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Planet of the Apes

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"I am confiding this manuscript to space, not with the intention of saving myself, but to help, perhaps, to avert the appalling scourge that is menacing the human race. Lord have pity on us!" With these words, Pierre Boulle hurtles the reader onto the Planet of the Apes. In this simian world, civilization is turned upside down: apes are men and men are apes; ape "I am confiding this manuscript to space, not with the intention of saving myself, but to help, perhaps, to avert the appalling scourge that is menacing the human race. Lord have pity on us!" With these words, Pierre Boulle hurtles the reader onto the Planet of the Apes. In this simian world, civilization is turned upside down: apes are men and men are apes; apes rule and men run wild; apes think, speak, produce, wear clothes, and men are speechless, naked, exhibited at fairs, used for biological research. On the planet of the apes, man, having reached to apotheosis of his genius, has become inert. To this planet come a journalist and a scientist. The scientist is put into a zoo, the journalist into a laboratory. Only the journalist retains the spiritual strength and creative intelligence to try to save himself, to fight the appalling scourge, to remain a man. Out of this situation, Pierre Boulle has woven a tale as harrowing, bizarre, and meaningful as any in the brilliant roster of this master storyteller. With his cutomary wit, irony, and disciplined intellect and style, the author of The Bridge Over the River Kwai tells a swiftly moving story dealing with man's conflicts, and takes the reader into a suspenseful and strangely fascinating orbit.


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"I am confiding this manuscript to space, not with the intention of saving myself, but to help, perhaps, to avert the appalling scourge that is menacing the human race. Lord have pity on us!" With these words, Pierre Boulle hurtles the reader onto the Planet of the Apes. In this simian world, civilization is turned upside down: apes are men and men are apes; ape "I am confiding this manuscript to space, not with the intention of saving myself, but to help, perhaps, to avert the appalling scourge that is menacing the human race. Lord have pity on us!" With these words, Pierre Boulle hurtles the reader onto the Planet of the Apes. In this simian world, civilization is turned upside down: apes are men and men are apes; apes rule and men run wild; apes think, speak, produce, wear clothes, and men are speechless, naked, exhibited at fairs, used for biological research. On the planet of the apes, man, having reached to apotheosis of his genius, has become inert. To this planet come a journalist and a scientist. The scientist is put into a zoo, the journalist into a laboratory. Only the journalist retains the spiritual strength and creative intelligence to try to save himself, to fight the appalling scourge, to remain a man. Out of this situation, Pierre Boulle has woven a tale as harrowing, bizarre, and meaningful as any in the brilliant roster of this master storyteller. With his cutomary wit, irony, and disciplined intellect and style, the author of The Bridge Over the River Kwai tells a swiftly moving story dealing with man's conflicts, and takes the reader into a suspenseful and strangely fascinating orbit.

30 review for Planet of the Apes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    ENGLISH (Planet of the Apes) / ITALIANO «Jinn and Phyllis were spending a wonderful holiday in space, as far away as possible from the inhabited stars» A couple of tourists on an interplanetary trip runs into a bottle drifting in the space. They obtain in this way a manuscript in which is told the story of Ulysse Mérou, a French journalist, and his space journey toward the Betelgeuse star, 3ITALIANO«Jinn ENGLISH (Planet of the Apes) / ITALIANO «Jinn and Phyllis were spending a wonderful holiday in space, as far away as possible from the inhabited stars» A couple of tourists on an interplanetary trip runs into a bottle drifting in the space. They obtain in this way a manuscript in which is told the story of Ulysse Mérou, a French journalist, and his space journey toward the Betelgeuse star, 300 light years far away from Earth.I fell in love with this novel after half a page. Simple, addictive, shocking. The core of the science fiction.Vote: 9 «Jinn e Phyllis stavano passando delle meravigliose vacanze nello spazio, il più lontano possibile dagli astri abitati» Una coppia di turisti in gita nello spazio si imbatte in una bottiglia alla deriva nello spazio. Vengono così in possesso di un manoscritto nel quale è narrata la storia di Ulisse Mèrou, giornalista francese, e del suo viaggio spaziale verso il sistema solare di Betelgeuse, distante 300 anni luce dalla Terra.Mi sono innamorato di questo romanzo dopo mezza pagina. Semplice, coinvolgente e sconvolgente. L'essenza della fantascienza.Voto: 9

