War with the Newts

War with the Newts

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"War with the Newts (1936)" is Karel Capek's darkly humorous allegory of early twentieth-century Czech politics. Captain van Toch discovers a colony of newts in Sumatra which can not only be taught to trade and use tools, but also to speak. As the rest of the world learns of the creatures and their wonderful capabilities, it is clear that this new species is ripe for exploitation - they can be traded in their thousands, will do the work no human wants to do, and can fight - but the humans have given no thought to the terrible consequences of their actions.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 130 x 201 x 21mm | 263g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141192704
  • 9780141192703
  • 124,884

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A great writer of the past who speaks to the present in a voice brilliant, clear, honourable, blackly funny and prophetic -- Kurt Vonnegut His satire still packs a punch, and the storytelling is brilliant. The Times This [series] is a wonderful idea ... They are absurdist parables, by turns hilarious, unsettling and enigmatic. -- Nicholas Lezard Guardian [The series] sheds remarkable light on the literature, culture and politics of the region...anyone coming fresh to the field will be captivated by the richness, variety, humour and pathos of a classic literature that, through a shared historical experience, transcends national and linguistic boundaries. -- CJ Schuler Independent on Sunday I urge you to go and read them. -- Adam Thirlwell New Statesman This new series of Central European Classics is important well beyond simply providing 'good reads'. -- Stephen Vizinczey Daily Telegraph

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About Karel Capek

Karel Capek (1890-1938) was a central figure in pre-War Czech culture and a social satirist and science-fiction writer of genius. His major works include War with the Newts, The Makropoulos Affair (the basis for Janacek's opera), Nine Fairy Tales: And One More Thrown in for Good Measure, Insect Play and R.U.R., which introduced the term 'robot'.

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