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K-Pax (K-Pax, #1)
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(K-Pax #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,468 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Imagine a time and space traveler from another planet. One that looks human and exemplifies the ideal world he comes from, a world free from human nature's greed and cruelty. That creature would be "prot", as he calls himself, the newest patient at the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute.

Prot seems to know more than he should about faster-than-the-speed-of-light-travel. And be
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,468 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Debbie Zapata
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: saturdaymx
I remember seeing the movie version of this book some years ago, and while reading I could easily picture Kevin Spacey as prot (rhymes with goat). The book was quick to read, very compelling, with interesting and realistic characters. I thought the details of the planet K-PAX were fascinating, and I was left hoping that there really is such a place. Sorry to be so short here, but I am in a hurry to get back to the sequel, On a Beam of Light. Must find out what happens next!
S.P. Aruna
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful read!

There is a clever beauty about this book that deals with belief, or rather suspension of disbelief, because the way it is written, the reader must pass judgement on 2 levels:

1) The book is written in non-fiction style, as if this was a true case history from a professional psychiatrist. Is it, or is it a work of fiction?
2) If fiction, is the the character Prot really a visitor from the planet K-PAX? (actually his name is prot, because names are not capitalized on K-Pax, e
David (דוד)
A superb book. Combines typical SF elements brewed with mainstream Psychology and Psychiatry.

The book made me realize that as much as we can at several times put our psyche to be responsible for various things, there is eventually still a limit to understanding the psychology of a human being by a human being. IT GOES WAY BEYOND, ... UNDOUBTEDLY !!

Highly recommended.
Jordan Allen
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I saw the movie before reading the book. I didn't know the book existed at first. Anyway, I would go to the theater down from where I lived. I saw the movie four times! I went to the theater to see it the last three times by myself!
Alas, this isn't a movie review...
Then I came across the book in the bookstore (of all places), and read it. I read the book a second time (I love rereading books or rewatching movies). I'm rereading it for the third time. I recommend that if you have it, read it! If
I really enjoyed this. I'm still not certain, however, if Prot really was a visitor from another world or not (I'm leaning towards "yes").
The Goon
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: enjoyed
Psychiatrist Gene Brewer begins therapy with a new patient named Prot. During therapy, Prot makes a convincing argument that he is an alien from the plant K-PAX. Can it be so simple that Prot is an alien? Or is there something more to the story? What follows is a suspenseful journey to discover Prot's true identity.

This would have been a good book if it had not been for a few strikes that I have against it. The first strike is that I saw the movie based on this book a long time ago, so I alread
Lou Robinson
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book of the year for UK IT book club and what a cracker! I was a little bit dubious (as I always am) when it comes to sci-fi, but this is a great story. Set in a Manhattan psychiatric institute, it's based round a character called prot, who claims to be from the far distant planet of K-PAX. Where everything is better than it is on Earth. Doctor Brewer does his utmost to be to the bottom of prot's story. But does he fathom it out by the time prot is scheduled to return home? Well writte ...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction, american-lit
Second reading and still as entertaining. Well polished writing and solid plot balanced with a well-written protagonist. The psychological content is also well-executed. Nothing literary about this book, but by far one of the much better entertainment fictions out there.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I was torn about how to rate this one so I left it for a while. Now, a week on, I barely remember most of the details, which I think shows that it wasn't amazing, although it was definitely a fast-paced and interesting read.

The story is told from the perspective of Gene Brewer, a psychiatrist at a hospital in New York, who encounters prot - a man who insists that he is an alien from the distant planet K-PAX. Despite the fact that prot displays a range of unusual abilities and knowledge, Gene kn
Damn, that ending! Now I'm looking up theories and explanations for it because [don't read the spoiler if you plan to read this book](view spoiler)

Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
K-PAX: Finally, A Science Fiction Masterpiece That “Could Happen”

“He calls himself prot (rhymes with goat). Is he man, alien or savior?”
First of all, let me say what a truly suspenseful and awesome beach read this is! Wow! I saw the movie poster at the theater in 2001 when the film came out. My dad rented it on VHS, and rented Dune—Frank Herbert’s science fiction masterpiece—a little later on, also on VHS. My dad was always a big fan of horror-type sci-fi (called SF for short). He liked movies l
Andy Smith
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've wanted to read the book for years, to see what kind of novel (novela, really) could inspire such a magnificent film.

Never got round to it. Until now.

And wow! Beautiful. Poignant. So moving and subtle I wanted to believe!

Not much else I can say, except that I cried when Howie saw the Bluebird of happiness!
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 maybe. Easy read, but mostly naive. I wanted sci-fi and got psych-fi... Oh well.

+ Environmental protection aspects
+ Interesting premise
- The psychiatrist sounds like he just finished his undergrad degree and has been practising for maybe a year, not 30.
- Acupuncture bit...
- Simplistic/Lay approach to mental health
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Weirdly took a long time for me to read it. At first I was hooked and then I didn't care. Strong resemblance to the movie, which I really enjoyed. While I want to know how it all ends, I don't want to read 4 more books, so I'll be giving the rest of them a pass.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
For once I preferred the movie.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read three of the now four stories in 2008:

K-PAX I, which I gave 5*, my review here.

K-PAX II, which I gave 3*, my review here.

