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April Fool's Day | [Bryce Courtenay]

April Fool's Day

This is Bryce Courtenay's moving tribute to his son, Damon, a hemophiliac who died from medically acquired AIDS on April 1, 1991, at the age of 24. April Fool's Day is controversial, painful and heartbreaking, yet has a gentle humor. It is also life-affirming, and, above all, a testimony to the incredible regenerative strength of love: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This tragic yet uplifting story will change the way you think.
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Publisher's Summary

This is Bryce Courtenay's moving tribute to his son, Damon, a hemophiliac who died from medically acquired AIDS on April 1, 1991, at the age of 24.

April Fool's Day is controversial, painful and heartbreaking, yet has a gentle humor. It is also life-affirming and, above all, a testimony to the incredible regenerative strength of love: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This tragic yet uplifting story will change the way you think. From the author of The Power of One.

©1993 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the Critics Say

"April Fool's Day is one of those rare, wholly beautiful books that lets life speak for itself." (The Australian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (243 )
5 star
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4.2 (133 )
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4.4 (134 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary 03-05-15
    Gary 03-05-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    95
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    Story
    "A candid telling of a beloved son's short life"

    A touching recount of a much loved child's optimistic life despite his hemophilia and subsequent illness from AIDS, contracted through blood transfusions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Armando Raleigh, NC 09-16-14
    Armando Raleigh, NC 09-16-14 Member Since 2009
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    "The optimism of the young"
    Any additional comments?

    A very personal story, very sad to see the unending optimism of the young son of Bryce finnaly defeated by aids , I won't listen to this again , Mr Bower as always does a fantastic narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 04-03-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 04-03-13 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Heartbreaking and Triumphant"
    Where does April Fool's Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a different sort of book as it was extremely personal, and instead of weaving a story about fictional characters, Bryce Courtenay was pouring out his own life. Having read many of his books, I appreciated his effort in telling his hearbreaking but triumphant story... the story of his son Damon.


    What other book might you compare April Fool's Day to and why?

    I have no books to compare this to and it is entirely unique among the hundreds of books I have read.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't think you can say that there is a favourite scene. It is not that kind of book. I cried and laughed and got angry... the gamit of emotions was passed through as I listened to this book almost continuously from beginning to end.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from April Fool's Day?

    I think the poignancy of the medicallly induced AIDS problem and ignorance/insensitivity of people looking after those infected with this terrible virus was painful to acknowledge, but I think it was important to bring it to the reader. Every person who is educated and encouraged to be more compassionate towards AIDS sufferers and those with Hemophilia will make this book even more worthy of having been written.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt it was particularly helpful to have the various members of Damon's family narrating from their own perspectives. Altogether, a wonderful book. Now Bryce is with his beloved Damon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 03-27-13
    Susan 03-27-13

    I'm a landscape architect by profession and an avid listener of audio books ! I particularly love the historical based fiction series, like Courteney, McCammon, and Gabaldon,. I listen in the car, while designing in my studio and most evenings.

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    "Sadly Important Story"
    If you could sum up April Fool's Day in three words, what would they be?

    Sadly Important Story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of April Fool's Day?

    Just overall being allowed to share this painful experience with my favorite author.


    Any additional comments?

    A real 5 hanky book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Australia 02-05-13
    Margaret Australia 02-05-13
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    11
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    "Informative"
    What did you like best about April Fool's Day? What did you like least?

    Very informative. Need to know informative about AIDS told in a compationate way.
    Drawn out. Could have been condensed in many ways. I felt it came straight from the heart. I would have preferred Bryce to have taken more time to write this book. Even so I really enjoyed it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Celest. Her patience and love for her man.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    A story that needed to be told.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Bryce Courtenay’s life?

    He was obviously stretched to the limit mentally at the time of the writing of 'April Fool's day'. I would have prefered him to have taken more time.


    Any additional comments?

    A great story that need telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tersia 10-08-12
    Tersia 10-08-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Joy within sorrow"
    What did you love best about April Fool's Day?

    A dad's love and care for his son.


    What other book might you compare April Fool's Day to and why?

    Still Alice, you get to be in the shoes of the people going through their tribulation.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Emotion at the right moments.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    Writing about pain you experiencing with your children put life into perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elane 03-24-12
    Elane 03-24-12
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    "Tragic story - well written but tough subject"
    Where does April Fool's Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is in a special category due to its subject matter. I love Bryce Courtenay writings but this one was about his son and his son's tragic but lovely life. It will definitely make you feel and become emotionally involved, so not a book for those needing an uplifting or inspirational read/listen. I especially liked the book (it is hard to say enjoyed because of the subject matter although I did enjoy it) since I had listened to so many of Courtenay's books. That is, after a dozen or so of his books I felt I was able to get to know this author finally. It is truly a heart wrenching tale.


    What other book might you compare April Fool's Day to and why?

    David Sheff wrote a book about his sons addictions and the son Nic also wrote a book about his addictions. These books too were tragic but so self indulgent - especially the son's that they had a somewhat of a theatrical nature about them - Aprils Fools Day was long and sometimes rambling but Courtenay was not self indulgent.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Nothing - I look for books narrated by Humphrey Bower.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Pretty strong emotional reaction - it was hard because of the pain and agony expressed by the author. Albeit he tried his best to express love and joy and humor. It just was not possible to feel the tragedy and heart break.


    Any additional comments?

    Upon listening one hopes that in writing the book he lessened his pain and agony over losing his son.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Caulfield, Australia 03-03-12
    Steven Caulfield, Australia 03-03-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting but depressing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Have put aside after going through 3/4 of book. I did not want to listen to any more of the progressive demise of an innocent character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Coltman 08-23-11
    Ian Coltman 08-23-11 Listener Since 2006
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    "Just not my cup of tea"

    I know that this is a very special book for Bryce Courtney, but I could not get into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karla Schiever 04-28-11 Listener Since 2005
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    "A Lesson in Hemophilia"

    I did not see how Bryce Courtenay could write a book on his son's short life and take 20 hours to do so (surely it would get repetitive). No--it was fabulous! As a nurse we touched on hemophilia in school, but they never told the story! Stupendous! Many thanks for sharing such an intimate story. As good as his other books. And of course, I love the narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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