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Planet of the Apes

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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  25,843 Ratings  ·  985 Reviews
Before you see the movie, read the original novel!

First published more than thirty-five years ago, Pierre Boulle's chilling novel launched one of the greatest science fiction sagas in motion picture history, from the classic 1968 movie starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, through four sequels and two television series . . . and now the newest film adaptation direc
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 1971 by Signet (first published 1963)
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Lyn
May 26, 2014 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 06, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  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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Vitor Martins
Esse livro é legal demais!
Uma história rápida e muito gostosa de ler que, como toda ficção científica boa, faz a gente pensar o tempo inteiro no que tá acontecendo no nosso mundinho aqui, onde ainda não temos naves espaciais populares e viagens intergalácticas incríveis.

O livro se apega muito pouco na parte científica e não explica quase nada. E eu AMO quando isso acontece, porque sobre muito mais tempo para conhecer os personagens e seus conflitos. E eu prefiro conflitos do que descrição de pe
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Doğan
Jun 16, 2016 Doğan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitabın bir çok filmi çekilmiş olduğu için konusunu neredeyse bilmeyen yoktur. 2001 yılı yapımı olan Maymunlar Gezegenini izlemiştim ve şaşırtıcı bir sonla karşılaşacağımı biliyordum. Ancak kitap bir darbeyle yetinmemiş ve ikinci darbeyi vurmuş. Kitabın sonu adamın beynini yakıyor, hemde iki kere... Okuduktan sonra keşke filmini izlemeseydim beynim daha güzel yansaydı demedim değil. :) Sonuç olarak ters-psikoloji ile yazılmış, insana bazı şeyleri sorgulatan tam bir baş yapıt okudum. Şiddetle tav ...more
Becky
Aug 01, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it
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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Melki
May 12, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"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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Tom Mathews
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 sci ...more
Kirk
Jan 03, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it
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
Joana - Ler Com Lobos
Jun 03, 2017 Joana - Ler Com Lobos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frança
Muito bom ter trazido este livro da biblioteca em vez de o comprar como era para ter feito há uns tempos porque, agora que li, não sinto necessidade de o ter na estante.
A forma como começa e termina para mim foi espectacular (a parte do casal na nave) mas a aventura do protagonista em si pareceu-me muito apressada e fácil demais...
Contudo não foi por isso que deixou de ser interessante do principio ao fim!
Acabam por surgir excelentes questões relacionadas com o que é, afinal, ser-se humano.
Com a
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Brad
Aug 18, 2011 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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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Adrian
4.49 stars, so rounded down to 4. I would not have said this was a translation (not that I think my French is now good enough to read this in its native language) as it flowed so well.
I have seen a number of film versions both old and new so knew roughly what to expect story wise, but I was not expecting the tenderness and emotion. You get odd hints through out that it is not a new book, it has Mid 20th century aspects, but despite this the SciFi is still good, as you would expect from the "Gol
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Tiffany
Feb 07, 2012 Tiffany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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.
Yann
Aug 20, 2014 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yann by: Book Portrait
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
منى سلامة
الرواية تم تجسيدها في فيلم بعنوان planet of the apes
الرواية تطرح فرضية ماذا لو استُبدل الإنسان على الكوكب بكائنات أخرى عاقلة .. تسيطر عليه وتُخضعه لمشيئتها .. إذ أن تبادل الأدوار قد يتيح لنا رؤية الحياة بمنظور مختلف

الصحفي "أوليس ميرو" رافق الشاب "آرثر لوفان" و العالم البروفيسور "أنتل" في رحلة فضائية تستغرق عامين .. سنة ذهابًا وأخرى إيابًا لرؤية النجم "منكب الجوزاء" .. فحطت سفينتهم فوقه ليجدوا كوكب أسموه "سورور"
كان ينتظرهم على الكوكب مفاجأة مدوية .. فالكوكب مأهول بالبشر والقرود .. لكن القرود هي
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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.
Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
Interlibrary loan courtesy of the Everett Public Library, Everett, WA

This is the book that launched the Planet of the Apes movies, television, etc. It inspired that incredible scene with Charlton Heston: "YOU DID IT! YOU FINALLY DID IT!"

But this book rather than being a campy, dated 60s piece of sci-fi, is much more elegant than that. It is a cautionary tale and a criticism of how we treat our own world, our own society.

I had read this once before, I think, just after high school - I found a co
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Rafaell Miguel
Que leitura agradável! A história flui de uma forma bem interessante, muito embora tenha estranhado algumas escolhas do autor, como o ofício do protagonista (que é jornalista, mas acredito que uma carreira científica serviria melhor, vez que seus relatos e análises ficam um tanto quanto destoantes de uma pessoa real, sendo muito precisas e profundas, dignas de uma pessoa que possui grande familiaridade com o método científico).

Os conceitos são bem desenvolvidos, a forma como o autor insere toda
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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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Mike (the Paladin)
I read this years ago....about the time of the Heston film. I liked the opening and the little twist he (tried to) give it but all in all the book wasn't all that great I thought.

By the way there are differences in the book and the movie, a surprise, right?

I don't know what it is/was that left me cold on this one. I'd rate it 1.5 if could, but I can't and to rate it actually a 1 would rank it with some books I've found really detestable, so 2 even though I really am not that found of the book. I
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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
Terence
Jun 30, 2008 Terence rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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).
Bruna Oliveira
Oct 13, 2015 Bruna Oliveira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2016
Achei ótimo! Narrativa que flui super bem, críticas maravilhosas a tudo que acreditamos, fim sensacional. Só vou dar 4 estrelas porque já sabia o final por conta do filme e não consegui gostar muito do protagonista.
Emre
Jan 10, 2017 Emre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5
Craig
May 01, 2014 Craig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Cheryl
Mar 31, 2017 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is similar to the film series in certain ways, but different enough to provide a new approach to the main subject. The story is told as being in a manuscript found by space travellers, so much of the story is told in narrative rather than dialogue. (It took me awhile to get used to this writing style.) The ending is very different from the film. The book seems to emphasize the theme of evolution, while the film focuses more on time travel. I liked the book, but I like the film series mo ...more
Zora
Dec 06, 2013 Zora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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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Vanessa
May 10, 2011 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10-of-2012
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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Tressa
Sep 09, 2014 Tressa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Leila  Linhares
Leitura fácil, com uma escrita simples. O tipo de livro que dá para ler em um dia. Essa edição da Editora Aleph é simplesmente linda e tem um posfácio espetacular. Quem assistiu ao filme de 1968 irá encontrar no livro uma história com muito mais detalhes e um final completamente diferente. Foi uma experiência totalmente nova. Superou (e muito) as minhas expectativas.
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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
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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.” 23 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.” 12 likes
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