“A manic-depressive once assured me that he would never try to kill himself. I asked him how he could be so sure. ‘Because,’ he told me, ‘I still haven’t read Moby Dick.’ As good a reason for living as any, I suppose, and perhaps it explains why so few people have ever finished that book.” – p 99
I never even knew this was a book, had only heard of the movie, until I saw it gracing our library’s shelves. Since I haven’t seen the movie yet, I snatched it up, since I think the film is getting a little bit close to the top of my Netflix queue. It concerns the individual of prot (pronounced similar to goat and never capitalized) a man who has been brought to a mental health facility because he claims he is from another planet. Another planet named K-PAX, where he has traveled from on a beam of light. His psychiatrist, Gene, is the author of the book and quite skeptical concerning the reality of prot’s belief in having been born on a different planet, and of having visited many others. Through his sessions with prot, Gene comes to find out that prot’s reality is so detailed that it might be true, especially when he begins to help heal the other patients at the facility.
“There is only one truth. Truth is absolute. You can’t escape it, no matter how far you run.” – p 106
I had no idea what to expect from this book since I pulled it from the Science Fiction section of the library but it seemed so obvious to me in the beginning that prot wasn’t actually from outer space. It’s amazing how Brewer manages to completely stump the reader as to who prot is from beginning to the end. He’ll seem to lead you almost to the brink of one conclusion before suddenly slinging you back towards the other through prot’s actions and answers. You’ll definitely find yourself wondering throughout the book – is prot who he claims to be? Is he really simply a man who is so very confused? Or is he something else entirely?
“K-PAX” was written by Gene Brewer and published in 1995.