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

4.3 out of 5 stars 96 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 (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pierre Boulle really gave us a great tale when he wrote this, and it led to films and a TV series as well as other merchandise. I will also admit that this novel is a personal favourite of mine. Starting and ending with a couple in their space yacht the main body of this tale is made up of what they find when they retrieve a message in a bottle in space.

Thus we read of the narration given us by Ulysse Mérou, who a French journalist goes with two others on a voyage through space to Betelgeuse in the year 2500. When they land on a planet they call Soror at first the only person they see is a young, nubile and naked lady. But as they are about to find out, they haven’t landed on some paradise as the grim reality sets in and they find the whole planet ruled by apes. You have gorillas, orang-utans and chimpanzees as the rulers, each with their own distinctions and working in some ways in different type castes. It seems that at one time they had race wars but have settled down into a more peaceful coexistence.

When the three space travellers come into contact with the apes it is due to the people they are staying with being captured. To these three men the humanoids that they have come across seem very primitive, do not have even fire and cannot speak. As Ulysse discovers, for the apes of the world humans are ideal for experimentation, and so vivisection and all the types of research that we have done into apes and other creatures are being done to us.

A piece of speculative fiction this is also a blistering satire and you cannot help but laugh out loud when Ulysse ponders on the fact that if an ape could talk it could give the same boring rhetoric of your average politician.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many I have seen the original movies, as well as the more contemporary remakes, but never had I read the original book. Until now. The original book is similar to the original movie, but also vary different, almost like a new untold story. The are some big differences, such as taking place on a different planet, rather than a futuristic Earth, and the apes do not speak English but their own language, "Simian", which our hero has to learn. There are some interesting events, some in the original movie, some not. And there are a couple of interesting twists at the end, which I was not expecting. An enjoyable book that I would recommend to fans of the original movies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 in the kindle edition.

The film is similar to the book in different parts, in the book, the main character is called 'Ulysse' and the rest of the spaceship crew have different names, the rest of the characters have the same names in the book and film.

As much as I liked and enjoyed the book, I enjoy the film more, the book has many themes throughout, identity, society and how a individual sees the world which was great to read, the only negative aspect to the book was Ulysse, at times he seem very ignorant despite his constant reminder to himself that he was more intelligent and better than the ape society.

The ending is predicable and I am glad I read it because when all is said and done Pierre Boulle creating this world that eventually became a memorable film.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
NB: As is their whim, Amazon have unhelpfully lumped together reviews for various different formats. This review is for the AudioGo unabridged audiobook.

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.
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