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
"April Fool's Day is one of those rare, wholly beautiful books that lets life speak for itself." (The Australian)
The love between a father and his son is dominate. We are also treated to the private Bryce Courtenay, that shows him to very real with all the emotions. I enjoyed being in on their raising 3 boys. There were quite a few moments of levity thru out most of this narrative.
I do hope that you will not pass on this true story.
People with current experience in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or Hemophilia may find this book very frustrating. It represents a personal journey through what was at the time a very uncharted territory! Courtenay does not try to paint a rosy picture - it is a story of his son's journey from birth to death with a lot of "glitches" along the way because of everyone's unfamiliarity with the nature of the AIDS virus.
It is, nevertheless, an amazing story of life and love. If you can grit your teeth through the bureaucratic nightmare, you will recognize the journey of a very remarkable young man and the people who loved and supported him.
My heart goes out to Bryce with this story. Anyone who has to deal with the medical community anywhere should read/listen to this. You have to be your own advocate. You have to be educated about what health care can and can not do. Thanks so much to Bryce for sharing what must have been the hardest story of all to share. There is not enough thanks in the world for you and your family for this story.
Yes I would recommend this book. This book is written from the broken heart of a father, who guides his son through a life journey of pain, suffering, compassion, love and how to enjoy life to it's fullest. You will laugh, get angry and cry.
Humphrey Bower brings all of the characters to life, not just in this book but in all of the books by Bryce Courtney.
Be more patient, compassionate , and loving.
Bryce Courtney took a subject very close to his heart and brought to the reader not only the horrors of facing so many struggles with hemophilia and full blown AIDS but also he related hope and joy with the stories of people involved along the way with his son’s illness.
Celeste and Damion’s relationship.
Humphrey Bower is the best reader of the dozens of books I have listened to. He brings the characters alive, and I cherish every word he speaks. I cannot miss a single word he speaks.
I have much more empathy for those who have suffered and still suffer from diseases that are looked upon with such ignorance. The book also taught me to question and do research on any illness I might get, to not just trust those “in authority.” I loved Dr. Cole.
The two best books I have listened to are The Power of One and April Fools Day, both written by Bryce Courtney and read by Humphrey Bower.
Bryce Courtenay's only non-fiction work, April Fool's Day, is just as good or better than his top fiction books. What a moving story! another masterpiece by Bryce!!
The honesty of the story and compassionate delivery.
Damon's first major bleed as a toddler; the showdown with the Emergency Department just before Damon's death.
Humphrey Bower is AMAZINGLY talented! He is so adept at adapting his accents to each character, regardless of ethnic/national origin, he makes the story come totally alive. I have listened to most of Bryce Courtenay's books in part because of Bower's delivery. He is a wonder!
Bryce Courtenay's books have taught me so much of the various countries, areas and historical events and, now, about the experiences of a hemophiliac and his family. I had no idea - and I have worked in healthcare all my life!
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.
This is not a book for everyone. This is a book that tells of a dying son and the father's journey through the death and dying. It is a true story of Bryce Courtenay's sons haemophilia and eventual death from AIDS.
Story: The story is well written and tries to tell the story from a number of people's points of view. This is successful in some ways but mostly it is Mr. Courtenay's story about his anger and fight on his sons behalf. I became a little angry at times having lived through a similar thing and also being a part of the medical establishment that Mr. Courtenay rails against. Some of the things that he says are simply wrong and others are interpreted by a grieving and angry father. The story should be read by every medical student in an attempt to prevent the "God Complex" that is such a problem with this profession.
Narrator: As usual Mr Bower does a superlative job. Does this man ever read a story in a bad way????
I can't describe how good this book is. I was a mess by the end of it! Everyone should read this book. It is both moving and uplifting at the same time. The majority of us will be involved of caring for someone with a terminal illness at some point in our lives and thankfully the specialty of Palliative Medicine has come on on in leaps and bounds since this family endured this ordeal. This book captures perfectly the emotions, hopes, and fears of people in this position and I think it should be a compulsory text for all doctors and nurses in training.
"heart breakingly brilliant"
Heartbreakingly brilliant story.
A personal insight into the tragic yet optimistic life of his son.
Read with feeling
Made me cry out and laugh in all the right places and sob at the inevitable end to the story and the life of Damon.
"Moving at times but over long"
This is a sad story of a brave life. At times it is very touching, you learn a lot about the illnesses and how hard you sometimes have to fight the medical profession for some humanity... But I felt it was too long and disjointed to fully immerse myself in. The story is mainly told by Bryce but, due to it's nature, other family members (including Damon) tell parts of the story. In the case of Benita, Bryce's wife, this is only once and didn't seem to have continuity. Humphrey Bower is as excellent as always.
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