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Planet of the Apes

Narrated by: Greg Wise
Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)
Regular price: £13.49
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Summary

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.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Forget the statue of liberty

Would you listen to Planet of the Apes again? Why?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Planet of the Apes?

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.

Have you listened to any of Greg Wise’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. The ones he's done so far are books I've read already or which don't interest me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's not a short story.

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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wonderful.

didn't turn it off for the first five chapters, loved reading it as a kid. Love this audio version. narrative is very good compared to some.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Still a great read if you think you know the story

You will no doubt reference against the original film, this book is the origin to that and can standalone.

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  • Wayne
  • Bargoed, United Kingdom
  • 13-07-17

Entertaining

Would you consider the audio edition of Planet of the Apes to be better than the print version?

I've not read the print version so could not compare, but I did enjoy the audio book.

What did you like best about this story?

I was intrigued to hear the original story, having been brought up on the films and TV series. I don't want to say much in case of spoiling it, but I thought the ending was good.

What about Greg Wise’s performance did you like?

Clear narration.

Any additional comments?

The book probably shows its age in the constant use of the term 'monkeys' as the collective name for gorillas, chimpanzees and orang-utans, rather than 'apes'. Apes being different to monkeys. One annoyance was the modern trend to refer to the star 'Betelgeuse' as 'Beetle Juice', something I find particularly grating. I don't want to be negative though, I enjoyed the book and found the story refreshingly different from the films/TV series.

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Entertaining listen for Ape fans!

Would you consider the audio edition of Planet of the Apes to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version of Planet of the Apes, but the flow of the audio book is excellent so I doubt the print version would be any better.

Any additional comments?

The book is fairly different from the original film franchise and the ultimate twist at the end had me smiling. I really enjoyed listening to this book and while a big fan of the films, was pleased that it offered something slightly different.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Different to, but just as good as the films.

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.

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Great tale

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.

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Totally unexpected and unlike the films

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.

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Of course the original but not the best

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful