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The Most Beautiful Thing [Paperback]

Fiona Robyn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Feb 2012
Two summers in Amsterdam. The first: fourteen year old Joe Salt, obsessed with clouds and falcons and perplexed by humans. His aunt Nel, a chaotic artist with two lovers. The second, fifteen years later: a family secret, which makes sense of everything, and pushes Joe to breaking point...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Woodsmoke Press (23 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957158408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957158405
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving 9 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first novel I have read by this author and I look forward to backtracking....it was a very moving read.

Joe, who is just 14 yrs old when we meet him and engage with him at his Aunts place in Amsterdam, quickly endears himself speaking directly and openly to us. The relationship which develops between the reader and Joe inevitably becomes intimate.
As with a previous reviewer I made the assumption that Joe has autism (from various clues) but even later in the book this is never clarified. Is it important to know? No I think I agree with Fiona Robins. Labels can be insidious. I enjoy meeting this boy, who moves into manhood, with his own unique personality and without prejudgment. In my opinion this was the message of the novel. Joe is different but so are you and so am I. Let us love one another because of our differences - not in spite of them.

Fiona writes with great perception and sensitivity. Intense observational skills and an eye for detail kept my attention and interest.
You won't be disappointed!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful indeed 5 April 2012
By Mel MJ
Format:Paperback
Finding the beauty in dysfunction is a hard task but Fiona Robyn has managed to achieve just that. Her characters are warm and engaging and I quickly grew very fond of Joe, in spite of (or maybe even because of) his imperfections. Now I've finished the book I find that I miss him.

The story unfolds languidly, which isn't to say that the plot is slow, more that there is a pleasurably relaxed flow to it. Indeed, I completely lost myself in it for some time, then "came to" and had almost forgotten that I wasn't actually a voyeur in Amsterdam.

There is a whole gamut of emotion here: tenderness, frustration, humour, anger, all cleverly captured in language that demonstrates clearly without being obvious. A classic example of show, don't tell. There are unexpected twists and the final reveal (and the reason for the title) had me in tears, mourning the loss of something that never really was coupled with regret that it could never be.

I loved this book. I will read it many more times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understated Beauty 5 July 2013
By Carol
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love contemporary fiction and I have to admit I didn't know whether I really liked this book until about 3/4 of the way through. It's worth reading to the end and not giving up if you feel this way. The writing technique is different, it gives you the minutes and doesn't cut to the action/emotion. It drags things out as real life does. Like a documentary only more honest. By doing this the impact is greater. There are no twists (well, none that you won't have guessed), no hilarity, no great emotion, except that which you will feel yourself, it ekes it out of you rather than manipulates it from you. It's very well done and I congratulate the writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another triumph 6 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
This is the second of Fiona's books I have read and it did not disappoint. Her ability to write the thoughts of another person with such detail and realism is truly engrossing and I will soon be devouring her other two novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book 3 Jun 2012
By Maureen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived fairly promptly. I really enjoyed it. Characters totally believable and quite 'different'. A good story with unexpected twists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Beautiful Thing 31 May 2012
By MH
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Most Beautiful Thing does what all good novels should do: it explores an aspect of the human condition. The protagonist, Joe, is a young man who has been psychologically damaged by the actions of others, and the reader is invited to travel with Joe as he struggles to come to terms with the past. With well-drawn characters, some beautiful descriptions and great sensitivity, Ms Robyn has dealt with a difficult subject with insight and skill. The Most Beautiful Thing is a book which I am very glad to have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 20 May 2012
By Anna S
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This isn't the sort of book that I normally read, being more a fan of historical fiction, but I was drawn to TMBT by the lovely cover and the engaging opening. I found Joe's story exquisitely told, with a beautiful sensitivity to feeling, and thoroughly believable characters. Though dealing with sadness, loss and illness, the story was full of humour and lightness. I didn't want it to end - and felt illuminated by the love in this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dry, plodding and leaves unpleasant taste in mouth
There is something self-conscious and pretentious about this book and its blurb. There is an 'evangelical' flavour to the author's patronising notes in the back pages... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Tilly Thumb
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough read at the start is well worth it for the finish
The Most Beautiful Thing was tough at first I must admit, but the good reviews I had read spurred me on to give the book a real chance. Well..... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Victoria Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend
This is a fantastic book, I could not put it down. It was a compelling story, beautifully written. I highly recommend this.
Published 22 months ago by LPness
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written AND a real page turner!
This is the second book I've read by Fiona Robyn. I loved "The Letters" and "The Most Beautiful Thing" is even better. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2012 by Kate Bacon
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
One if the most beautiful books I've ever read. I highly recommend it to those who love a good cry.
Published on 30 April 2012 by Jules Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars The Adventures of 'Everyboy'.
The Most Beautiful Thing This finely crafted novel is certainly the most beautiful thing I've read for a long time. Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by Richard O.
5.0 out of 5 stars The most Beautiful Thing
I don't read that many novels but I couldn't put this one down: probably the best praise I could give this kind of book. Buy it, you will love it. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by AdrianLT
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