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April Fool's Day

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,481 ratings  ·  329 reviews
In the end, love is more important than everything and it will conquer and overcome anything. Or that’s how Damon saw it, anyway. Damon wanted a book that talked a lot about love. Damon Courtenay died on the morning of April Fool’s Day. In this tribute to his son, Bryce Courtenay lays bare the suffering behind this young man’s life. Damon’s story is one of life-long strugg ...more
Hardcover, 673 pages
Published August 6th 1998 by Penguin (first published 1993)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,481 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

Bryce Courtenay, storyteller extraordinaire and one of my most favourite authors tells the tragic story of his own son and his horrendous struggles in life. Damon is born a hemophiliac and accidentally contracts AIDS through a "life saving" blood transfusion. My heart goes out to every family who has been and may ever have to suffer such hardship, I'm not sure I would be able to cope without heavy sedatives.

"When the afflictions which continued to beset Damon didn't fill me with despair,
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't writing reviews when I read this. I was blown away by Mr Courtenay's story, the first and only I've read this far. And Damon's. I really loved this book. A relative was one of the first to die of HIV/Aids here and I just hated to see the prejudice (in the story as I was too young to know what was going on around me). I ached for the Courtenay family.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, courtenay
Wow! I know my eyes are still red from crying as I finished this book this morning before heading to work. Obviously that was not a good choice but what do you do? This is a book so full of courage and love that my words won't do it justice.
Bryce Courtenay writes his son's story of growing up as a haemophiliac who acquires AIDS from a blood transfusion during the time when AIDS was just hitting the news in the states. Damon grew up in Australia so no one really new what it was all about until i
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
‘Trust Damon to die on April Fool’s Day.’

Damon Courtenay was born on 4 November 1966, and died on 1 April 1991. This is his story, written by his father and published in 1993. Damon was the third son of Bryce and Benita Courtenay and was born with classic haemophilia.

‘Its not a disease, so you must put the idea of a cure from your minds immediately. Haemophilia is caused by a factor missing in your child’s blood, the ingredient which causes it to clot.’
‘It’s not something we can ever fix.’

In 1
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I actually read this book about 25 years ago... but it is a book that will never leave me.
I still remember the absolute power of the book and my utter devaststion when I finished reading.
it took me on such a rollercoaster ride and made me realise another side of life that I was fortunate to not have encountered. It was probably part of the reason that I now value my family so much... because you never know what is going to happen in the future.
If you want to read a book about compassion, devot
B the BookAddict
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-author
Courtney at his most honest and his best. ★ 5
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book is overly long and tedious in its level of detail. I understand that it is an attempt to make sense of the death of a greatly loved son, but 639 pages filled at times with the minutiae of serious illness does become a challenge to finish.
It is also somewhat dated now, but does serve to show us how things have changed in both attitudes to, and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Hopefully for the better.
(This review is of course not meant in any way to belittle what the family went through, and my
An extremely moving book about love, friendship, support, ignorance and prejudices. The death of a son from aids.
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is one of my favorite books of all time, but since he's not big in the U.S., it's difficult to find other books by him. I found April Fool's Day in a used book store, and was excited to read it.

This was a great book, but not in the traditional sense. It's got the same great story-telling feel that Power of One had, but it's completely different because this is the true story of his son Damon's struggle with haemophilia. To stop his "bleeds" he needed regular b
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deyanne by: Lisa Lingrell
I am drained - both emotionally and physically after completing this memoir. This was a long read for me and an incredibly arduous yet loving journey for the marvelous family of Damon Courtenay. To have a son born a hemophiliac is beyond daunting. I had no idea about all of the spontaneous bleeds of a hemophiliac nor the resulting physical deterioration in the body. The "mother" part of me reading this book wept openly. How did these parents continue to find their needed strength both physicall ...more
Liza Fireman
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, wow, and ouch ouch ouch. This book is full of pain, it is heart wrenching. It is the story of Bryce Courtenay's son, Damon, that died at the age of 24, after 24 tough years. Damon was a hemophiliac, and to say the truth, I found out that I know almost nothing about hemophilia. What is a bleeding (well, you can't even see the blood), how it is treated (several blood transfusions every week), how limited is a child with hemophilia, and what are the "longer" affects on the body, that is deteri ...more
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Damon was dead. The book starts with his death, so there is no surprise at the outcome. This is the story of Damon Courtney, a hemopheliac who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion and died at age 24. It is beautifully and sensitively told by his father, one of Australia's best known writers, his girlfriend Crystal, and his mother. I learned more about hemophelia and AIDS than I ever knew and at the end I was sobbing at Damon's death.

