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Planet of the Apes (BBC Audiobooks) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Pierre Boulle , Greg Wise
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2012 BBC Audiobooks
Greg Wise reads Pierre Boulle's chilling, iconic novel about a nightmare world where apes rule over men. In a spaceship that can travel at the speed of light, Ulysse, a journalist, sets off from Earth for the nearest solar system. He finds there a planet which resembles his own, except that on Soror humans behave like animals and are hunted by a civilised race of primates. Captured and sent to a research facility, Ulysse must convince the apes of their mutual origins. But such revelations have always been greeted by prejudice and fear...The inspiration for several acclaimed cult films, "Planet of the Apes" is both a gripping, disturbing fable and a classic of science fiction.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: AudioGO (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781445846798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445846798
  • ASIN: 1445846799
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 14.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A scintillating mix of sci-fi adventure and allegory" (Los Angeles Times)

"In 1963, at the most glacial moment of the Cold War, Frenchman Pierre Boulle wrote a novel called Planet Of The Apes - a drastic warning about where mankind's apparent desire to destroy itself might lead" (The Mirror)

"Boulle called on his own experiences as a prisoner of war in South-east Asia during the Second World War, using the relationship between man and apes as a metaphor for the treatment handed out to prisoners by brutish Japanese guards" (Daily Express)

"It's like a good myth or fairy-tale that stays with you... Part of the strength of this material is its disruptive, questioning nature. Who came first? Where are we going?" (Tim Burton)

"The subtext is strongly anti-slavery, anti-racist and anti-war" (Observer) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A chilling dystopian vision of the ultimate role reversal, a cult hit since the 1960s --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Jinn and Phyllis were spending a wonderful holiday, in space, as far away as possible from the inhabited stars. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful and Strange Journey 18 Oct 2001
Planet of the Apes has written it's golden name in history thanks to the excellent film that was made in 1968. Nevertheless, the original novel is a little gem that has high value by itself.
Pierre Boulle wrote this book more as a fable than a Science Fiction novel. He wanted to comment on many aspects of society's present (and possible future) by constructing an upside-down world.
Thus, while Planet of the Apes is very original and amusing, it is mostly an intense social essay full of wit. It is a novel to make you think while you are being entertained. What else could we ask for?.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length: 3:49 Mins
First published back in 1963 as the novel 'La Planète Des Singes' by French author Pierre Boulle (translated as 'Monkey Planet' in the UK and 'Planet Of The Apes' in the US), the 'Planet Of The Apes' tale has since become a highly revered science fiction story, with the basic premise (and subsequent franchise) adapted numerous times over the years for tv, film, audio and comic books.

Here we have the original novel read in its full and unabridged format by the highly revered audio reader Greg Wise which is presented in a six CD set by the BBC. The audiobook was first released in March of 2012.

DLS Synopsis:
It is the distant future and Jinn and Phyllis are out in space on a pleasure cruise when they come across a 'message in a bottle', floating through the endless void of space. The couple bring the bottle and its contents on board their spacecraft and start to read the contents. The message enclosed is a fantastical story that is far beyond the capability of belief...

After the aging scientist Professor Antelle's ground-breaking spacecraft has finally been realised, together with his friend Ulysse Mérou, the physicist Arthur Levain and their chimpanzee, Hector, the trio and monkey leave the relative comfort of Earth in the year of 2500 and take to the star system that houses the red sun Betelgeuse where the professor believes there is the possibility that life could be sustained. With the ship travelling at just under the speed of light, and because of time dilation, the crew will travel for a around two years, whereas the time that passes back on Earth during this period of travel is in fact close to 350 years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the films 28 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very different from the film (s) - and far superior. Read it years and years ago so it was nice to re-read it recently (after seeing the recent Tim Burton film based on the themes of the book) and it was just as magical as I remembered it. The Monkey Planet is a totally recommended book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars better than the movie! 28 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this. The language is a little old-fashioned feeling but the story is fantastic and so much richer and more inventive - thought provoking? - than the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Admit it. Like me, you thought this was just a film. I was surprised to see this on the library shelf, and had to try it. A French book made into a money-making American film.

Unfortunately for us, if you've seen the film there are certain elements and twists that may not shock as it would have the first readers of this book. If you've not seen the film you won't hear them from me.

