War with the Newts, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


"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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780141192703



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I actually wanted to give this book 3 1/2 stars. Because I liked it, I really did. I just didn't love it.<br/>It's an odd book. It's not as funny as I hoped, but entertaining enough; the writer's style doesn't really flow easily but it's readable enough. The subject matter is original and interesting and lots of historical people make a brief appearance.<br/>If you're into European history, this may very well be the book for you.

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