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Planet of the Apes

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  19,793 ratings  ·  646 reviews
Pierre Boulle's classic satirical tale has become one of the most renowned works of science fiction--a book that has not only become an international bestseller but was also the basis for the phenomenally successful Planet of the Apes movies. A harrowing, hypnotic novel.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 1971 by Signet (first published 1963)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 08, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Sci-Fi)
Shelves: 501, sci-fi, with-movie
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 revie
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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)
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Becky
Aug 15, 2009 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Becky by: Kandice Zelaskowski
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 th
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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), 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 aweso
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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 ...more
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
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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 would be kind
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Yann
Je n’avais pas plus de dix ans quand j’ai lu mon dernier livre de science fiction, Niourk, de Stefen Wul, une histoire post apocalyptique en Amérique du nord. Et puis plus rien, depuis vingt-cinq ans, par manque d’intérêt, jusqu’à cette Planète des Singes, sur une suggestion d'une camarade de goodreads. L’auteur, Pierre Boulle(1912-1994), est un français qui a passé une partie de sa jeunesse en Asie, et s’est battu contre l’armée impériale japonaise lors de la dernière guerre, avant de se faire ...more
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 chim
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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.
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 important as SF s
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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 chose. "Monkeys
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Tiffany
I really couldn't get over the sexism in this book. Every human female character is weak and repressed. Their purpose in the novel is obviously to be an object for men. I cringed every time the author paused to describe Nova's anatomy, which he did quite often because Nova conveniently was mute and nude and had the loyalty of a dog. Sounds like nearly every man's fantasy: a beautiful naked woman who is silent and obedient. It repulsed me.
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 ...more
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).
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.
Tariq Alferis
.رواية كابوسية، مخيفة، من روائع أدب الخيال العلمي، تطرح مأساة الجنس البشري، تنقلب الحياة ، ويُصبح القرد هو السيد وعبيده من البشر،نتيجة أخطاء الإنسان وحده، الرواية تطرح سؤال ..ماذا لو ان القرد هو الذي تطور وجعلته الطفرات الكائن الذكي والوحيد على كوكب الأرض ؟ والانسان تخلف في تطوره فهو في الرواية غير قابل على التكلم والتواصل باللغة او حتى الاشارات، كوكوب القردة رواية الفرنسي بيبير يوليه اول من وضع الحجر الأساس او الثورة الأفلام المقتبسة عبر تاريخ هوليود، الفِلم الاول "كوكب القردة" انتج عام 1968 من ...more
Corrie
Jun 26, 2008 Corrie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
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 ...more
Mohamed Osman
إذا قيمت الرواية حقيقة فهي لا تستحق 5 نجوم ولكني سأعطيها الخمسة نجوم غلاسة :D :P
بالطبع لا يوجد داعي لحديث عن الرواية فهي اشهر من نار عن علم ولكن كما هو مكتوب
Before you see the movie, read the original novel!
إذا لم تستطع العثور علي نسخة أو تكره قراءة الكمبيوتر عندئد استمتع بمشاهدة الفيلم فهو علامة من العلامات في عالم الخيال العلمي :)
Oscar Torrado
Lo que es interesante de este libro es que a pesar de que en cierta parte (más o menos en la primera mitad, y algunos detalles de la segunda) es lo que se vio en la adaptación de 1968, pero justo ahí el libro toma un giro bastante interesante al profundizar mucho más en las diferentes razas de simios que componen el planeta y la manera en como esta dividida la sociedad, también hay mucha más profundización en el tema de los experimentos de los simios hacia a los humanos, narrados de una manera m ...more
Natt Cham
ยอดเยียมอยางบอกไมถูก ปิแอร สรางสรรคเรืองคลาสสิคเรืองนีออกมาไดอยางนาตะลึงพรึงเพริด คงไมมีใครปฏิเสธในเรืองนีไดจากผลงานทีถูกดัดแปลงและสรางสรรคตออยางมากมายทีเราไดรับรู

