Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

This almost won the 1st book of 2014 vote so it's only fair that we give this book a read!

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle is French science fiction novel published in 1963. 

Most of you will have seen the films and from what I understand, the novel is very different.  Should be a really interesting one to read.

If you want to buy the book from amazon, click here - Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.

You can also find the kindle edition here.


Join or login to comment.

  • Carmen

    OK, so I'm going back a while to post here; but the Prince Charles Cinema is having a brilliant Sci-Fi season soon, including Planet of the Apes and including Brazil!

    http://www.princecharlescinema.com/events/events.php?seasonanchor=scifi

    1 · September 22

    • Danny (.

      This is properly cool, thanks.

      September 23

  • luke

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28610124

    Coincidentally I just bought the TV series on DVD.
    The quote on the back reads: "It changed the face of television forever."

    Pretty bold.

    1 · August 4

  • Sam

    inspired me to re-watch the Charton Heston original again last night

    2 · May 9

    • Derek

      Were the apes as damned and dirty as you remembered?

      1 · May 9

    • Sam

      No more damned than the humans...the 29th scroll of Ape Law 'Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust, or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours' etc.

      May 10

  • Bob G.

    As mentioned in last night's very enjoyable meeting, Koko the gorilla and her kittens:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZckyUgrcaTg

    5 · May 7

  • Hannah M.

    Great meeting, really enjoyable - I'll be back!

    1 · May 7

  • Danny (.

    Super discussions as alway. Enjoyed the chat more than book and the book was goodish. Thanks..

    2 · May 7

  • Rory M.

    very readable

    1 · May 7

  • Leila

    Discussion was a lot of fun and as always, it was great to see everyone. The book scored 6.1 out of 10.

    3 · May 7

  • Brendan D.

    Sorry I couldn't make it tonight. Work pressures as i'm at two conferences in four days then away the rest of next week. As for the book. Strange and rather dated. I prefer the 'twist' in the original film... 4 from me

    1 · May 6

  • Emma B.

    Really sorry I have not been able to make it tonight because of work pressures before my holiday. I really liked the sci-fi angle to this book and the themes it explored. I would give it a 7. See you all next time!

    1 · May 6

  • Frances

    Sorry, I won't make it tonight after all. I enjoyed the book, but found the narrator could be tedious. Still, the whole story had a kind of creepy fairytale-esque feeling about it that made for an interesting read.

    1 · May 6

  • Robert P.

    Sorry Leila, held up at work but hope to make it next time!

    1 · May 6

  • Tajinder Singh H.

    Alas, I won't be able to make it in tonight. And I'd actually read the book this time (I wanted to show off my 3D cover - the one where the font makes it look like I'm reading Punnet of the Apes). This was a discombobulating book. The first half read like a B-movie; it also had a Verne-esque faux-science running through it that made me think it was actually much older than the 1960s. I couldn't decide if there were moments of intentional comedy (the chimpanzee legging it the moment they set him free, Ulysse arguing that the journey was a scoop for any journalist despite the fact that no-one would read the account, Ulysse laughing his head off when erstwhile rival Arthur snuffs it) or whether there were glitches in the translation.

    2 · May 6

    • Tajinder Singh H.

      It got better once Ulysse was captured (although the dodgy gender stuff remained). It turned into a satire that reminded me of War With The Newts; cognitive estrangement stuff working in a big way. Made me look at it in an animal rights context, but also in terms of the stratifications of human society. The human experiment sections were particularly creepy and had a Holocaust echo for me.
      So, it was a very up and down book. There was a breezy storytelling momentum to it that meant that it leapt over gaps without explaining them (although I found the atavistic regression monologues a bit too convenient). But I found myself interested in what I was reading. I'll give it a 7/10.

      4 · May 6

    • Adrian

      Weren't the experiment sections reflecting the author's experience as a POW? Knowing that made them even creepier for me.

      1 · May 6

  • Leila

    Hi Guys, based on the two comments below re translation - this was translated into English by Xan Fielding in 1964 and has not been updated since. Could explain some of the clunky/archaic expression.

