Daily Archives: February 23, 2012

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

This is the story of Ketchvar III, a gastropod from the planet “Sandoval” who wiggles his way into the body of Tom Filber, a fourteen year old incoming freshman. Why? Ketchvar must decide the fate of the human race: will they be annihilated, or allowed to muddle along, barely able to conduct their own lives, let alone take care of planet earth. There’s plenty of evidence for the decision to annihilate humans. In Ketchvar’s opinion, they’ve driven their beautiful planet towards the brink of an untimely demise. They are willfully violent towards each other, misinterpreting any basic kindnesses so that they may continue on their destructive path. At least that is how Ketchvar sees it as through Tom Filber’s eyes. Ketchvar’s first experience as Tom Filber is alarming.  His mother chases Ketchvar/Tom around with a broom after finding potato chip crumbs strewn around on her porch; Tom’s doing. On another occasion, his sister accosts him with a cattle prod as he attempts to escape his mother by taking a short-cut through her room. These scenes are actually pretty funny, in spite of the serious dysfunctionality of Tom’s family. More humor comes in the form of Ketchvar attempting to access some sage advise from Tom’s consciousness, which has been enveloped in a “Ragwellian Bubble.” Tom talks to Ketchvar, dispensing sage advice like, “Duck behind the tree and make a run for it.” But when Tom’s advice is to “go for some tongue action” during a tender kissing scene with the neighbor girl, it backfires miserably. Both Ketchvar and Tom have a lot to learn. This novel explores the human spirit from the eyes of an outsider, something that many of us may have felt at one time or another.