แมจะรูเรืองนีมาแลว แตกระนันหนังสือเลมนียังนาทึงชวนอานอยางหยุดไมอยูเลยทีเดียว
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Hoda
خمس نجوم دون تردد
ممتعة ﻷقصى حد
ترجمة جيدة
إستمتعت بها جدا
Leslie
Astonishing, isn't it? To see me reading sci-fi? This is more speculative fiction actually. It all started a few weeks ago when I discovered a box set of the Planet of the Apes movies. I watched them all and then, as is usual for me, followed them up with the commentaries. There I learned that the original idea for the movies was from a 1960's book written by a Frenchman, Pierre Boulle. I was intrigued. I found a lovely copy online and plunged.
Of course it was different from the movie in some
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Ensiform
An astronaut --- a Frenchman named Ulysse Merou, it turns out, not Charleton Heston --- is marooned on a planet where the humans are mute animals, and the apes have evolved into a sentient and verbal race. Ulysse’s appearance, of course, threatens to overturn the conservative, orangutan-dictated dogmatic order of things: what secret origins lie buried in the past of this planet? Well, it’s not quite the classic film’s twist ending, but as I now see, the remake was fairly faithful to the original ...more
Henry Avila
A couple Jinn and Phyllis, while taking a soothing vacation in Space , in the year A.D. 2500 , come upon an object outside their spaceship.Curious the pair retreats it.A message in a bottle is found! The manuscript is in the language of Earth,French !Jinn having been educated there, can read the papers.Written by Ulysse Merou and telling of an expedition from our world to the giant star Betelgeuse, 300 light years from Earth.The object is to explore planets suspected of orbiting that star.Along ...more
Robert Greenberger
I have been meaning to read the one that started it all, the 1963 novel by Pierre Boulle. Maybe it was the English translation or the era it was written in but it is a curiously flat and under-developed book. There is little in the way of character development among human or ape and there is just enough world building go move the story forward. This is one of those rare cases where I truly believe the movie is superior to the book. I will have more to say about this in another venue later this y ...more
Max Ostrovsky
I was VERY surprised with how much I enjoyed reading this book. This is one of those pulp books that you can't put down that is a bit subversive. While the satirical aspects are obvious (or maybe not), it doesn't interfere with the story/plot or the enjoyment. It doesn't hit you over the head with the satire; just enough to let you know it is there.
In comparison with the classic movie, it's got the same title, some of the same characters (some not, some different, etc), and a surprise ending. I
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Richard Shepard
Having seen the Charleton Heston movie version several times, I was happy to find an original hardcover copy of this book at a local thrift shop recently. I could not pass up the opportunity to read it. I had heard that the movie did not follow the book, and while that is true I think they were both well done. The book and movie vary in several details and the endings are different, albeit each kind of shocking in its own way.

The book is more descriptive of nature of the human condition on the p
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Abd El Wadoud
الرواية كانت رائعةً و ممتعةً بدرجة كبيرة جدًا، حيث تناولت الإنحدار و التطور و انعكاساتهما على البشرية، التي بلغت بها الخطايا و الكسل إلى ترك بشريتها و تطورها، و الإنحدار إلى الطبيعة الحيوانية، تاركةً مصيرها بيد مجموعة من القردة التي بحثت عن التطور و التحضر، حتى فاقت البشر مكانةً و أصبح القيادة بيدها

حملت الرواية العديد من المشاهد الجميلة التي بقت عالقةً في الذهن مثل المقارنات التي قام بها ميرو بين البشر و القردة بينما هو سطح الطائرة، و محاولاته المستميتة أظهار ذكائه في مركز الأبحاث و غيرها

تعتبر ا
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Bogdan
For me, this is one of the rare cases when I read the book after I saw the movie. My general opinion is that movies made after books are never as good as their books, and "Planet of the Apes" is not an exception. Although the movie was pretty good, it distorted very much the original narration of the novel. Basically it retained the main idea but added several elements not encountered in the novel. I believe that if it had kept the original line of the book it would have been a better movie.
My c
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Let's Read Togeth...: Ep. 9 - Planet of the Apes with Bob Hansen 1 2 Aug 19, 2014 05:30AM  
Book and Movie, lets talk about both....*Spoilers* 7 82 Apr 16, 2013 01:13PM  
  • Alien
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes
  • Make Room! Make Room!
  • Donovan's Brain
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in His Adventure on Earth
  • Total Recall
  • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
  • Who Goes There? and Other Stories
  • Hothouse
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Logan's Run (Logan, #1)
  • Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #1)
  • The Matrix
  • Le Déchronologue
  • Malevil
  • The Black Cloud
  • Of Men and Monsters
3400721
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Pierre Boulle (20 February 1912 – 30 January 1994) was a French novelist best known for two works, The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963) that were both made into award-winning films.

Boulle was an engineer serving as a secret agent with the Free French in Singapore, when he was captu
...more
More about Pierre Boulle...
The Bridge Over the River Kwai Garden on the Moon Time Out of Mind E = mc2, Histoires charitables, Contes de l'absurde, Quia absurdum L'archéologue et le mystère de Néfertiti

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“But once an original book has been written-and no more than one or two appear in a century-men of letters imitate it, in other words, they copy it so that hundreds of thousands of books are published on exactly the same theme, with slightly different titles and modified phraseology. This should be able to be achieved by apes, who are essentially imitators, provided, of course, that they are able to make use of language.” 16 likes
“I racked my brains to discover some sense in the events I had witnessed. I needed this intellectual exercise to escape from the despair that haunted me, to prove to myself that I was a man, I mean a man from Earth, a reasoning creature who made it a habit to discover a logical explanation for the apparently miraculous whims of nature, and not a beast hunted down by highly developed apes.” 6 likes
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