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    I think Pierre Boulle’s novel Planet of the Apes is a social fantasy, an allegory for revealing our civilization as blindly mimicking our past, as “aping” the good and bad of what has come before. It is a statement against complacency, a warning that history will repeat itself if we are not eternally vigilant. The novel may also be read as a cautionary illustration of our relationship with our environment and the animals with which we share the Earth. Or it’s a fun science fiction book about chimps, oran I think Pierre Boulle’s novel Planet of the Apes is a social fantasy, an allegory for revealing our civilization as blindly mimicking our past, as “aping” the good and bad of what has come before. It is a statement against complacency, a warning that history will repeat itself if we are not eternally vigilant. The novel may also be read as a cautionary illustration of our relationship with our environment and the animals with which we share the Earth. Or it’s a fun science fiction book about chimps, orangutans and gorillas ruling a planet. Written by Pierre Boule and first published in 1963, as La Planète des singes, this bears a closer literary resemblance to Edgar Rice Burroughs or Jules Verne than to modern science fiction. Boulle himself, the author of The Bridge Over the River Kwai, described the novel as a social fantasy. There is a scene of racial memory that is especially noteworthy, but a fine work throughout. I can say after reading the original novel that all of the films have been loosely based upon Boulle’s literature; although the most recent series may ultimately be the closest to Boulle’s vision. I am coming to believe that the 1960s were the zenith of science fiction and this is a good example.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    When a film becomes so immensely popular, they achieve pop culture status, such as The Planet of the Apes, (1968's version with Charlton Heston of course) and the many different reincarnations that follow, nothing can match it... including ironically the book which originated all the hubbub. Now a return to this novel and examine the quality of, not an even contest since countless hundreds of millions have viewed the motion picture, with relatively speaking a few million read the publication I'm When a film becomes so immensely popular, they achieve pop culture status, such as The Planet of the Apes, (1968's version with Charlton Heston of course) and the many different reincarnations that follow, nothing can match it... including ironically the book which originated all the hubbub. Now a return to this novel and examine the quality of, not an even contest since countless hundreds of millions have viewed the motion picture, with relatively speaking a few million read the publication I'm guessing. A futuristic couple Jinn and Phyllis acting appropriately bored, while taking a soothing, leisurely vacation in remote , dark, endless Space , still strangely enthralling, in the distant year of A.D. 2500 ... They quite unexpectedly arrive upon an object outside their spaceship. Curious the pair retreats the item and memories go back to the days of sailing ships on the high seas of Earth, come forth with a rush . A message in a bottle is found, imagine; the manuscript is in the ancient language of the third rock from the Sun, French ...However Jinn having been well educated there and can read the papers though, he uncovers the author's name... written by Ulysse Merou and telling of an expedition from our world to the giant star Betelgeuse, 642 light years from good old Earth, their object was to explore planets suspected of orbiting that legendary star, maybe find life. Along with journalist Merou , are botanist Professor Antellet and physician Arthur Levain, when landing on one of the four planets discovered, they surprisingly meet humanoid like mutes, harmless creatures, primitives to be honest and easily dominated by the spacemen. Soon however the Earthmen, along with the natives are ambushed by...Apes, more human than humans , no exaggeration either nor dream, brutal reality sets in quickly and consequences begin ...Slaughtering them, these intelligent ape-like animals; the men run for their lives but are soon captured, separated from his friends, Ulysse is put in a humiliating cage with enchanting Nova a female mute he has befriended. This planet of the apes looks at Merou like a lowly animal in a zoo, leaving this upside down place is the ultimate goal of Ulysse, a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there. A fine satire of the silliness of our world's numerous foibles and downright, if I may say the old- fashioned word evil, everything changes, but all remains the same...

