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Planet of the Apes (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 May 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099529041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099529040
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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)

Book Description

A chilling dystopian vision of the ultimate role reversal, a cult hit since the 1960s

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's been a common complaint throughout most of the past century that `the movie isn't as good as the book,' but Pierre Boulle's Monkey Planet - to give it its original title - is something of an exception in that it's an example of a book that was greatly improved by the film. It's a brilliant idea, casting a human astronaut into the future and stranding him on a planet where apes are the dominant species rather than men, but the impression the at times quite radically different 1968 version left was so strong that the novel seems underwhelming by comparison. It's certainly a very different kind of beast, framed by a pair of solar sailors discovering a message in a bottle floating in space from a French journalist relating how he found himself on the alien planet Soror where humans are animalistic savages and apes live in a modern technologically advanced world much like our own with only minor simian-compatible adjustments. Adopted and regarded as something of a celebrity for his ability to mimic apelike behaviour and intelligence, he eventually becomes a threat to the society that was originally bemused by him, threatening their almost divine belief in their own innate superiority...

Although many of the key plot developments of the film are present, Boulle's treatment of them is very different, the novel at times more akin to a science fiction version of the Brobdingnagian section of Gulliver's Travels. The writing is at times rather on the nose, with the twist in the framing device rather obvious long before it is revealed, and while there is neat twist to the traveller's journey that doesn't involve any statues, you do come away feeling that the author never quite makes as much of the story's possibilities as he could.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Planet of the Apes (BBC Audiobooks) by Pierre Boulle
Unabridged and complete story running 7 hours

Very well read by Greg Wise**, this chilling novel captures the gripping and disturbing world where apes rule and humans behave like animals.

Having only ever seen the films, the book goes much deeper and explains in infinite detail the `role reversal' of man and monkeys. The humans are portrayed in the book as a lot more `animal like' than in the films and the hierarchy of the monkeys was fascinating comparison to our own class system.

The first encounter with the monkeys was a hunting scene which was alarming and replicated our fox hunting. If ever anyone wondered what it may feel like for the fox - read or listen to this!!

There was also a frightening insight into a world of role reversal when the monkeys used the humans for medical experimentation. Again, if anyone ever wondered about this, read or listen to this story!!

Very chilling and thought provoking.

Highly recommended, and a well deserved 5 stars

** I have often heard the line "...anyone could read a book out loud and make money from it...." - Listen to this story - this is how a very good reader does it, I certainly could not do as good a job and make the listener believe what they're hearing!
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