected by the heady, pure Absolute, the world's population becomes consumed with religious and national fervor, the effects of which ultimately cause a devastating global war. Set in the mid-twentieth century, The Absolute at Large questions the ethics and rampant spread of power, mass production, and atomic weapons that Karel Capek saw in the technological and political revolutions occurring around him. Stephen Baxter provides an introduction for this Bison Books edition.

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  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 129.5 x 200.7 x 15.2mm | 362.88g
  • 01 Jan 2006
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • Lincoln
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0803264593
  • 9780803264595
  • 293,600

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Author Information

Karel Capek (1890-1938) was an acclaimed Czech author of novels, plays, essays, political writings, and short stories. His works include R.U.R., the famous play in which Capek coined the word "robot."

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Review quote

"Capek's skewering of human greed and faith is all the more impressive given that the novel was originally published in 1922."--Pedro Ponce, "Review of Contemporary Fiction"--Pedro Ponce "Review of Contemporary Fiction "

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