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    French writer Pierre Boulle (1912-1994) made use of his experience as a soldier in WWII in depicting the relationship of apes and men in this 1963 book, Planet of the Apes. While stationed in Indochina in 1943, he was captured by Vichy France loyalists on the Mekong River and was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour. The way the loyalists treated him and his fellow Gaulle and resistance supporters inspired Boulle to write this novel. This book was highly praised and was given suc French writer Pierre Boulle (1912-1994) made use of his experience as a soldier in WWII in depicting the relationship of apes and men in this 1963 book, Planet of the Apes. While stationed in Indochina in 1943, he was captured by Vichy France loyalists on the Mekong River and was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour. The way the loyalists treated him and his fellow Gaulle and resistance supporters inspired Boulle to write this novel. This book was highly praised and was given such reviews as this example from England's Guardian newspaper: "Classic science fiction...full of suspense and satirical intelligence." I agree to this. It is a sci-fi because of the idea of having apes ruling the universe as they think that men have lesser intelligence than them. The Ape planet, called Soror (Latin for sister), revolves around the red Sun called Betelguese (that is real). Then the ape scientists in the said planet conduct Pavlov-like experiments to their captured human beings and one of the three was Ulysse, the author of the journal found floating in the space as narrated in the frame story. His companion, the genius scientist from Earth, Professor Antell turns crazy while his fellow crew, physicist Arthur Levaine is killed during the landing of their spaceship. For me, its main theme is an reminder of the things we take for granted or better yet, the people who we take for granted. Sometimes, we think that they are lesser than us: in stature, job title, wealth, skin color, etc. But in reality, we don't realize that they can be more than us. It's just that we are too focused on ourselves that we don't see what they have that we lack. For example as a reader, we think that we all pick and read the better books and we look down on people who read other books not realizing that those could be better than what we are reading. This book is a sci-fi and I know some people look down on sci-fi readers. Not true, figment of imagination, will never happen, yadda, yadda. But hey, how about this main theme that I deduced from this book?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Planet of the Apes is shocking and eye-opening, a classic sci-fi novel that everyone should read. The themes within it are certainly worth it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Caution: Vague Spoilers Ahead I don't really think that I can do this book justice in my review. I thought that it was brilliant. I know that I have seen the movie long ago, and remember the big reveal at the end and Charlton yelling about damning everyone all to hell, but I don't remember much more than that. I'll have to watch the movie again. I really loved the subtle cautionary tale running throughout the story. Maybe it's just my feminist liberal bleeding heart whisper Caution: Vague Spoilers Ahead I don't really think that I can do this book justice in my review. I thought that it was brilliant. I know that I have seen the movie long ago, and remember the big reveal at the end and Charlton yelling about damning everyone all to hell, but I don't remember much more than that. I'll have to watch the movie again. I really loved the subtle cautionary tale running throughout the story. Maybe it's just my feminist liberal bleeding heart whispering to me, but I feel that Boulle just plain hated live-animal experiments and was determined to show people that the tables could be turned one day. Easily. But more than that, the book cautions us not to be complacent and lazy about our place in life and in the food chain and to keep striving and learning and bettering ourselves, but NOT at the cost of other life-forms. We're on top now, but only time will tell if we stay there. And do we actually deserve to be? We, the "Lords of Creation," seem to think that we can do anything and everything we want to do. We're so filled with pride that we never think that OUR civilization could fall. Those kind of things are for history books, not real life. Yet we consume resources like they're going out of style, and pollute the earth like we have a spare, and just generally act like there's a "Reset" button somewhere that we can just press when we've reached the point of no return. Why shouldn't another species give running things a try? If they can do it better... But that's the thing. They imitate us, so WOULD they do it better? At one point in the story, when Merou was being shown the experiments, I thought to myself, "They are proud of the fact that they are keeping the "animals" down... Taking any vestiges of humanity or rational thought away as soon as it is displayed in order to protect themselves. They are so fearful of the possibility of human uprising that they commit atrocities to prevent them." And then I thought to myself, "Oh, snap! So do we." We can justify anything. And so can Apes, who apparently learned from the best. In examining the Apes, we're looking at ourselves. Can we really pass judgment? But, I was happy to see that the three "races" of Apes could cohabitate and cooperate in peace, which is more than we've accomplished so far. Our differences divide us, but the Apes recognize and relish their differences and use them well. But Apes still seem to rival Man in the fear department: the unknown is scary, so just destroy it and move on. I do have to say that I was kind of annoyed with Merou's assumption that life forms in a far, far away galaxy would automatically be human to be intelligent. It just goes to show that our pride will be our downfall. But it reminded me of a quote from another science-fiction book that I enjoyed, Solaris by Stanislaw Lem (which you should remember if you keep up with my reviews): "...We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. For us, such and such a planet is as arid as the Sahara, another as frozen as the North Pole, yet another as lush as the Amazon basin. We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think of ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. [...:] We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us--that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence--then we don't like it anymore." Oh, it's so apt. We inherently assume that anyone of any worth or intelligence will be just like us. Even the "Little Green Men" type aliens that pop up in the Weekly World News magazines are still modeled after humans, and hell, they are nicknamed "men"! I just hope that one day we'll be able to see the bigger picture. I do want to mention two things that I wish were clarified a little more in the book. I'd been told that the twist in the book was different than the twist in the movie. I had had a theory that somehow during the journey from Earth, something got mixed up and the planet they landed on WAS Earth, only far in the future. Since it seems that was not correct, I'm confused as to how two planets so distant actually would be so very similar. The two main races (Apes and humans) are the same genetically (or so it seems as Merou was able to successfully mate with an "alien" human), and there are several other animals that are similar. Not to mention the society and transportation etc. It just seems so unlikely that Soror would be so similar to Earth without knowing of its existence. And speaking of which, that brings me to the second thing. Merou named the planet Soror prior to meeting any sentient beings. Didn't they have their own name for the planet? I cannot believe that throughout ANY of the discussions they had regarding the origins of their species, or space travel, or anything, that they did not once say, "Oh, and by the way, we call our planet Apex." (Haha, get it?) But really, that point bothered me in the story. Anyway, Aside from those two points, I thought that this was a really great book. I hope that everyone gets a chance to read it one day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    "Almost all the great discoveries," she stated vehemently, "have been made by chimpanzees." Experimentation is needed for all great discoveries, and what would a chimpanzee use as a lab animal? Why, a human, of course! Oh, those damn dirty apes! Despite Charleton Heston's scenery-chewing, I've always loved Planet of the Apes, the movie. The book? Well, it gets off to an awkward start. The writing is clunky, and the plot, so improbable - (view spoiler)[A c "Almost all the great discoveries," she stated vehemently, "have been made by chimpanzees." Experimentation is needed for all great discoveries, and what would a chimpanzee use as a lab animal? Why, a human, of course! Oh, those damn dirty apes! Despite Charleton Heston's scenery-chewing, I've always loved Planet of the Apes, the movie. The book? Well, it gets off to an awkward start. The writing is clunky, and the plot, so improbable - (view spoiler)[A couple is "sailing" in space when they come upon a message in a bottle. Seriously. (hide spoiler)] - I actually thought about trotting this right back to the library, but I kept saying to myself, "This is the same guy who wrote Bridge Over the River Kwai...how bad can it be?" Not bad at all, it turns out, though I'm still not sure first-person was the way to go. The movie was mostly faithful to the book. The main character is a Frenchman named Ulysse. The apes do not speak the same language, which makes for some interesting communication problems. There is also some friction between the chimps, the orangutans and the gorillas, with each group believing theirs is the superior collection of beings. Dr. Zaius http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n8BPv... is much the same in the book as in the movie, part orangutan/ part jackass. And I was quite pleased that one of my favorite bits in the film was taken directly from the book - the sweet, somewhat flirty relationship between Zira and her too-ugly-to-kiss human captive.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    Originally written in 1963 by the same author who brought us The Bridge Over the River Kwai, this book will most likely be remembered for the many movies that were based on it's premise of a world where the roles of apes and men are reversed. Originally written in French, the main character in the novel is Ulysse Mérou: A journalist who took part in the space expedition that lands on Soror, a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse. There is some argument as to whether the book can be considered science Originally written in 1963 by the same author who brought us The Bridge Over the River Kwai, this book will most likely be remembered for the many movies that were based on it's premise of a world where the roles of apes and men are reversed. Originally written in French, the main character in the novel is Ulysse Mérou: A journalist who took part in the space expedition that lands on Soror, a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse. There is some argument as to whether the book can be considered science fiction or if it's a work of satire in the vein of Gulliver's Travel. Personally,I tend to see most science fiction as a study of society so I'm not going to say this isn't it. Bottom line: PotA is an entertaining read but not extremely imaginative. I listened to the audio version recorded by Greg Wise in 2012 and was surprised to find that in many cases the word ape in the print version was changed to monkey in the audio recording. As one who knows that apes and monkeys come from distinct simian families, I felt the change made no sense and found it extremely irritating. Thanks to the Goodreads Time Travel reading group for choosing this book and giving me the opportunity to read and discuss it with others.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirk

