Paris, René Julliard, (January 10) 1963.
Square 12mo [200 x 148 mm] of 272 pp., in wrappers, uncut for the most part.
First edition of this worldwide best-seller.
One of the 50 mythic copies on Alfa paper from Avignon, only deluxe issue.
Copy on Alfa, only large paper, printed in 50 numbered deluxe copies plus some author’s copies.
Pierre Boulle, who seems to be better known on the other side of the Atlantic than in France, was born in 1912 in Avignon. An engineer from the Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité, he left to work in rubber tree farming in Malaysia and was mobilized to Indochina in 1939. He returned to Malaysia in 1941 where he joined the Free French Forces (FFL) fighting against the Japanese occupation. Taken prisoner, he escaped in 1944 and was repatriated to France. After a further stay in Malaysia and Cameroon, he settled in Paris and began to write. His best-known works, The Bridge on the River Kwai (Prix Sainte-Beuve in 1952) and The Planet of the Apes, were quickly noticed by Hollywood, which brought them to the big screen, and the success of these films (released in 1957 and 1967 respectively) contributed to the author’s fame.
Planet of the Apes is a science fiction novel, written in 1963 by the French writer Pierre Boulle. He tells the story of a small group of men exploring a faraway planet, similar to the Earth, where the big monkeys are the dominant and intelligent specie, whereas mankind is reduced to the animal condition.
If the novel is relatively short, the same cannot be said for the ideas developed. In a rather simple prose and a style stripped of superfluous elements, Pierre Boulle takes us on an encounter with our own society. The reader’s view of the simian society described by the author could be that of an outside observer, curious and objective. However, there is one major difference: here, humans are the soulless beasts of burden of the apes in power, and the malpractice and disgust they arouse in them cannot but appeal to the viewer… But this is not the story’s main strength: the behaviour of the apes themselves, through the dogmatism of their religious leaders, guardians of faith as well as of “scientific orthodoxy”, leaves the attentive reader with a taste of déjà-vu.
Planet of the Apes is one of Pierre Boulle’s most famous novels, translated into many languages, and object of many cinematographic adaptations.
A genuine copy of this masterpiece of science fiction literature, preserved in mint condition, in its original wrappers, uncut for the most part.
– [Comes with] : Boulle, Pierre. La Planète des Singes. Roman.
Paris, Julliard, Le Cercle du Nouveau Livre, (January 8th) 1963.
1 volume 8vo, editor’s green cloth cased binding with blind-stamped decoration on the cover, after a design by Jeanine Fricker.
First edition, with an imprint preceding the trade edition of two days.
Published in a run of 10,000 copies in this form, it was reserved for subscribers of the ‘Cercle du nouveau livre’.
It will only be distributed after the edition published for the trade, in order to give the latter the privilege of being the first.