Books: Genus Molge

WAR WITH THE NEWTS—Karel Capek, translated by M. & R. Weatherall —Putnam ($2.50).

One Captain van Toch, blue-eyed, beery Dutch mariner, trading for pearls along the coast of Sumatra, made the first discovery: he found, in a little-visited bay on one of the islands, a family of giant newts that walked erect when on land, could be taught to use a pearl-diver's knife and other tools, and could even, with coaching, learn to talk. Finished rubbing his eyes, simple-minded van Toch planned merely to use his pets for pearl-fishing, but he had to get...