    So in fourth grade we had an assignment to write our favorite author. Being a dork, I went for Pierre Boulle because he had written the only book I knew of that let you put on a gorilla mask and run around like you'd taken over the world. Imagine my surprise when one day a letter from Paris arrived in the mail from none other than the very tolerant Mr. Boulle (then about sixty), who answered such probing questions as "Why are Jinn and Phyllis not in the movie?" (There's an opening narrative fram So in fourth grade we had an assignment to write our favorite author. Being a dork, I went for Pierre Boulle because he had written the only book I knew of that let you put on a gorilla mask and run around like you'd taken over the world. Imagine my surprise when one day a letter from Paris arrived in the mail from none other than the very tolerant Mr. Boulle (then about sixty), who answered such probing questions as "Why are Jinn and Phyllis not in the movie?" (There's an opening narrative frame featuring two swinging astronauts having a holiday in space....) I still have the letter Mr. B sent me (yes, it's framed, but no, it's not hanging on a wall). Unfortunately, I don't have the two or three subsequent letters where he even more tolerantly entertained my endless ideas for even more Planet of the Ape-sequels. And Lord knows I fear the thought that somewhere in some French library a scholar is poring over scratchy Michigan penmanship wondering what the hell the author of THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI was doing wasting his time with fan letters from nine-year olds. Please, God, don't letter there ever be a scholarly edition of Mr. B's correspondence. Anyway, the other day AMC ran the entire PoftheA marathon, but I was busy (reading!), so I didn't watch. Still, it reminded me that it'd been more than 30 years since I read this, so I went and dug it out. For Roddy McDowell fans, be prepared: this is not your father's Charleton Heston. Yes, there's Drs. Cornelius and Zira, and the stratified ape society, but there's no "get your stinking paws off of me, you damned dirty ape"---and no statue of liberty surprise ending (Pierre Boulle was French, remember). This is a fast-paced, literate satire that tweaks human vanity, science, classism, and Peter Tork---well, ok there's no Peter Tork. But he's about the only thing in 50s/60s society that doesn't get a ribbing. Fun stuff, inevitably tainted by boyhood nostalgia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    4.49 stars, so rounded down to 4. I would not have said this was a translation (not that I think my French is now good enough to read this in its native language) as it flowed so well. I have seen a number of film versions both old and new so knew roughly what to expect story wise, but I was not expecting the tenderness and emotion. You get odd hints through out that it is not a new book, it has Mid 20th century aspects, but despite this the SciFi is still good, as you would expect from the "Gol 4.49 stars, so rounded down to 4. I would not have said this was a translation (not that I think my French is now good enough to read this in its native language) as it flowed so well. I have seen a number of film versions both old and new so knew roughly what to expect story wise, but I was not expecting the tenderness and emotion. You get odd hints through out that it is not a new book, it has Mid 20th century aspects, but despite this the SciFi is still good, as you would expect from the "Golden Age". Allegorical certainly, but still an excellent book

