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.
©1963 René Juillard (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I teach computing at a college an hour from home. I get through a lot of audiobooks! I consider the audiobook an art form in its own right.
Probably not. I originally read it just so I know the "true" beginning of the film and TV etc phenomenon that is still active after nearly half a century. I ended up enjoying it in its own right, but its revelations are unlikely to surprise a second time.
It amused me that, according to the book, French will be the lingua franca in the far future. The landing on the alien planet was intriguing - and by the way, is emphatically not Earth. Honestly, what are the chances of a spaceship doing a 180 at the crucial moment and nobody realising? Imagine Neil Armstrong saying, "Tranquility base here, the Eagle has... hang on, that looks like Florida!"
There are some uncomfortable moments with the woman Nova - she really isn't treated well at times, but given how brutal the apes can be towards humans, I suppose she got off relatively lightly.
The main character's relationship with the chimpanzee Zira is... quite interesting. As I recall it was implied in the film, but here it's a little more explicit.
And there is a twist that is so much better than finding the Statue of Liberty, but to be fair it's not filmable.
No. The ones he's done so far are books I've read already or which don't interest me.
No, it's not a short story.
Satirical elements often throw me out of a story. This one didn't.
It would be nice if Boulle's other well know novel - Bridge over the River Kwai - could be made available on audio.
This was Liz's Amazon account so it's her name on it. I'm husband Richard in reality. Please forgive the unintended deception. Love variety.
I've always enjoyed the original series of films, and certainly the most recent two 'reboots', but until now hadn't read/listened to the original story. This was largely as I'd never come across it. Needless to say it is both more low-key and more interesting in it's development. It varies from the films' storylines in crucial ways, including the iconic scene from the very first film. Nonetheless it has a strong twist which it carries well. I don't know of Pierre Boulle's thoughts behind the story: did he intend an interesting sci-fi Twilight Zone type story, or perhaps a variation on racial awareness, war, or perhaps nothing else at all. Nevertheless, it's well worth hearing and Greg Wise does a decent job of narrating the tale. I'm surprised that I haven't come across more of his work with audiobooks.
Audio books have been an incredible discovery
Even though we know it, it doesn't disappoint. What I find difficult to get my head around is that the same author penned Bridge Over the River Kwai.
I really liked this book, and the role reversal, it must have been considered a very odd book in its day. I really enjoyed the initial landing on this utopian planet & visualising the perfect Nova...and whoop! She snapped the pet monkey's neck - poor monkey! And soon forgotten! Although, I'm not sure if I'd have forgiven her for that! The ending was brilliant however the characters exit from the planet seemed like the author ran out of enthusiasm to complete the book and chose to summarise this complex task in a mere paragraph after it had occurred. Still, I really enjoyed this book and best of all it felt so different from the films I've seen.
I know we always bang on about books being better than movies but not in this case. Yes it was written years ago but that's no excuse. Give me Charlton Heston every time!
The narrator chooses to use bizarre American accents too. This is bad enough in music but best avoided in audiobooks.
Historical interest only to shut people up claiming that the book is always the best.
This was an excellent book, even if you've enjoyed the original film (and who hasn't?). You can clearly see the inspiration for the classic movie, but the book moves in a slightly different direction. You will find the principle characters of Nova, Cornelius, Zira, and Dr. Zaius. Beyond that, I won't divulge any specifics about the story, as it has its own little twists and turns. For the Planet of the Apes completist, I say quit monkeying around and listen to this one!
"ORANGUTANS ARE OFFICIAL SCIENCE"
GORILLAS ARE MEAT EATERS
This is a great intelligent read. If you pick this up looking forward to the campy war like gorillas in the movie, you will be disappointed. Gorillas are the physical ones, they do hunt and kill humans, but instead of wearing leather, they wear the clothes of gentlemen.
They are the stogy heads of science. THEY READ BOOKS, THAN WRITE BOOKS, REPEATING WHAT THEY READ. They have little imagination, but lots of power. I am wondering if Boulle was making a statement about a certain group of scientists?
All science advancements come from this group. They are they opened minded ones with imagination.
This is more of an intellectual read with discussions on evolution, devolution, treatment of animals in labs and much more than the movies. The movies are good, but they went they way of more violence to get the ratings. I like the book, much better. The book has it's own twists and turns, that goes one better than the movie. Writing is superb, with plenty of story and intensity.
"You've Seen the Movies, Now Read the Book!"
Even if you're very familiar with the classic 1968 Charlton Heston movie, there are a few surprises and plot twists here that make this an interesting and exciting listen. The main character is Ulysse, a French journalist who journeys with two other intrepid astronauts to the distant star, Betelgeuse, where they, of course, come upon the Planet of the Apes, inhabited by primitive humans and technologically advanced chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. The themes are somewhat different from those of the movie, but this is a well written and exciting book with a tightly-constructed plot, which also raises interesting questions about the ethics of animal research and social behaviors which can bring about the death of a civilization. Well narrated.
"I have not criticism to offer"
I love this book so much that I was sad that Pierre Boulle had no other books on audible to offer. He does an excellent job of verbalizing the main characters frustration with trying to prove his intellect to the apes without losing his mind.
Nova, she's definitely not that bright but I do appreciate that she gets smarter... maybe not smart enough to graduate from the third grade but it's a start.
The end... I have nothing left to say about it but it was quite the ending.
If I didn't have to work and eat, I would have listened in one sitting.
I hope more of his writing gets translated into english and become available on audible
"The Movie was good, but the book is even better"
Years ago I saw the planet of the apes movies and thought they were excellent science fiction movies. I stumbled onto this audio book and took a chance on it - so glad I did. I always thought that the original movie had an iconic ending, but honestly the ending of the book is even better. The writing is clever and the story line unique. The characters are interesting and well developed. The narrator does an outstanding job. It is just an excellent book, if you enjoy science fiction I would highly recommend this book. The ending is a complete surprise, very different from the movie.
It's a fantastic story, read by someone who conveys the characters' emotions and tone well. I had seen all of the movies before listening to this, and was happy to find some element of surprise and intrigue throughout the book. A must listen for any science fiction fan.
It's interesting how movie makers deviate from the story, and make their own story. However, I can imagine how difficult it might be to translate this original story to screen. The idea of finding a planet quite similar to earth wherein the homosapiens have devolved and the homosimians have superseded humans in all areas must have been shocking. The author does not explain how or why this occurred, but does describe in vivid detail the difference between the humans and the apes on Soror; how the apes are completely superior and civilized as compared to the humans in every way. The ending is as much of a shock as the original 1968 film and the 2001 remake. I wonder how readers reacted when this first was issued. And to think the same author wrote "Bridge on the River Kwai"!
"Classic Sci Fi at its best."
Love this story science I was a kid....now I'm 52...and always wanted to read the Genesis of so many awsome movies and the modern remakes.
Binge listened over the weekend. Great fun.
Having seen all of the movies and enjoying every variation, I thought this was excellent. Just view it as another imagining of the story(albeit the original), and you will love it
Wish the movie had stuck to the novel. Once I started listening I couldn't stop!
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