Rossum's Universal Robots

Rossum's Universal Robots

Paperback Modern Voices

By (author) Karel Capek, Translated by David Short, Foreword by Arthur Miller


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  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 194mm x 14mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 184391459X
  • ISBN 13: 9781843914594
  • Sales rank: 547,110

Product description

Determined to liberate the mass-produced but highly intelligent robots forged in the machinery of Rossum's island factory, Helena Glory arrives in a blaze of righteousness. Soon perplexed by the robots' seeming humanity but absolute lack of sentience, she deserts her strident campaigning and falls in love with Domin, the factory's General Manager. Yet even as their life on the island appears to become more comfortable, the tide is turning against the humans - Drawing huge international attention following its original production in 1921, Rossum's Universal Robots was a strikingly prescient meditation on the themes of humanity and subjugation that were to dominate the twentieth century. Seen as a precursor to works including Huxley's Brave New World, it is a true classic of the dystopian genre, and remains all too resonant in today's political climate.

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Author information

Karel Capek (1890-1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. He has been credited as the true inventor of the word robot, which first appeared in his play R.U.R.

Review quote

"Capek's delightfully inventive tales . . . stretch the detective story to its limits and, in the process, tell us much about the mysteries of human existence." --"The New York Times Book Review" on "Tales from Two Pockets"