In November we will be meeting early so that we can watch a movie, and read the book that inspired it. For this year, we will be reading Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. Originally published in 1963, this novel was made into a movie in 1968. The story is familiar to most of us, but have you actually read the book? You should do so!
French author Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des Singes is a social satire concerning an astronaut’s voyage to a world where intelligent apes dominate primitive humans, Boulle wrote the novel in six months after the “humanlike expressions” of gorillas at the zoo inspired him to contemplate the relationship between man and ape. La Planète des Singes was heavily influenced by 18th- and 19th-century fantastical travel narratives, especially Jonathan Swift’s satirical Gulliver’s Travels. It is one of several of Boulle’s works to use science fiction tropes and plot devices to comment on the failings of human nature and mankind’s overreliance on technology. However, Boulle rejected the science fiction label for his work, instead terming it “social fantasy”. Boulle considered the novel one of his minor works, though it proved to be a hit.
The movie was based on a script written by Rod Serling, and then further rewritten by veteran screen writer Michael Wilson. Wilson chose to keep the cold-war themed twist ending added by Serling, revealing that human society had destroyed itself with nuclear weapons. The society of the apes was made less technologically advanced than it was in the book in order to reduce the cost of production.
Important Note! We have swapped the time and location of the meeting for this month because of the movie. We will be meeting at 6pm at the home of Karen and Erin Jordan, at 2906 Stonewall Heights. This is a gate-controlled neighborhood, but the gate should be open for us. You are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share.