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Karel ¿apek's brilliant comic and satirical novel of 1936 deals with the discovery of a sentient race of newts or salamanders, and their subsequent transition from fairground sideshow to forced labour to ferocious enemies of the human race. Along the way he pokes fun at a whole range of targets, from the superficiality of Hollywood to the arrogance of scientists. He also deals with serious subjects such as racism, imperialism and exploitation, and is positively prophetic on the threat of expansionism and the folly of appeasement. This handsome new edition from Benediction Classics uses the acclaimed 2002 translation from the Czech by David Wyllie, with original illustrations.