After reading this book all I can ask myself is: why didn’t I read this sooner. This is an amazing book, and a quick read to boot. It could probably even be tackled in one sitting if life, the universe and everything else didn’t get in the way.
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, but 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 will have always been greeted by prejudice and fear…
I went into this book not knowing what to expect; I haven’t seen any of the films [although I do recall the ending of the old film with the main character screaming at the site of the befallen statue of Liberty]. I thought that the language would be really clunky and hard to read [similar to when I tried to read Phantom of the Opera]. Instead I was surprised at just how easy it was to get through. Like I mentioned above it could probably be read through in one sitting.
I didn’t understand the beginning, but of course at the end it all makes sense.
There were a few lecture-y parts that I didn’t enjoy so much, and you can feel the utter disdain the author has for animal testing, and that’s totally understandable. I liked the explanation for the rise of the ape planet, although this is probably a biased view – I wasn’t so keen on how the fall of the human race was described, but it’s entirely plausible – that laziness could befall the entire population and lead to the rise of another dominant species.
The relationship between Zira and Ulysses was sweet, and I liked the difference in it compared to the physical relationship between him and Nova. I think the child aspect was a little predictable though. The rest of the characters seemed a bit 1 dimensional, but the aim of the story was the allegory to prevent the fall of the human race – a lesson for all to heed perhaps?
Reading this book has definitely made me want to not only read other works by Bouille – in fact I have “Desperate Games” queued to read already – but also to watch some of the films that this book has inspired; the most recent films look really good.
I’m sorry that there’s not more to this blog, but I am struggling to write down all my feels about this book.