Monthly Archives: March 2008


x7175.jpg Penguin Books Australia Ltd. 639 pages

If you are a book lover in Australia, you’d definitely have read at least one or two of Bryce Courtenay’s books. Look into any Oz book shop, and most likely you will see that Courtenay’s books are dominating the best-sellers shelves.

Almost a year ago, a co-worker and I were talking about past jobs, and she used to be in the health department and she was telling me about her paper–she was working on hemophilliacs.

Up until that time, I honestly didn’t even know what hemophillia was ( shame shame shame) and I was astonished to hear that such a condition is in fact quite common.

A very basic description of the condition :

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder that prevents the blood from clotting properly.

Small bruises or cuts that could otherwise be brushed off by normal people, can be very fatal to a a hemophilliac.

April Fool’s Day is a non-fictional account/ tributeĀ  of Bryce Courtenay”s personal experience with a hemophilliac: his own son, Damon Courtenay was born a hemophilliac, and died at 23 years of age.

Courtenay describes this book as mainly being about love, and the major goal of him and his family (wife, son and son’s girlfriend) in writing this book is to change people’s perspective about the condition, and most especially that of HIV.

Back then , hemophilliacs had almost 90% chance of acquiring HIV because of the endless blood transfusions they needed.

To be critical of a book that has such important/noble content may seem unfair, but this book is quite heavy and depressing.

This is my first Bryce Courtenay book and if I were to judge his writing talent through this book, I wouldn’t pick up any of his other works. But perhaps this is an exception, after all it’s a personal account, and when you write something painful and close to your heart, the last thing you have in mind is how it would appeal to your reader.

The education and awareness that it gives the reader about HIV, AIDS, and Hemophilia are the pros to this work.

Tear factor: extremely high.


Bryce Courtenay