PERSONAL: Married. Education: Graduated from law school.
CAREER: Writer, journalist, and lawyer. Spent time as a war correspondent in Bosnia; also practiced law and owned an Internet-based business.
Has written articles for several publications, including Details, Esquire, and Vanity Fair.
ADAPTATIONS: Hello to All That: A Memoir of War, Zoloft, and Peace was optioned for film; author's article about snipers titled "Shot through the Heart" and published in Details was adapted as the film Shot through the Heart.
SIDELIGHTS: Freelance writer John Falk suffered from reoccurring bouts of depression from the time he was a twelve year old but eventually found help from antidepressants. His case and recovery is known to psychologists as that of Patient X. In Hello to All That: A Memoir of War, Zoloft, and Peace, Falk recounts both his battle with depression and his effort, in 1993, to become a war correspondent in Sarajevo after graduating from college. He tells both stories in alternating chapters, describing how he tried to hide his depression from friends and family for years and his experiences in Sarajevo, where he befriended an anti-sniper—that is, someone who hunts down and kills snipers. In an interview with Jessa Crispin for Bookslut.com, Falk explained that he combined the two stories because, "they're the same guy, but they're different guys in a sense." He continued, "One guy's battling an almost unwinnable war against a chemical imbalance, if you will." The author went on to note, "On the other side is this guy whose neurological whatever is opened to life a little bit, but he's build up a lot of character flaws that keep him from living the life he wants to live and he doesn't even know it."
In a review of Hello to All That in MBR Bookwatch, Harriet Klausner wrote that Falk's memoir tells the story of surviving two wars, "a personal one that medicine cures and the other caused by human atrocities that should shame everyone." Vanessa Bush, writing in Booklist, noted, "This is a thoroughly engaging memoir, sometimes hilarious and sometimes horrifying." A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to the memoir as both "raucous" and "zany." Susan Pease called the memoir "compelling" and "ultimately uplifting" in a review in Library Journal. She went on to call Falk a gifted writer "whose words bring alive the human connections at stake in his struggles."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Falk, John, Hello to All That: A Memoir of War, Zoloft, and Peace, Henry Holt & Co. (New York, NY), 2005.
Booklist, December 15, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Hello to All That, p. 697.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Hello to All That, p. 947.
Library Journal, November 15, 2004, Susan Pease, review of Hello to All That, p. 75.
MBR Bookwatch, March, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Hello to All That.
Publishers Weekly, October 18, 2004, review of Hello to All That, p. 55.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (March 24, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Hello to All That.
BookReporter.com, http://www.bookreporter.com/ (March 24, 2005), Carole Turner, review of Hello to All That.
Bookslut, http://www.bookslut.com/ (March 24,2005), Jessa Crispin, interview with Falk.
My Shelf, http://www.myshelf.com/ (March 24, 2005), review of Hello to All That.