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The "Guardian" Book of April Fool's Day [Hardcover]

Martin Wainwright
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

15 Mar 2007
There was the legendary "Spaghetti Harvest" on BBC Panorama in the late 50s, and "The Guardian's" entire travel supplement in the 80s devoted to the imaginary island of Sans Seriffe. And these days the 1st of April is not complete without an obligatory spoof story in all the national newspapers, on the Today programme, whether it be a Sun exclusive about the Queen going to the bookies or the Independent's more esoteric revelation that the theme-tune to The Archers was to be spiced up and modernised by Brian Eno. Now, for the first time, Martin Wainwright tells the history of how "April Fool's Day" first came about, when it developed into a media phenomenon, and collects all the best examples from across the world of April Fool spoofs over the years. He also looks at the effects of the best tall stories - how people were taken in - and finds the most laughably incredible stories published on April 1st that were actually perfectly true. This will be a book the media will love to talk about on and around 1 April, and also a perfect gift book and offbeat work of miniature social history that will sell all the way up to Christmas. And just to ensure the book is a talking point, the author will ensure that at least one story quoted as an April Fool spoof from the past is actually a flagrant invention of his own to fool the reader.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; First Edition edition (15 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184513155X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845131555
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,254,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


A book for everyone who likes a good joke -- Classic FM Best books for April 2007 Chris Powling

A merry little book; you'd need to be very po-faced not to enjoy it -- Spectator 31 March 2007 Bevis Hillier

A timely book -- The Sun April 3 2007

From the Author

I always fall for April Fools and seldom succeed with my own. So I started
writing this book with trepidation. But the subject fascinated me and the
result is a pretty comprehensive history of the tradition's ancient
origins, the best, the worst and the weird stories on April 1 which have
turned out to be true. You can also learn about the psychology of foolings,
cook a series of frightening April Fool recipes and try at least 20
practical tricks, ten wholesome, the other ten definitely not.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gags! 1 April 2008
For those of us who possess a finely cultivated sense of humour, there is really no better excuse to indulge in high-jinks and japery than April Fools' day. The Guardian has compiled a tremendous selection of the most spectacular April Fools' gags, that will most surely be treasured by any self-respecting connoisseur of the art of tomfoolery. It's a shame to see no mention of the late "Bearded Emperor of Mirth" (as they used to call him) Jeremy Beadle, who apparently had no small hand in organising the greatest April jocularities. Anyhow, perhaps the funniest part of the book is the account of the time Tony Blair summoned the Mexican President (as well as a number of South American ambassadors) to no. 10 on 'gravely important' international business of 'extreme urgency'. After leaving the troubled diplomats to speculate over the reasons for their call-up for nearly two hours, Blair finally emerged. Little could anyone have suspected that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom would appear sporting a gigantic sombrero and a thick handlebar moustache (drawn on with a black marker pen). It was the enormous water pistol that really caught them out, though. Despite the fact that such weapons are intended to emit a jet of water, let's just say that Blair had other ideas about what to fill his tank with! Unfortunately April Fools' Day is not celebrated in Mexico although (thanks to some generous trade agreements) the President was later persuaded to revoke the declaration of war.

I actually like to regard myself as being something of a prankster- indeed my friend Bernard and I are always playing little tricks on each other, regardless of the time of year. However, April Fool's day will always remain a very special occasion in my calendar.
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