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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will cry while reading this book, for it's all truth.
I am a fan of Bryce Courtenay, and have read all his books. This one tells the true story of his last son, Damon, who was born with haemophilia and went through a very hard life, still one full of love and joy. I found myself crying for what happened to Damon, from the purple head episode in hospital to the AIDS he caught during a blood transfusion. And I do completely...
Published on 17 Jan 2004 by VENTURINI VIVIANA

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The journey of a life
fascinating story of a much loved and determined character, written by a talented author. Interesting insight into both haemophillia and AIDS written in a compassionate, insightful and realistic way. If you are interested in life stories and whether either of dieseases affect your life or not,this is a story worth reading.
Published on 16 July 2003 by northcoasts


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will cry while reading this book, for it's all truth., 17 Jan 2004
By 
VENTURINI VIVIANA (NAVE, BRESCIA Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
I am a fan of Bryce Courtenay, and have read all his books. This one tells the true story of his last son, Damon, who was born with haemophilia and went through a very hard life, still one full of love and joy. I found myself crying for what happened to Damon, from the purple head episode in hospital to the AIDS he caught during a blood transfusion. And I do completely agree with what Damon said, whatever your problem is, HEALTH is a gift, the most precious one we possess, together with LOVE. The book is about love against the odds, the prejudice, the injustice of a health and political system in Australia in the 1980s; it is full of details and vivid images, and I can imagine how hard it was for the author to write about his own experience, and the suffering in trying to explain in a clear way what exactly happened to him and his family those days. Everyone who has been through a quite serious illness will love this book, as I did. Thanks, Bryce.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a challenge, 16 Sep 2007
By 
This review is from: April Fools Day (Hardcover)
PRIL FOOL'S DAY was the hardest book Bryce Courtenay ever wrote, and it's also one of the hardest books I ever read. I started it (the first time) on a Friday evening and did nothing but read (and occasionally try to sleep) until I had finished it -- I couldn't imagine stepping out of the middle of the story into my own life. I've read this book, given it away, bought it again, several times: it's not a book you can forget.

Courtenay's son Damon was born in Australia with severe haemophilia. Along with the moving story of an afflicted but strong-spirited boy, Courtenay paints a bitter and angry picture of the Australian medical community at that time, steeped in paternalism and political expediency.

Several times a week Damon would bleed into his joints, and his father would take him to the hospital for infusion of Factor VIII to induce clotting. In other countries families were allowed to stock Factor VIII and infuse at home, minimizing both disruption to the family and permanent damage to joints. This was not permitted in Australia, to the extreme detriment of haemophiliacs and their families.

Worse than this, the screening and fractionation of donated blood in Australia did not at that time meet safety standards known and required in other countries. Damon contracted AIDS from the contaminated Australian blood supply and died of that disease on April Fool's Day in 1991.

The book is saturated with the author's bitterness, and the reader can't fail to walk his angry path with him. You WANT it to have been different, you WANT to find a justification or at least an exculpation for the medical mismanagement of Damon and the entire cohort of haemophiliacs in that time and place.

You'll find a celebration of Damon's spirit and his family's faithful support. You'll find love that fights tooth and nail for Damon. But you won't find forgiveness or exoneration, and if you're like me you'll think you should, and keep reading the book again looking for it -- in yourself if not in the author.

Courtenay's work (THE POWER OF ONE, TANDIA, WHITETHORN, etc) appears not to be well known in the United States, although he's highly regarded in his birth county (South Africa) and adopted country (Australia). APRIL FOOL'S DAY should be more widely known. It's a challenging read with a personal message the reader has to translate and tease apart. Read it for that challenge.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Courtenay, 8 Mar 2004
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
This book is a must read.
Being new to the writings of Courtenay I have read The Power of One and Tandia and enjoyed them both immensely. I picked up April Fools Day as at the time I wanted to read more of Courtenay's work and it was the only one of his books available. I do not normally read books like this but I am so glad that I did. Courtenay's own life is laid bare amoung the pages, told with heart rendering honesty and in great detail.
I have laughed and cried through the pages along with Bryce and his family. This is truly the most powerful and moving book I have ever read, a story about family, love, determination and human spirit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, 30 Sep 2004
By 
Mr. A. Baggaley (manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
I read this when it first came out and foung it an outstanding book. Never has a book moved me so much. for Bryce courtenay to open his heart so much was a very humbling experience. For those that don't understand heomaphilia or Aids this is a must. Maybe there won't be so many people quick to judge without fully understanding the facts. It would be a very cold person that would fail to be moved by this true story. Thank you Bryce for sharing Damon's story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANYONE WHO LIVES WITH HAEMOPHILIA A MUST READ., 7 Nov 2002
By 
B. BARRY "jaedenke" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
As a mother of two sons who live with severe haemophilia, this book was a most poignant read I would urge anyone who is affected with haemophilia in any shape or form please read this book. It will put your life into perspective and if like me you are lucky enough not to have been infected with hiv or hep C you really will count your blessings, it also gives a true to life account of life for a boy suffering the pain of joint bleeds etc trying to lead a normal life in a time though not that long ago appear antiquated by today's standards believe me you'll never take your Haemophilia centre for granted again.
This book is most certainly not all doom and gloom it is at time's very funny not giving to much from the story Damon is the type of boy and later in his life a man you'd be proud to call your son or friend his life stood for somthing the reason I think his father Bryce captured his sons life in print quite simply Damon's life mattered. I don't think I have ever found any book so hard to finish I had three attempts to read the final chapter each time having to close the book because it affected me so deeply. This story is about life and love, even if life deals you a bad deck of cards look to the stars and thank them for each little blessing in your life. Never look at the negative and never give up on life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should not be overlooked!!!, 7 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
Please buy or borrow this book, then read it and weep........and laugh (occasionally).
No matter how traumatic it is, it is a book that you will be drawn to time and time again and will keep in your bookcase for a very LONG time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story that will make you cry with sympathy and joy, 8 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
I first heard of this book after reading his previous novels, Power of One & Tandia. I ploughed through those books with some speed and laughed and cried at his writers prose. I picked up April Fools Day expecting the same. But to my surprise it took me over a week to read (sometimes unable to put the book down of an evening) and the last chapter took me about 4 days to read as the way it was written bit through to my soul and I felt I was witnessing or at least involved to the end of Damon's life, I felt that I had known him personally and cried for him just as I would the death of a friend. Truly worth the read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique account of life and death, 23 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
In this book Bryce Courtenay tells the story of his youngest son Damon, a heamophiliac who became HIV positive thorugh a blood transfusion. He manages to make this book not of a testament to his death, as other writers would, but a beautiful and moving account of his son's breif and very fulfilled life.
I have read no other book that has made me laugh and cry so much, and which has taught me so much. A masterpiece in biographical writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The journey of a life, 16 July 2003
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
fascinating story of a much loved and determined character, written by a talented author. Interesting insight into both haemophillia and AIDS written in a compassionate, insightful and realistic way. If you are interested in life stories and whether either of dieseases affect your life or not,this is a story worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most moving book i have ever had the honour to read, 21 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: April Fool's Day (Paperback)
I had read The Power of One, a most exquisite read. Then i wanted more of Bryce Courtenay, I came across April Fools Day not knowing what it was about so i started to read, then after a few pages i had to stop (to dry my tears). I learned that true love really shines through in the end. Courage, hope and love... that is what this book inspires. If you have yet to read it, make sure you have a few hours spare so that you don't have to stop too soon. Oh and loads of tissues.....enjoy!
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April Fool's Day
April Fool's Day by Bryce Courtenay (Paperback - 28 Aug 2006)
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