Gene Brewer, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (231p) ISBN 978-0-312-11840-2
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.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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