Novel details teen-ager's thoughts after suicide

ROSCOE—In a creative new book by Joseph X. Hall, a young man reflects on the events of his life that ultimately led to his suicide. Something Less Than a Dream (available through AuthorHouse) is a compelling, intelligent book that portrays the darkness of depression in the mind of a troubled teen.

The book opens as Joseph, a 17-year-old junior in high school, pops a handful of deadly pills. What follows is a long conversation between him and another vague entity, who asks poignant questions about Joseph’s childhood and adolescent years, the life-changing events he experienced and his emotions.

From his childhood in Saudi Arabia to his emotional personal struggles, Joseph speaks candidly about his ordeals. He talks of his relationship with a mean-spirited girl, whose callousness grated on his already low self-confidence. Joseph describes his intense fight with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which manifested itself through organization and self-improvement. Since he hated himself, Joseph says, he might as well attempt to improve himself. He dived into organizing every moment, going through intense physical workouts and periods of study.

Joseph’s dialogue is a mix of personal perspectives, logical reasoning and philosophical ideas. It illustrates this teen-ager’s intelligence and wisdom, which, in the end, are trumped by the pit of depression he tumbles into.

Something Less Than a Dream chronicles the steps that led to his downfall, bringing to light the inescapable sorrow that many people face when they choose to end their own lives.

Hall grew up on a company compound in Saudi Arabia and spent his high school years at a military boarding school in Indiana. Athletics is a major part of his life, and he played soccer and football before getting involved with martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do. Hall wrote this work while in high school. He now attends the University of Illinois.

AuthorHouse is the world leader in publishing and print-on-demand services. Founded in 1997, AuthorHouse has helped more than 20,000 people worldwide become published authors. For more information, visit

From the June 29-July 5, 2005, issue

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