Good Antifreeze | Book Review
Thank you, Vadius Wilburn, for sending me a digital copy of Good Antifreeze in exchange for my honest review.
Good Antifreeze is the first seven in a collection of twenty-two short stories exploring the deepest and darkest things that can come with being a human. Each story follows a character and their inner monologues, their worries and struggles, and the dark things they've been/are going through.
This is a book designed to make you think and ponder about your existence, but unfortunately, it didn't do that for me. For most of it, I was a bit confused and lacked in any of the connection this book requires. This is a very short book, with each story about 10-pages long, and I feel like that's not enough time to really connect with any of the situations the characters are going through. That made me completely indifferent to their stories and what was happening to them, even if some of the situations I have gone through myself (i.e. mental health struggles). But even when I could see my reality reflected in the thoughts depicted in the stories, it wasn't enough to leave an impression.
I feel like the format also contributed to my lack of connection. The book starts out with an author's note about the writing style because it consists of extremely long sentences (that often last for a page or two), without "proper" punctuation. And while this completely helps with the message of the book because it truly reads like someone's overthinking thoughts, it was confusing at times to keep up with what was going on, making me have to reread certain passages because I found that my mind had wandered off.
Each one of the short stories felt like an existential crisis and are clearly designed to make you think about your own struggles, but besides that, there isn't really a plot. I feel like it was so short and stylised that I did not connect with any of it and that was clearly the main purpose of the book, to connect with the reader and have them ponder about what it means to be alive and the struggles that can bring.
I gave this book 3/5 ⭐️. The concept was great, the writing worked well for what it was trying to do but, ultimately, it didn't personally work for me. Content warnings for mention of sexual assault, suicidal thoughts and talk of ending one's life, depiction of depression and anxiety, drug abuse, and abusive parental relationships.