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    The original Planet of the Apes novel is a seriously clunky story. It is bookended by a kooky couple in space who find a message in a bottle (view spoiler)[psst ... they turn out to be Chimps (hide spoiler)] , Ulysse Mérou stands in as a more pedantic Taylor who gets to knock up Nova before they with their child, and the Ape society is more developed, which makes it less effective in creating that Planet of the Apes vibe. If it weren't for the movie with i The original Planet of the Apes novel is a seriously clunky story. It is bookended by a kooky couple in space who find a message in a bottle (view spoiler)[psst ... they turn out to be Chimps (hide spoiler)] , Ulysse Mérou stands in as a more pedantic Taylor who gets to knock up Nova before they with their child, and the Ape society is more developed, which makes it less effective in creating that Planet of the Apes vibe. If it weren't for the movie with its killer Rod Serling script and the awesomeness of Charlton Heston (when he was the coolest Sci-Fi actor around), and all the sequels and TV shows and reboots that have followed, the original Planet of the Apes novel wouldn't deserve much in terms of goodreads stars. But all those movies did follow Pierre Boulle's book, and my unquenchable nostalgia for all things Ape will always elevate this in my estimation. That's just the kind of geek I am. My Planet of the Apes loving credentials: • own the box set of the original film series. • own Reality Bites just because of Ben Stiller's Planet of the Apes figures. • owned Planet of the Apes toys as a kid. • actively hunt down movie-tie-ins and any other Planet of the Apes books I can find. • have crappy old VHS tapes with about half of the TV episodes on them. • quote Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell on a regular basis, seamlessly. • played Planet of the Apes with my friend Dwayne instead of playing at Soldiers, and now I get to do it with my son and daughter. • I teach the film version of Planet of the Apes regularly, and I've even mixed it up a bit with Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. • tried to convince Erika to name Milos, Taylor Cornelius • AND I named my dog Zira. I'm probably forgetting some stuff, but that's a good list to start. I may add to my geek credentials as I remember them. And check out the geek credentials on Terence if you get a chance. Just look at his icon for the love of Caesar!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    “Planet of the Apes” is one of those books that’s hard to approach without bringing along the baggage of the original 60s film adaptation or the less-than-successful remake a few years ago. The original film is such a part of our pop-culture concsiousness that it’s almost impossible to separate it from what we have here. This is one of those books that is what it is–no more, no less. I could spend several paragraphs detailing the differences between the movie and the book, but that wo “Planet of the Apes” is one of those books that’s hard to approach without bringing along the baggage of the original 60s film adaptation or the less-than-successful remake a few years ago. The original film is such a part of our pop-culture concsiousness that it’s almost impossible to separate it from what we have here. This is one of those books that is what it is–no more, no less. I could spend several paragraphs detailing the differences between the movie and the book, but that would be kind of pointless and wouldn’t tell you much about the book as a whole. That said, Boulle’s original novel is a social satire, as advertises and it’s one of what I’d classify as a fairly light, “bubble-gum” sci-fi read. It has just enough in there to make you think while reading it, but it’s not going to stay with you long after you’ve finished the final pages. The thing is that not a lot of the characters have much depth. They’re all in here to be part of the satire of modern life and humanity’s relationship with each other and animals. For a satire that wants to point out how drawing distinctions based on external apperances isn’t a great thing, you’d think it would have a bit more depth to the characters. Add to that that the central narrator has a tendency to become a bit pompous in his relation of events and you’ve got a story that works, quite frankly, better as a movie than it does as a novel. I’d even go so far as to say that without the series of movies, this is one novel that would have faded in memory long ago, remembered by some who read it for a few of the twists in the final pages but not much more. It’s not to say I hated this novel. But it’s not to say I loved it or found it nearly as compelling as some of the mid-range works by Issac Asimov or Orson Scott Card.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    The original from which the done-to-death "Planet of the Apes" series originated. An enjoyable book about mankind on the wrong side of the bars in the zoo, with apes on the other side.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Amber