This isn't a book you actually "enjoy" but it is an import
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
An admittedly poignant story told in a very bloated fashion. I found myself skipping a lot of digressions and trivia. This is not of course a commentary on the life, pain and experiences the family went through, which are touching in an exceptional way. The amount of medical malpractice they went through is infuriating and saddening. For myself, I simply prefer more conciseness and deliberate focus when it comes to carving a path or a perspective through a story. Depositing everything into a hug ...more
 Mandy - Lace Vintage ♥
April Fool's Day is the incredibly moving story of a young man's life cut short by AIDS and the true & pure love for a young woman that will inspire you to live every day to its fullest and love like there is no tomorrow.
There is truly no other words to describe it expect that it is a must read novel that will change how you see life.

"The lovely smiling image I have of Damon will remind me that Love is an energy-it can neither be created or destroyed. It just is and always will be, giving mean
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After having an allergy misdiagnosed as Asthma when I was a child, I avoided doctors as much as I could. I had been prodded with various needles for 4 years and was sick of being sick. The idea of donating blood after all that was not something I felt like volunteering for... Until I read this book. Mr Courtenay didn't pull any punches when it came to describing his own part in the story, which made it all the more powerful. I've been donating blood for the past couple of years now, and will con ...more
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tanya by: Simone
I'm not close to done but felt compelled to say ... wow!

Now that's I've finished it ... still wow! Definitely an inspiring story of love and devotion under impossible circumstances. I also enjoyed the Australian "flavor" (for lack of a better word).

If anyone in SD is interested in this, the Central library branch has a copy. It'll be back there within the week, after I turn it in.
Jonathan Grant
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty tragic story. Didn't realise it was non-fiction until I started reading it.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book
May 25, 2020 added it
I read this years ago. I just remember crying a lot.
Diana E. Young
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book, written by Bryce Courtney, is unusual because it is a non-fiction book. Sadly it is a true story about his young son who developed AID’s as a result of an infected blood transfusion, which he received because of his hemophiliac disease. The story is set in Australia, his native home. The narrative is told from different perspectives...Bryce, the father, the mother, the victim Damon and his girlfriend, Celeste. Each adds their own voice to the unfolding of this deadly disease.

It is a s
Matthew Bushnell
Having enjoyed many of Bryce Courtenay's books I simply read this one without knowing anything about the plot. It is hard to critique a book that is really an invitation into the life of the Courtenay family as they share the struggles of their son, Damon, a haemophiliac who later develops AIDS as a result of a blood transfusion. I felt privileged to be brought into the journey as Bryce, (and other family members), shared their joys, sorrows, triumphs and griefs in the midst of a very difficult ...more
I think I've written enough reviews about Bryce Courtenay to give a fairly obvious impression of what I think of him. However, my vague recollections seem to tell me that this one was a little different: more genuine, perhaps. Still sloppily sentimental and with the tendency to romanticise characters, but what Courtenay does have in buckets is compassion, and he uses it liberally here. It's as sad a tale as any and you can't help but feel sorry for the guy.
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
No other book as made me want to write to author! This book made me want to do that! I read this book in almost one sitting. You know from the beginning that his son has past on, but I was laughing and crying all the way through. At the end I was a balling mess. This is a true story of the authors son who son contracted HIV+ through a blood transfusion, in the early day of the virus. Please please read this book, if you read nothing else of Bryce Courtney.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-books
This is my all time favourite book!
I read it after having lived in Australia so the context of the narrative was alive to me. A truly moving account as told by the father of a haemophiliac son in the days when the world was first experiencing the Aids epidemic. This is a beautiful story of love, family and never ending faith in humanity.
Unfortunately a really difficult book to get hold of now or I'd buy it for all my friends as a must read!
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A deeply personal story from a stellar writing talent. An insight into the harrowing experiences of the Courtenay family around the life and death of son, Damon, who, while receiving blood transfusion to manage haemophilia, contracts HIV. Courtenay describes Damon's journey, couched in the unwaivering love and support of his partner, Celeste, his family, and friends. A labour of love and breathtaking tribute.
Wilma Rebstock
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
APRIL FOOL'S DAY is a very sad but true story,
Sarah Newton
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. So sad and tragic, be prepared for lots of crying. Learned so much about blood and illness. Really wish it was a work of fiction
Amanda Jane
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written!
Make sure you are a box of tissues whilst reading.
Read years ago. Need to reread
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
very touching, i couldnt put it down
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