April Fool's Day and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.86
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by -Daily Deals-
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This Book is in Good Condition. Used Copy With Light Amount of Wear. 100% Guaranteed.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

April Fool's Day: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 14, 2006


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, March 14, 2006
$5.47 $4.86

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Special Offers and Product Promotions

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: P.S.
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060583983
  • ASIN: B004JZWVHC
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like Aleksandar Hemon and Ha Jin, short story writer Novakovich (Salvation and Other Disasters) manages the feat of writing vibrantly and inventively in a second language, shaping English to the dictates of his satiric, folk-tinged storytelling. His debut novel tells the story of Ivan Dolinar, a Croatian Everyman born in the town of Nizograd in 1948. As a boy, Ivan is a bully and a patriot (as one chapter title puts it, "Ivan loves the state apparatus"), and he grows up longing to serve his country. After a buffoonish but successful stint in medical school, he's about to become a doctor when a foolish joke gets him arrested and sent to a labor camp on a desolate Adriatic island. He's released three years later, but his criminal record makes him unfit for everything except graduate school in philosophy. Demoralized and hapless, he's drafted into the Serb-heavy Yugoslav army to fight his fellow Croats; he soon deserts and is hustled into uniform on the other side. Novakovich gives a pithy, biting account of the Balkan wars, following it up by an even more caustic account of Ivan's marriage to a woman he raped during the war. The story culminates with Ivan's first-person account of his own death and afterlife. Novakovich's English is foreign-tinged and brash, giving a jolt of chaotic energy to this dark Balkan comedy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Politics turn personal for Ivan Dolinar, born April 1, 1948, in Croatia, as the ricocheting course of his life reflects the tumult of his home country. His medical studies are cut short when he's imprisoned after a classmate jokes about assassinating Tito, who--along with Indira Gandhi--visits the labor camp and offers Ivan a Cuban cigar and a longer sentence. Released but barred from medicine, Ivan is drafted into the Yugoslav army just before the Croats organize their own defense force, putting him into an absurd and horrific war with his own countrymen. Finding his captain raping his former classmate Selma, Ivan rescues and later marries her, raising her daughter as his own. But marriage, fatherhood, hypochondria, and adultery fail to bring the peace Ivan finds in life after death. Novakovich has recycled some of his earlier stories-- Milan's war experience in "Crimson," from Salvation and Other Disasters (1998), becomes Ivan's, and sculptor-headstone carver Marko Kovachevich in "Rust," from Yolk (1995), reappears largely verbatim--to form this ultimately sardonic view of getting by in the Balkans. Michele Leber
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
65%
4 star
24%
3 star
12%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 17 customer reviews
There is terrific imagery and writing throughout.
Mark Stevens
Hoo boy, do I love to come across a book that grabs me from the first page and will not let me go until I read the last word.
Emmett Hoops
Strongly recommended to anyone who loves a well-written novel.
Matthew Restall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Croatian author Josip Novakovich's novel bursts the bounds of genre. Both naturalistic in its depiction of the Yugoslavian war and its atrocities, and fantastic and darkly absurd in its depiction of the life of main character Ivan Dolinar, the novel seesaws between the horrific and the hilarious. Surprising in his ability to wrest unique images from universal experiences, Novakovich writes with such clarity and directness that the reader immediately identifies with Ivan and empathizes with him as uncontrollable forces buffet him throughout his life.

Born, appropriately, on April Fool's Day, 1948, Ivan immediately comes alive for the reader through the author's recognition of the universal qualities of children. In many ways Ivan is a child-Everyman, albeit one with a Croatian upbringing. At nineteen, he passes the exams for medical school, where he forms fast friendships, tries to fall in love, and excels in anatomy--until he and a roommate are overheard joking about assassinating Marshall Tito, a conversation which results in a four-year sentence to a prison labor camp, where, absurdly, he has a cigar with Marshall Tito.

As Ivan becomes more and more a prisoner of his political system, the sense of absurdity grows. Eventually, thanks to nationwide unrest, Ivan, a Croat, is drafted into the Yugoslav army and, absurdly, sent to Croatia to fight the Croatian army, only to be captured by the Croats and forced to fight the Serbs until his unit surrenders to the Yugoslav Army which drafted him in the first place. Forced to make a 100-mile march, the end of which would be freedom for anyone who survived, Ivan observes atrocities beyond his imaginings.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Kembrey on September 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Novakovich's prose has a brash clarity that moves pages and as a result April Fools' Day can be read cover-to-cover in one or two sittings. Let's just say that Ivan's not a boring guy, and in a market where the bulk of literary novels spend hundreds of snail pages negotiating the slightest quiver in the character's emotional landscape, Novakovich's Ivan seldom enjoys such a position of privilege or the meandering introspection that often comes along with it. Ivan's beaten and battered and on the move and Novakovich's deft employment of black and absurdist humor

create a novel that reads like epic folklore.

April Fools' Day, Josip Novakovich's first novel (he has several other books of essays and short stories)is full of Ivan - the kind of character who demands a novel coalesce around him. Ivan demands alot in this novel - alot that he never gets. He's the kid with grand gumption who derails a train and beats his younger brother with great relish and fears ghosts and horses and dreams big, he's the young man who watches his delusions of grandeur fade, he studies medicine, he smokes a cigar with Castro and eats what he's already eaten, and Ivan cannot for all his effort figure out how to negotiate those mysterious females. Ivan also goes to war and prison and gets married and grows older although maybe not wiser and dies and lives on... He does everything and nothing. He flickers from doer to hapless victim again and again and it's in these sections that I found myself rooting for Ivan the way I find myself rooting for myself sometimes - hoping for the best, putting my head down and going for it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Josip Novakovich is now one of my favorite writers! This book managed to deal with some very tough issues in the Yugoslavian war while at the same time come off as one of the most humorous books I've read in literature since Mark Twain. Ivan Dolinar is the perfect picaro, and can I think be listed among that great international tradition. The death and afterlife of Ivan is some of the most imaginative and compelling storytelling I've read since García Márquez. As soon as I finished April Fools Day I rushed to find what else I could read from Novakovich. His short stories are just as clever and addicting. Josip Novakovich must be one of the most underrated writers out there. A great, original voice. Read him!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emmett Hoops on February 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Hoo boy, do I love to come across a book that grabs me from the first page and will not let me go until I read the last word. April Fool's Day is such a book. For those who love evocative, creative prose, Josip Novakovich will provide six hours of incredible literature. I found myself looking at the frontispiece every now and then for the first twenty or thirty pages, looking for the name of the translator. (There is none: it's written in English.) I didn't have to look, because translation, for those who speak a second language, can never come close to the beauty of the original language in which a book was written. I should have trusted my own sense.

Poor Ivan is born on April 1, 1948, but his parents decide to make it April 2, officially, since they don't want any ill tidings to come to their new son. Well, sorry, folks, the entire fellow's life is one long April Fool's Day. Longing to praise his country's leader, he gets punished; longing to love, he gets lonely; longing to be right, he doesn't know if he's wrong. This is a powerfully philosophical book, much more this than satirical, I think. Read it. It is really that good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?