    Better than the movie but still a big no for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Iveta Marinopolska

    The whole time I was reading the book, I was thinking to myself: "Oh, I know how this is going to end." I was on the very last page, having a smug "yeah-I-knew-it-you-cannot-surprise-me" smirk on my face... Up until I read the last paragraph. Mind. BLOWN! Smooth move, Mr Boulle.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I read this years ago....about the time of the Heston film. I liked the opening and the little twist he (tried to) give it but all in all the book wasn't all that great I thought. By the way there are differences in the book and the movie, a surprise, right? I don't know what it is/was that left me cold on this one. I'd rate it 1.5 if could, but I can't and to rate it actually a 1 would rank it with some books I've found really detestable, so 2 even though I really am not t I read this years ago....about the time of the Heston film. I liked the opening and the little twist he (tried to) give it but all in all the book wasn't all that great I thought. By the way there are differences in the book and the movie, a surprise, right? I don't know what it is/was that left me cold on this one. I'd rate it 1.5 if could, but I can't and to rate it actually a 1 would rank it with some books I've found really detestable, so 2 even though I really am not that found of the book. In fact I suppose you could say overall, I disliked it. The idea was pretty good, an interesting concept. The set up wasn't bad, but the overall feel of the book and its predictability were just sad. (Actually, in more ways than one.) So, not as bad as some 1 stars I've read, but not so great either. Maybe you'll like more, to each their own as they say, but not for me. As to predictability, I mentioned the "twist" he tried for, but (if you've read it yet) were you really surprised?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten #EndGunViolence

    Interlibrary loan courtesy of the Everett Public Library, Everett, WA This is the book that launched the Planet of the Apes movies, television, etc. It inspired that incredible scene with Charlton Heston: "YOU DID IT! YOU FINALLY DID IT!" But this book rather than being a campy, dated 60s piece of sci-fi, is much more elegant than that. It is a cautionary tale and a criticism of how we treat our own world, our own society. I had read this once before, I think, just after hi Interlibrary loan courtesy of the Everett Public Library, Everett, WA This is the book that launched the Planet of the Apes movies, television, etc. It inspired that incredible scene with Charlton Heston: "YOU DID IT! YOU FINALLY DID IT!" But this book rather than being a campy, dated 60s piece of sci-fi, is much more elegant than that. It is a cautionary tale and a criticism of how we treat our own world, our own society. I had read this once before, I think, just after high school - I found a copy in the local library. (They must not have had it anymore, as I had to get this edition via interlibrary loan.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I'm quite familiar with the classic film adaptation of it, but this was my first time to read the original text, and I was delighted and fascinated by the differences between the two, small and large, from the introductory framing of the story (in the novel, as a space-faring couple's discovery of a "message in a bottle" floating through space) to the "big reveal" of its great twist. The dystopian elements of the tale are chilling and still quite timely. I partic I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I'm quite familiar with the classic film adaptation of it, but this was my first time to read the original text, and I was delighted and fascinated by the differences between the two, small and large, from the introductory framing of the story (in the novel, as a space-faring couple's discovery of a "message in a bottle" floating through space) to the "big reveal" of its great twist. The dystopian elements of the tale are chilling and still quite timely. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on the horrors of a so-called advanced species' choice to use another for scientific experimentation and the swiftness with which humans (as individuals or as a group) may devolve into brutes. The relationship between the human Ulysse and his keeper/savior/patron, the chimpanzee Zira, is particularly well drawn, as are the divisions and political posturing within the monkeys' society. A few small notes struck me as false -- I found the use of suddenly-tapped atavistic memory as a plot device to be rather weak, not to mention jarring -- but on the whole this hit far more often than it missed. The questions it raises about the arbitrary and often unthinking power humans exert over other creatures are lasting and important, and I appreciate how Boulle puts us, as it were, in our place. I'm glad I read this. It deserves its respected position in genre history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Francisco