But this is gripping stuff: three men (one a journalist, the others a scientist and his protege) travel through space on a long mission to Betelgeuse seeking out worlds different to our own on which life has developed. And boy, is this one different. Man and apes have developed at different speeds to those on Earth. With the apes having the evolutionary advantages, our protagonist is captured and taken for scientific study to a laboratory.

Like books that swap roles to make points and shock (Blonde Roots for slavery, Noughts and Crosses for racism), Planet of the Apes makes its points well, and despite being a translation is very eloquent and emotive.

It's also a great book for 'mulling over', great for a book group or for anyone on their own to ponder. Ulysse (our journalist) develops feelings for a local woman (devoid of speech and logical thought), has to decide where his loyalties lie, has to look at his new society with the experience of his old.

The bookends of the book (a couple finding Ulysse's transcript while travelling through space) are brilliantly used, hammering home the story in a brief episode you've all but forgotten about by the close.

Wonderful short book that I wish was better known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Reading of a True Classic 24 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I grew up with the "Planet of the Apes" films and had long ago heard that the films were really only loosely based on the original novel by Pierre Bollie. Finally AUDIOGO have presented us with a wonderful unabridged reading of the classic performed by Greg Wise (one of my favourite audiobook narrators). The novel is read at a wonderfully involving pace spread across 6 disc.
If you have never encountered the original novel, this is certainly a wonderful and easy way to get familiar with the story that spawned one of the most memorable sci-fi film franchises in history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Provocative 5 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's a great moment in this where the hero, Ulysse, boards a plane and notices that it will be piloted by an ape and doesn't panic because he is becoming used to his new world and its norms. It reminded me a great deal of the moment in Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom" where he boards a plane that has a black pilot and he undergoes a moment of panic before catching himself.

Planet of the Apes is a thoughtful exploration of racism, seen through a mirror world where the apes became self conscious and intellectual, while the humans became beasts of the forests (although there is more to it than that). From this simple (though brilliant) idea, human, earth-bound racism is thoroughly dissected and analysed. I won't spoil the outcome for those who haven't read it, but the depressing stupidity and casual addiction to violence of those in power won't come as much of a surprise to any human or ape listeners.

Although much more grown up and intellectual than the movies it spawned (imagine an alien world as a bit like fusty provincial France in the 1950s, an idea of some subtlety when exploring alienation and oppression) there are moments of almost adolescent pomposity and silliness. Ulysse frequently talks about himself as possessor of the noble essence in a way that might have made Adrian Mole proud. The apes, ultimately, are presented as imitators, without the human flair for innovation - an assumption that really shouldn't go unchallenged if we are to read the apes as "the non-whites" of their planet. Science and research are Ulysses' gods in a way that is quite nineteenth century and was outdated even when the book was published. Echoes of the white man going to sort out the natives with his superior knowledge bounce around the story uneasily and are never quite resolved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible
I never thought I'd say this but the movie is better. MUCH better. This book was embarrassingly bad. It's supposed to be an allegory but of what I'm not sure. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Derick Parsons
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating sci-fi parable
Stuffed full of symbolism, and a touch of sexism, a well written and easy to read classic. Forget what you think you know from the movies and enjoy it for what it is. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Omega Red
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This really is an excellent read; I could not put it down. A good expose of the social dynamics of the early 60s, and arguably of today.
Published 16 days ago by kindle_crazy
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth going back to the original
The themes of original Boulle novel still resonate in 2014. The steady cerebral demise, and inability of the human to focus and pay attention leave the door open for our simian... Read more
Published 24 days ago by JRN
5.0 out of 5 stars Strap yourself in
What can I say, this guy is a modern day Jules Verne. This is story telling at it's absolute best. let your mind go, and enjoy the ride. A truly fantastic adventure.
Published 29 days ago by mark andrew hallford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Better than the movie
Had more depth than the movie. I liked the background of it more. I had no idea that a book was written before the movie. Good light sci fi story.
Published 2 months ago by Ron
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best
This is the first book that I have ever read on my Kindle,and I think that I made the perfect choice for a starting point. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Douglas Badger
3.0 out of 5 stars Memorable
I have lost count how many times I have watched the film 'Planet of the Apes', the original 1968 film and I always wanted to read the book and I was pleased to see it was released... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paula Mc
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the films this is far better, an under read masterpiece of...
It is surprising in that this is far superior to the films, both the Charlton Heston original & the later re-imagining. Read more
Published 6 months ago by GJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this!
This is the original story, that inspired the original movies!
What a book, it's incredible, well worth a read.
Published 6 months ago by S. Beckett
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