    May 6

  • Adrian

    Can't make it - but still want to get my score reflected! I'd like to give it 7/10. Enjoyed the premise, but thought the writing was a little clunky in places - maybe a duff translation?

    2 · May 6

  • Rebecca

    On chapter three and struggling; does it get better? I've put Game of Thrones on hold for the moment but I'm itching to get back to it...

    1 · April 30, 2014

    • Derek

      But wow... like, read A Game of Thrones! I am sure Westeros is a post apocalyptic Earth so really we should read it for this group...

      1 · April 30, 2014

    • Rebecca

      Feeling smug - I am now a better ape AND I finished my Game of Thrones book. Bam!

      1 · May 6

  • Lainie N.

    Yo dudes, haven't finished the book but really enjoying it so far so glad I got talked into giving it a go. Though I keep singing the songs from the Simpsons musical which I think is maybe making me enjoy it more! Have fun, will definitely make it next time I promise!

    2 · May 5

    • Leila

      Pleased you're enjoying it! Let us know what you think when you've finished it. x

      May 5

  • Carmen

    Apparently the tube strike has been cancelled.

    May 5

    • Leila

      Looking into it now x

      May 5

  • Bob G.

    If the tube strike takes place I won't be able to come as my line - the Picadilly Line - will be out of action. :-(

    May 5

  • Andrew Xerxes M.

    I'm *actually* coming this time. Read the book, sung the tune countless times, and ready to discuss monkeys

    1 · May 1, 2014

  • Sam

    we could be hit by planned tube strike ...

    April 26, 2014

    • Carmen

      I don't think it will be such a big deal. The Central line and the Piccadilly line will be messed up, and there will be fewer trains than normal, but it's not really going to shut the whole tube down.

      April 28, 2014

    • Derek

      Those damn dirty apes... I mean unions.

      2 · April 28, 2014

  • Burhan A.

    Liking the book so far but finding it so jarring every time the word "monkey" is used. *grumble*

    April 24, 2014

  • Kambiz

    Wow, this is the third really excellent book in a row that we have covered (in my humble opinion). Maybe I am getting easier to please in my old age or something but it looks like its going to be another very high score from me. I guess my rep for low scores a couple of years ago has really been reversed or maybe Leila is just making some really good choices right now.

    2 · April 24, 2014

    • David B.

      I thought it was very readable if a bit Pulp Sci-Fi in places. I'll explain more at the meetup.

      2 · April 24, 2014

  • Emma B.

    Just if anyone is interested there is a short piece in Timeout today about a guy who loves the planet of the apes film and even has a tattoo if anyone is inspired! I think it was on page 30!

    3 · April 15, 2014

    • luke

      Just saw this article. We should see if we can get this guy to come along. He sounds like an expert. And he could act as a visual aid for the discussion.

      2 · April 18, 2014

  • Leila

    2 · April 15, 2014

  • Emma B.

    Just if anyone is interested there is a short piece in Timeout today about a guy who loves the planet of the apes film and even has a tattoo if anyone is inspired! I think it was on page 30!

    1 · April 15, 2014

  • Lainie N.

    Ok I've been convinced to give this one a go! as long as its better than the film (both of them) I'll be happy!

    1 · April 10, 2014

  • Danny (.

    This is why I love Sci Fi, Solar Sails are only just being Realised; after all this time. (-_-) dd.

    1 · March 16, 2014

  • David B.

    I have a problem with musical earworms. For example, for the past week I have had this rattling around my head:

    Never ending storeeeee
    A-ah ha a-ah ha a-ah ha

    ...And now I have Troy McClure singing this extract from Planet Of The Apes: The Musical:

    'I hate every ape I see, from Chimpan 'A' to Chimpanzee.'

    Again and again and again...

    3 · February 4, 2014

  • Rohan J.

    It's a great book. Schaffner's film went its own way, but kept the social observation, and made better impact with the twist than Burton, who was closer to the book, but more disrespectful of the science. Funny thing is that when I read it years ago it seemed odd to think of French astronauts, but there have been nine since then and only one (or one and a half) Brits.

    2 · February 2, 2014

  • Michael

    Working until 9:30pm, but the original book will be interesting from a French perspective of the time!

    February 2, 2014

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy