‘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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Best known as the inventor of the modern word "robot," Karel Čapek was a Czech writer who dabbled in detective stories and fairy tales before making his name as a playwright and the author of this singular science-fiction satire. In this thinly entertaining and thinly veiled rumination on fascism and colonialism, an enslaved a race of fast-evolving newts grows a collective consciousness that results in their forming a "Salamander Syndicate" that declares war on humanity. --Jason KirkFrom the Back Cover:
Originally written in 1936, two years before Capek's death and three years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, War with the Newts is considered by many to be Capek's greatest book. Working in the "fantastic" satiric tradition of Wells, Orwell, and Vonnegut, Capek chronicles the discovery of a colony of highly intelligent giant salamanders off the coast of an Indonesian island. Capek sardonically details all the reactions of the civilized world - from horror to skepticism, from intellectual fascination to mercantile opportunism - and the ultimate destruction from which it (and the newts) might not escape.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 141180951