IS HE REALLY EXTRETERRESTRIAL? OR IS HE JUST ON ANOTHER PLANET?The cult-hit novel K-PAX, now a film from Universal starring Kevin Spacey as prot.'K-PAX is a gloriously off-beat comedy that reads like a combination of STARMAN, Oliver Sacks and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST' ESQUIRE
Before becoming a novelist, Gene Brewer studied DNA replication and cell division at several major research stations. He is the author of ON A BEAM OF LIGHT, K-PAX II and the forthcoming K-PAX III, published in summer 2002, which will complete the K-PAX trilogy. He lives in New York City.
Presented as the case study of a man brought to a psychiatric hospital for treatment who insists that he is from a planet called K-Pax, this novel is narrated by the attending psychiatrist. Using hypnosis and other therapeutic techniques, Dr. Brewer finally decides that "prot," as the man calls himself, is really the alter ego of Robert, a man whose wife and child were murdered. But if he is Robert, how does he know so much about astronomy, how is he able to cure other mental patients, and how can he vanish from the hospital periodically? The reader is left to decide whether or not to believe prot's story, since the ending is deliberately ambiguous. While this first novel does not stand out in terms of plot, writing, or character development, it is a pleasant read with moments of genuine humor. A good secondary purchase.‘Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
A man is brought into the mental ward of the Manhattan Institute after claiming to come from outer space. He maintains that he is an inhabitant of planet K-PX, a perfect world without wars, government or religion where every being co-exists in perfect harmony. And he sets a departure date when he will return home on a beam of light - which keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
This gripping first novel is a moving study of split-personality disorder and of a psychiatrist's desperate efforts to rescue a tragically lost soul. A patient calling himself ``prot'' and claiming to be a visitor from the planet K-PAX, an idyllic world without wars, government, sex or religion, is brought to the Manhattan psychiatric institute run by a character named... Gene Brewer (who is a psychiatrist, not a retired molecular biologist like his creator). Self-assured, wisecracking prot, who seems to possess arcane knowledge of subjects ranging from astronomy to paleontology, announces that he will return to K-PAX on August 17, just two months away. Before then, though, he enlists fellow patients in his fantasy; some of them, touched by his humanity, show marked improvement. Moreover, when Brewer invites prot home for a July Fourth barbecue, the man's mere presence seems to trigger dramatic changes in the psychiatrist's family. Brewer's daughter confesses that she's a lesbian, while his son, a pilot, divulges his deep-seated fear of flying, and switches careers. Aided by Giselle, a sleuthing reporter whose mawkish crush on prot strikes one of the few false notes here, Brewer finally brings out the repressed personality of a man scarred by trauma. Throughout, the narration's matter-of-fact, clinical tone makes this touching and suspenseful story all the more convincing. Film rights to Lawrence Gordon for Universal Pictures; audio rights to Brilliance. (Mar.)