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'.
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 *