Planet Grim: A Stunning Debut Book You Will Want To Read

Five Stars for Planet Grim –    A Courageously, Brilliantly Truthful Book Review by E. Thomas Behr, Ph.D., www.tombehrbooks.com Alex Behr’s newly-published collection of stories, Planet Grim, is a stunning debut work by an important writer all of us should get to know. Ernest Hemingway said, “A writer’s job is to tell the truth.” Easier said than done. The “Truths” of our lives typically change as we struggle along the path that life lays out before us. And along the way, we are assailed by self-doubt: “Is this the ‘Truth,’ or am just fooling myself? And how in the world can I know?” So it takes great courage to live up to the challenge of “telling the truth.” In that regard, Alex Behr is one of the most courageous writers I have ever known. Because she is writing at a painful time in her life, her “Truth,” as shared in her aptly-named collection of stories, Planet Grim, is hard, almost unbearably honest.      “I cry in therapy. Divorce is violent. My husband. A nice person. Except when he swears. Except when he looks at me sobbing on the chair, on the rug. Anywhere. Our house is welcome to all tears. Moths eat the felt pads inside the piano.” And what wonderful writing! She is a magician with language, even if it often bites hard – even if single words, phrases, and images fall like hammer blows. “My husband breaks a slat of the bed I grew up in. It’s a mahogany sleigh bed from the 1800s. The headboard is stained with handprint ghosts from our son’s dreams.” Wounds bleed....