Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

With the recent release of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, I decided to read the book that started the movie franchise that now includes a total of ten movies. The original novel was published in 1963 in French by Pierre Boulle with the English of Planet of the Apes.

The story starts out with a couple doing some solar sailing through space when they come across a bottle floating in their trajectory. Upon retrieval, they discover that the bottle has a short manuscript in it. With the exception of the final chapter, the rest of the book is the manuscript of a mission to the Betelgeuse system where the astronauts find a planet called Soros that is populated by sentient apes and savage humans unable to speak.

I liked this book, but I definitely felt its age. The twist is clever and different than that of the movie. That surprised me. But the ending in the book in much more thought provoking. The rise of apes and the fall of man on Soros was due to man numbing himself to his surroundings. In that way it reminds me of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.

My rating: 3.5/5

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