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Pierre Boulle was born in 1912 at Avignon. Boulle spent the Second World War fighting in Yunnan, Calcutta and Indo-Chine, where he was captured by the Japanese. After the war he lived in Malaya, the Cameroons and, finally, Paris, where he settled until his death in 1994.
This thrilling 1963 sf novel has lost none of its power. Those familiar with its film/TV adaptations will be surprised by the story's suspenseful nature and ending. Three French astronauts in the year 2500 travel to an Earth-like planet and are shocked to find it very much like home with one major exception-humans are naked, animalistic, unthinking savages and apes are the civilized species. It takes Ulysse Merou some time to impress upon his simian captors that he is an aware, intelligent human. While he is at first viewed as wondrous, Ulysse increasingly senses that he poses a major threat to the apes' sense of evolution and society. With the chance that he might father an intelligent human baby, his peril grows. British actor Greg Wise's superb narration adds to the increasing sense of unease, effectively conveying the confusion, horror, shock, and egotism evinced by Ulysse. While his American accent can be a bit dicey at times, the fervor with which Wise imbues each sentence overcomes any quibbles listeners may have. VERDICT Essential for all public library collections.-B. Allison Gray. Goleta Branch, Santa Barbara P.L. Syst., CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A scintillating mix of sci-fi adventure and allegory * Los Angeles
In 1963, at the most glacial moment of the Cold War, Frenchman Pierre Boulle wrote a novel called Planet Of The Apes - a drastic warning about where mankind's apparent desire to destroy itself might lead * The Mirror *
Boulle called on his own experiences as a prisoner of war in South-east Asia during the Second World War, using the relationship between man and apes as a metaphor for the treatment handed out to prisoners by brutish Japanese guards * Daily Express *
It's like a good myth or fairy-tale that stays with you... Part of the strength of this material is its disruptive, questioning nature. Who came first? Where are we going? -- Tim Burton
The subtext is strongly anti-slavery, anti-racist and anti-war * Observer *