    The movie was good, but this book was fantastic. Although I liked that in the movie the astronauts went through a time warp and landed in the Earth of the future instead of two different planets light years away, but developing the same evolution of the species.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    I hate hate HATE epistolary novels. I hate sexist books. I hate books that don't follow their own internal logic/ rules. I hate this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The ultimate Sci-Fi classic that started it all - I am pleased to say - totally holds up to its former glory! First of all, I was shocked to find that after calling/visiting five - YES FIVE - independent bookstores in Boston, NONE of them carried this book. Really? I mean, really??! I finally had to resort to ordering it on amazon (YUCK) - a COMPLETE last resort. Anyways, I am still completely befuddled as to why this is not more widely available and read as I feel it is just as impor The ultimate Sci-Fi classic that started it all - I am pleased to say - totally holds up to its former glory! First of all, I was shocked to find that after calling/visiting five - YES FIVE - independent bookstores in Boston, NONE of them carried this book. Really? I mean, really??! I finally had to resort to ordering it on amazon (YUCK) - a COMPLETE last resort. Anyways, I am still completely befuddled as to why this is not more widely available and read as I feel it is just as important as SF staples like Fahrenheit 451 and Stranger in a Strange Land. It makes no sense, whatsoever. But onto the good stuff! I tore through this in a matter of 2 days and loved every minute! All I knew about this story was that it took place on another planet and there was a great twist ending. So, I started with a pretty clean slate (I have never seen the movie, for instance). There were fantastic and extremely "discussable" (yep, I made that word up) themes in this book regarding human nature, evolution, fear of the unknown, and the morality of experimentation. It reads much like the adventure novels of Jules Verne and was very fast paced. I was totally enraptured from start to finish. Period. Everyone MUST read this SF classic, as it is now one of my favorites!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    The primary interest for me in this book was how so very different it was from either Heston's or Wahlberg's cinematic versions. Uncharacteristically for me, the 1968 movie version is the best of the three (usually the book wins hands down).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    The book is similar to the film series in certain ways, but different enough to provide a new approach to the main subject. The story is told as being in a manuscript found by space travellers, so much of the story is told in narrative rather than dialogue. (It took me awhile to get used to this writing style.) The ending is very different from the film. The book seems to emphasize the theme of evolution, while the film focuses more on time travel. I liked the book, but I like the film series mo The book is similar to the film series in certain ways, but different enough to provide a new approach to the main subject. The story is told as being in a manuscript found by space travellers, so much of the story is told in narrative rather than dialogue. (It took me awhile to get used to this writing style.) The ending is very different from the film. The book seems to emphasize the theme of evolution, while the film focuses more on time travel. I liked the book, but I like the film series more. An interesting read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patrick St-Amand

    Very much enjoyed this book though the cover GR has is irrelevant to the original story and is from the movie. I enjoyed the double twist endings as well as the characterization of the protagonist who at times borders in egotistical. Very cautionary tales in regards to race and inequality. I'll seek out more of Boulle's books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gözde Benli

    Şahane!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zora

    French feminism didn't happen any too soon, apparently. This book doesn't age well at all. It also grinds axes against hunters and animal researchers, and if you are either, you'll probably want to skip it to moderate your blood pressure. Mostly, though, the treatment of women is just not to be believed. Gah! Also, there were some weird translation choices, where I could imagine what the French word had been and could think of a much better English word than the one the translator cho French feminism didn't happen any too soon, apparently. This book doesn't age well at all. It also grinds axes against hunters and animal researchers, and if you are either, you'll probably want to skip it to moderate your blood pressure. Mostly, though, the treatment of women is just not to be believed. Gah! Also, there were some weird translation choices, where I could imagine what the French word had been and could think of a much better English word than the one the translator chose. "Monkeys," "diving suits" and many other terms pulled me out of the story. I also didn't believe in the main character, a journalist who on a whim, and despite understanding time dilation effects of NAFAL travel, hops on a spaceship that will put him 800 years out of time when he returns to Earth (that's not how it ends up, of course, but that's what he thinks is going to happen.) Instead of adapting to this vastly different world, he remains bullheaded and pushy and arrogant. (And they say "ugly Americans?" This character has that act down perfectly.) The space mission had one of the world's great thinkers along who didn't immediately think parallel evolution was impossible? The anthropology is the worst of the sciences (the narrator thinks certain gestures are going to be universal, for instance, when they aren't even on Earth, and he keep pushing the native humans to adapt to his gestures rather than adapting to theirs), but the astronomy isn't always good, either. Chandrasekhar and Hoyle and Wilson had all published, so any half-witted astronomer, much less the great one planning the fictional mission, would have known that to travel to an unstable red giant star would have been dangerous and certainly wouldn't be visiting a star where planets still had life, if indeed they had survived the expansion of the star at all. So the author wasn't up on the stellar life cycle for his day, even, and from modern perspective, this too suffers. By half way through I was on the side of the intelligent apes. I wanted to stick the narrator in a cage and prod him with some sticks, too. And what the heck is the frame device about, with the ape couple on vacation (good goddess, sexism there too) reading the diary? Was that necessary? Can you tell I didn't like this? I didn't like this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tressa

