on 25 October 2002
All Fools Day is a story of a sad, defeated man and his re-introduction to the rest of the human race. A post-apocalyptic novel (plague, not nukes) with a love story, a hope story, and some pretty nasty violence (rape, torture, murder) mixed in there. Not for the squeamish but not a totally violent book either. I feel that it ranks up there with Kronk as one of Edmund Coopers top 2 novels. It's a bit dated these days but I still own a copy and re-read it every other year or so.
on 13 August 2009
This is a cracking book if you like old school post apocalyptic fiction along the lines of something that John Christopher might have written. The book begins with a couple of examples of scientific papers that suggest that the premise of the story is possible, and although I find it a bit unlikely, I think the idea is refreshing after reading about a hundred books where the world ends through plague or nuclear war.
Anyway, the book begins with unusual activity in the Sun causing the Earth to be exposed to a previously unknown type of intense solar radiation. Over a period of around a decade this causes most of the world's 'normal' people to give in to suicidal urges, drastically reducing the population. Only people who are somehow mentally unbalanced seem to be immune to the problem, so only they are left alive.
The story follows one particular man through the crisis as he tries to survive amidst the chaos. Approximately the first half of the book describes the descent of the UK as the authorities gradually collapse and all forms of order gradually cease to exist. Once this backdrop is well established, the second half of the book has a stonger narrative element as we follow the 'hero' as society is being rebuilt to some extent.
This story does feature quite a lot of violence, including torture and worse, but it's handled in a way that's inkeeping with the situation. If you don't mind a few unpleasant scenes then I thoroughly recommend this book. My only complaint is that it was a little short for my tastes.
on 6 January 2003
All Fools Day must be one of the most overlooked books from the 1970's. It is written with a wry humour, and in my opinion is a superb example of Mr Coopers work.
Set in England, the book follows an off-beat 'end of the world' format, where most of the population have died, and only the less than sane survive.
If you can find a copy, do read it!
on 22 March 2011
This fine novel from 1966 is well worth seeking out. Edmund Cooper writes both stories about dystopian futures on Earth and stories about travel to other worlds. This falls into the first of these categories and in my opinion it's one of the best of them. The story is told straight, without an overt ironic presentation (as you sometimes find in others of his dystopian novels). I personally like the straight presentation as it keeps the action vivid and believable.
It's a story about the breakdown of civilisation so the behaviour and violence referred to in other reviews has to be expected but it's not gratuitous, and is balanced by compassion, caring and fairness too. Apart from that it can seem refreshing in this mechanised age to reflect on a possible world where the land is much less crowded, cars have all but disappeared and nature takes over in cities, all very clearly portrayed here. Though set in the 1970s and onwards the story is timeless. I'd recommend the book if either you like Cooper's inventive science fiction writing or you're interested to read probably one of the best crafted stories about the breakdown of civilisation.
on 24 February 2009
I would have to very much agree with the reviews below , this is a great wee book. A friend of mine had been talking about it for years when eventually he turned up with an old second hand copy . On reading it I couldn't put the thing down , it reminded me a bit of the Survivors series of the 70's only much better ; more realistic , more believeable and much more brutal . The humour is very wry but I don't think it has dated as much as Kronk (also full of humour) allthough Kronk does contain a lot of foresight .
My only complaint about this this book (if I had one ) would be that for me , it all ended too soon . I felt Cooper could have made the book much longer but for his own reasons he didn't , so we end up with a book about the same lenghth as Kronk , but I prefer All Fools Day . Well worth a read.