Jan-Maat's Reviews > War with the Newts

War with the Newts by Karel Čapek
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bookshelves: 20th-century, ex-hapsburg-lands, novel, fantasy, read-in-translation, science-fiction, czechs-bohemians-moravians-slovaks
Recommended for: Fantasy and science-fiction fans, the oppressed and downtrodden and newts everywhere

Great fun.

The story of mankind's downfall and destruction as caused by human hubris.

The tensions and ambitions of Imperialist Europe find new expression once a species of super-newt is discovered. This is expressed in Oswald Spengler style musings and a re-imaging of the super-newts as having the characteristics of the empires that employ them. To the surprise of all the newts eventually turn against the humans, but in a nice touch they hire human lawyers to represent their interests at the peace talks required once the newts start making the world fit for newts and so unsuitable for non-amphibians.

There is a thematic overlap here with the abuse and revolt of labour in Capek's RUR, possibly an allegorical comment on the rise of Bolshevik Russia and communism as well.

Recommended.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 24, 2011 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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sologdin agreed, the spengler sections are kickass.


message 2: by Ted (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ted Hope to read this again, I first read it (iirc) when we were on our way to, and shortly after arrival in, Australia. A long time ago, but I thought it very fine indeed.


message 3: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ted wrote: "Hope to read this again, I first read it (iirc) when we were on our way to, and shortly after arrival in, Australia. A long time ago, but I thought it very fine indeed."

hope you can find yourself a copy!


message 4: by Ted (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ted Jan-Maat wrote: "Ted wrote: "Hope to read this again, I first read it (iirc) when we were on our way to, and shortly after arrival in, Australia. A long time ago, but I thought it very fine indeed."

hope you can f..."


No problem, I still have the one I read years ago!


message 5: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ted wrote: "Jan-Maat wrote: "Ted wrote: "Hope to read this again, I first read it (iirc) when we were on our way to, and shortly after arrival in, Australia. A long time ago, but I thought it very fine indeed...."

good for you! Got rid of mine I think some years ago - although I suppose it may yet still emerge from some box or other


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