    I'm a big fan of the Planet of the Apes TV/movie franchise, but had never read the book. It is more simplistic than I thought it would be, and at times humorous when it's not supposed to be, but as it progresses the story takes a more philosophical turn and many episodes of captivity and experimentation on the humans make us ponder the morality of the way animals are treated in our culture. This is the only Apes book written by Boulle, but I am going to start collecting the other books in the se I'm a big fan of the Planet of the Apes TV/movie franchise, but had never read the book. It is more simplistic than I thought it would be, and at times humorous when it's not supposed to be, but as it progresses the story takes a more philosophical turn and many episodes of captivity and experimentation on the humans make us ponder the morality of the way animals are treated in our culture. This is the only Apes book written by Boulle, but I am going to start collecting the other books in the series because I think it's an interesting concept and I want to see how the story plays out. If readers want to read another book about animal ethics, read Meat. There's a whole lot more to ponder in this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Corrie

    It's a quick and easy read and quite the ripping yarn. Our human hero, Ulysse, is an appealing and compassionate intellectual, no "damn dirty apes" outcries here. Our chimp protangonists, Zira and Cornelious, are good natured but not hopelessly romantacized "good guys". They are only human after all... you know what I mean. Aspects of the book show up in the assorted movies but no theatrical version stays true to the intentions of the book which questions our ideas of intelligence and creativity It's a quick and easy read and quite the ripping yarn. Our human hero, Ulysse, is an appealing and compassionate intellectual, no "damn dirty apes" outcries here. Our chimp protangonists, Zira and Cornelious, are good natured but not hopelessly romantacized "good guys". They are only human after all... you know what I mean. Aspects of the book show up in the assorted movies but no theatrical version stays true to the intentions of the book which questions our ideas of intelligence and creativity. It is not the Ape revolution we need to fear, it's our own complacency and mental stagnation. Read this book. Then read another one. I for one, enjoy being the dominant species on Earth and hope that the video of a monkey washing a cat never ceases to be hilarious!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecka

    I really had no idea Planet of the Apes was originally a French book, and I just found this audiobook on Audible (whose French selection of titles is really sad and pathetic, but if anyone has any recommendations I'm really all ears) because I wanted another book narrated by Bernard Gabay. I'm glad I chose it though, it was very easy to listen to, interesting and engaging enough for me to not start thinking about other things, and quite quickly paced. Of course, this book must have be I really had no idea Planet of the Apes was originally a French book, and I just found this audiobook on Audible (whose French selection of titles is really sad and pathetic, but if anyone has any recommendations I'm really all ears) because I wanted another book narrated by Bernard Gabay. I'm glad I chose it though, it was very easy to listen to, interesting and engaging enough for me to not start thinking about other things, and quite quickly paced. Of course, this book must have been so much more awesome to read when it was first written. Today it's mostly cute, a bit sad, and cute again. Still, it shouldn't be forgotten quite yet. 3,5 stars. 5 stars for Bernard Gabay.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rottgrl88

    This wasn't a book for me. In a world where apes rule and humans run wild; basically the roles are reversed in this society, I just couldn't jump on board with this. The story telling wasn't my cup of tea and the world building of basically an apocalyptic society wasn't something I gravitate towards. Now granted I can understand why this would appeal to some but this was way too much Science Fiction for me. It was slow paced and the plot was not believable (even for Science Fiction). I am surpri This wasn't a book for me. In a world where apes rule and humans run wild; basically the roles are reversed in this society, I just couldn't jump on board with this. The story telling wasn't my cup of tea and the world building of basically an apocalyptic society wasn't something I gravitate towards. Now granted I can understand why this would appeal to some but this was way too much Science Fiction for me. It was slow paced and the plot was not believable (even for Science Fiction). I am surprised that I finished this.

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