... [an] engrossing, necessary book ... this is not an empirical study. Rather, it is intimate testimony from someone who has lived through an illness long shrouded in silence, shame and sin. Antrim speaks with the moral authority of the survivor ... Antrim’s inventive, circular prose style reflects his sense of warped time: Hours bend, fragment, compress, extend. The narrative catapults forward, then backward—a kind of chronological whiplash that dislocates us in time and place ... Just when we start to put the pieces of Antrim’s life together, he wrenches us away from the relief of comprehension. The medium is the message: Suicide, as Antrim understands it, is a continuum of emotional pain ... One hopes this brief, courageous book will bring us closer to the 'paradigm shift' Antrim seeks—a reckoning that could bring about better funding for mental health research, more affordable psychiatric beds and less societal stigma.
Brief and devastating ... One Friday in April evokes, as vividly as any book since William Styron’s Darkness Visible, the ongoing present tenseness — or present tension — of suicide, which Antrim describes as a condition in and of itself ... We know he has survived, of course, but the terms of this survival remain conditional, even so many years after the fact. It’s a deft and unexpected approach, diffusing narrative tension in favor of a more inchoate set of anxieties, which only expand the deeper we read. At the same time, this enables One Friday in April to move fluidly between recollection and reflection, between what happened and the questions it provokes ... Antrim’s writing here is brilliant in its indirection and compression.