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Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
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Planet of the Apes (original 1963; edition 1963)

by Pierre Boulle

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1,691484,222 (3.74)71
Member:jeffza
Title:Planet of the Apes
Authors:Pierre Boulle
Info:Del Rey (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:science fiction

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Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (1963)

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English (40)  French (4)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (48)
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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. ( )
  Unkletom | Sep 23, 2016 |
I really liked the ending. ( )
  BellaStormborn | Aug 1, 2016 |
Really good book! Can't believe it's taken me this long to look the book up and read it. Much better than either movies - definitely recommended. ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
Read in french; interesting question about how we treat animals ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Bought the paperback when I was a boy after seeing the original movie; it's a very different story with not one but two surprise endings. Replaced with this nice hardcover. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pierre Boulleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fielding, XanTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dehn, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jinn et Phyllis passaient des vacannces merveilleuses, dand l'espace; le plus loin possibles des astres habités. -

Jin and Phyllis were spending a wonderful holiday, in space, as far away as possible from the inhabited stars.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345447980, Mass Market Paperback)

If you've seen the progressively cheesier Planet of the Apes movies of 1968-1973, you may be shocked to learn the first movie was adapted from an intelligent, ironic, and literate novel. You'll be less surprised when you learn the original novel Planet of the Apes was written by Pierre Boulle, author of The Bridge over the River Kwai.

In the novel Planet of the Apes, the three Frenchmen making the first interstellar journey discover a remarkably Earth-like world orbiting Betelgeuse--Earth-like, with one crucial difference: The humans are dumb beasts, and the apes are intelligent. Captured during a terrifying manhunt, locked in a cage, and ignorant of the simian language, Ulysse Merou struggles to convince the apes that he possesses intelligence and reason. But if he proves he is not an animal, he may seal his own doom.

Like the first movie, the novel Planet of the Apes has a twist ending, but a twist of a different--yet equally shocking--sort. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:13 -0400)

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Three astronauts land on an planet very much like Earth, except that here apes rule over humans.

(summary from another edition)

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