K-PAX III, which I gave 2*, my review here.
Roddy Williams
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
prot (lower case ‘p’) insists that he’s from the planet K-PAX in the constellation of Lyra. As you might expect, prot is locked up in a New York Psychiatric hospital, and it falls to Dr Gene Brewer (the author, in other words) to solve the mystery of prot’s identity.
‘No-one believes I’m an alien’ (apart from the fact that it would be a fab title for a Jerry Springer show, and it’s a shame Dr Brewer never worked this into the book) or ‘the alien in human form’ is a staple SF device which, althou
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His name is prot. Is he mad? Or could his strange story really be true?
Prot claims that he is from the planet K-PAX, a utopia where there is no such thing as murder or crime, government does not exist, everyone lives in harmony and the beings all have the ability of light travel.
The story is told from the point of view of Prot's psychiatrist or doctor 'Gene' while he is staying in the Metropolitan Institude for the clinicall ill. The chapters take the form of sessions in which Gene (the same nam
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd seen the movie, so I knew what was about to happen, which really did affect my feelings about the book. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't, but this time it did.

I found myself really bothered by some of the responses of the psychiatrist. Some of them were absolutely sophomoric, spelling out things that could only be meant for the lowest common denominator.

The female character, Giselle, is absolutely unnecessary. I'm unsure of what her purpose is. I don't remember that character be
John Read
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Very original and 'out of the box.' An unknown man, with no traceable background, is brought into the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute. After many yests, he shows no sign of any mental/psychiatric problems. To all intents and purposes he is sane.
But..... he calls himself prot and insists he is from the planet K-Pax, an idyllic world with no war, famine or disease. Everybody lives in harmony. He sets a departure date weeks ahead when he is going to return 'home' on a beam of lig
Apr 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Circa Girl
Everyone wants to read a book once in awhile that actually makes them think while it entertains. Leaves them a little bit wiser and more open minded than they started. K-Pax is one of those.

Despite the multiple subjects of science, philosophy, mental health, it covers it's a very easy read and very engaging. There's a beauty to the simplicity of the journal format and the telling and summarizing of events rather than directly interacting with them. Typically that would work against a fiction sto
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was so wonderful to rediscover this story. I saw the movie first years ago. Just last year, in a classroom conversation about "name your favorite all-time movie", I was getting the standard middle school responses of Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and the like. All of a sudden, like a breath of fresh air, Logan says K-Pax! The two of us had a "knowing" moment that alluded the rest of the class. I was delighted to see one of my 11 year olds claiming a really great philosophi ...more
Siva Banda
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The movie adoption of this book has released in 2001. And i just bumped into this movie a few days back, very fittingly the cast including Kevin Spacey & Jeff Bridges. And the story/script left me spellbound, because when you give it a deeper thought, the possibilities are endless on the character: PROT.

The movie takes a slightly different route as compared to the book at many instances, but the storyline is very gripping. I promised myself that I wouldn't give a 5-rating to any of the book
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably 4.5 stars. I seriously enjoyed reading this, about as much enjoyment i got out of seeing the movie. I also LOVE fruit so can totally relate on that level. It’s a really easy read, and would make a great intro to science-fiction for a reader that might be hesitant to delve in. It’s got mystery, psychiatry, space-travel, animals, FRUIT and it’s compelling af. Nothing difficult just good old fashioned entertainment. would probably read again. long live prot
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
LUMBERING SLOG about a doctor assigned the task of treatment of a man that claims to be from...SPACE! Useless asides as the doctor's sessions with the patient are recounted. It feels like the doctor is not too bright. Fruit is assigned the task of pushing the story along. At times it feels like ll/22/63 as previous days are recounted.
Chris Evans
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Read this years ago and forgot about it. I do remember enjoying it at the time. Had no idea it was more than just a stand alone book, can't imagine what more they could do with the story, maybe I'll have to pick them up.
Pablo Iriarte
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This might be the first time I feel the movie is better than the book. I love the story of K-PAX, but the way is written is more a scientific description than a novel. At lest that is what I felt. It probably has to do with the fact the author is a genetist that became an author.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this quite a bit. I guess it's a Forrest Gump kind of thing.

It's an interesting (although certainly not new) idea, if someone arrived claiming these kind of things which could not be easily falsified, how should we react?
james v mott
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book.. prove him wrong!
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Goodreads Librari...: K-Pax (K-Pax #1) by Gene Brewer 3 216 Sep 04, 2018 09:38AM  

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Gene R. Brewer was born and raised in Muncie, Indiana and educated at DePauw University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before becoming a novelist Dr. Brewer studied DNA replication and cell division at several major research institutions, including St. Jude Children's REsearch Hospital (Memphis) and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland). He is the author of the acclaimed K-PAX tril ...more

Other books in the series

K-Pax (5 books)
  • On a Beam of Light (K-Pax, #2)
  • The Worlds of Prot (K-Pax, #3)
  • A New Visitor from the Constellation Lyra (K-Pax #4)
  • The Coming of the Bullocks (K-Pax #5)
“Education stems from the desire to learn. With that, you don't need schools. Without it, all the schools in the UNIVERSE are useless.” 7 likes
“Most humans subscribe to the policy of 'an eye for an eye, a life for a life'. Many of your religions are famous for this formula, which is well known throughout the UNIVERSE for its stupidity. Your christ and your buddah had a different vision, but nobody paid any attention to them, not even the christians and buddhists.” 1 likes
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