Sunday, October 22, 2006


Have you ever seen the movie K-PAX? I remember seeing part of it once and thinking it was OK. I picked up Gene Brewer's novel K-Pax, which the movie is based on, because it was only $6.99.

It was certainly a very good purchase. This is a very different and interesting book. For one thing, there are no definite science fiction elements. Sure, the main character, called prot, claims to be an alien, but seeing as how he's a mental patient, he might just be insane. While prot does show remarkable insight and abilities--some superhuman or based on information that no human could possess--we can never say for certain whether he's an alien or a madman. His strange abilities and inhuman knowledge of astronomy point to his being an alien, but his world, K-PAX, seems to conform with the supposed insanity of Robert, the human he is believed to be. I just love the ambiguity.

I also like the way the novel was set up. Instead of using a standard chapter based format, Gene Brewer tells the story in a series of sixteen sessions between prot and his psychiatrist, Dr. Brewer. Yes, the author is a character in his own story. I told you' it's a bit different.

Prot is a very different sort of alien, too. He looks human, but inside he's not. The sort of things that humans value--love, family, religion, sex, etc.--are all foreign to his nature. I don't know that I personally would like to go to his K-PAX, but it sounds like an interesting place.

This book is one that I can't recommend enough. I give K-PAX five yo-yos.

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