Has anyone read the novel version of the cult-classic movie? I had heard that Arthur Clarke wrote the novel alongside the movie. I wonder if the novel version is any different from the movie?
*Actually I didn't realise that the author also wrote Bridge over the River Kwai.Amazon.com Review
If you've seen the progressively cheesier Planet of the Apes movies of 1968-1973, you may be shocked to learn the first movie was adapted from an intelligent, ironic, and literate novel. You'll be less surprised when you learn the original novel Planet of the Apes was written by Pierre Boulle, author of The Bridge over the River Kwai.
In the novel Planet of the Apes, the three Frenchmen making the first interstellar journey discover a remarkably Earth-like world orbiting Betelgeuse--Earth-like, with one crucial difference: The humans are dumb beasts, and the apes are intelligent. Captured during a terrifying manhunt, locked in a cage, and ignorant of the simian language, Ulysse Merou struggles to convince the apes that he possesses intelligence and reason. But if he proves he is not an animal, he may seal his own doom.
Like the first movie, the novel Planet of the Apes has a twist ending, but a twist of a different--yet equally shocking--sort. --Cynthia Ward
Boulle's classic 1963 novel differs in several ways from the 1968 movie and its various spinoffs. While the bare-bones story is familiar-astronaut travels to a planet populated by intelligent apes, is captured, fights to prove that he is a thinking creature-the novel is richer in detail and parallels to human culture. Boulle's apes live in cities, wear human-style clothing, drive automobiles. Technologically, they are in pre-spaceflight mode (although they have sent vessels into orbit, with humans as pilots-just like we did with monkeys, back in the 1950s and '60s). As in the '68 movie, Boulle's humans are essentially wild animals, unclothed and uncivilized-which is why our hero, French journalist Ulysse Mérou, poses such a problem for his captors: intelligent humans, capable of speech and advanced thought, are not supposed to exist. Many familiar ape characters are here-Zira, Cornelius, Nova, Zaius-but they are subtly different: for example Zaius, the orangutan scientist, is less buffoonish, and more menacing, than you might be expecting. The novel is paced more slowly than the movie, too: the film is a sci-fi movie with philosophical undertones, but the novel is more like a fable, an overt morality tale posing as science fiction, weighted more toward dialogue than action. It should be considered essential reading not just for fans of the movie, but for all science-fiction readers. --David Pitt
It's a French novel, by Pierre Boulez, if I am remembering that name right. I read the English translation when I was young. I remember very little except the ending, which was very different than the movie.Patrick Skelton said:Wow! I did not know that Planet of the Apes was a novel before a movie.
Thanks for sharing that, David. I didn't know about the way Clarke/ Kubrick worked together. But it does sound awfully familiar! I'm friends with another British Sci Fi author who worked with Kubrick: Ian Watson who worked with him on the film AI. Ian sometimes talks about that strange time working with Kubrick. In fact, he wrote a post about it here: http://www.ianwatson.info/kubrick.htmdgaughran said:The book is great too though, and it's always fun to spot the bits they changed or left out. It was originally a short story by Arthur C. Clarke called "The Sentinel".
He wrote it in 1948, but couldn't get it published until 1951. ...
They actually worked on both the novel and the movie simultaneously. Scenes from the novel would be filmed and then altered, then Clarke would go back and rewrite sections of the novel.
The plan was to publish the novel in 1965 and release the movie in 1966, but after huge delays with the film, it was released in 1968, ahead of the novel. Clarke was p*ssed that his book would be seen as a novelisation of the movie, and was so upset with changes Kubrick had made that he left the premiere in tears, during the intermission.
My recollection is more or less the opposite: that he arrivedStraker said:People often complain that the ending of the movie was confusing, but I think that's exactly the effect Kubrick intended. He was trying to convey that the events Bowman was experiencing were simply not comprehensible to the human mind.
It's been at least 30 years since I read the book, but I seem to recall thatSince there were a couple of sequels, evidently my memory is faulty or Clarke pulled a rabbit out of his hat.the Star Child destroyed the Earth at the end.