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122 Reviews
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 (69)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most beautiful read
I really enjoyed reading The Most Beautiful Thing, my first by Fiona Robyn. I particularly relished how you got to know the characters as the story unfolded and didn't have them thrust upon you. They were easy to connect with emotionally, and to even understand and identify with Joe's dysfunctional family. The author dealt with the issue of mental health in a...
Published on 4 April 2012 by Penelope Grey

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I nearly did not finish this.
The Most Beautiful Thing is did not sweep me away. The narrative voice was not convincing and the characterisation of main character never resonated fully. As I read through it felt like I was getting a lot of unnecessary details about the characters that did not engage me and I considered giving up. In the second section it becomes clearer why Robyn has given this detail...
Published 18 months ago by Laura


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most beautiful read, 4 April 2012
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I really enjoyed reading The Most Beautiful Thing, my first by Fiona Robyn. I particularly relished how you got to know the characters as the story unfolded and didn't have them thrust upon you. They were easy to connect with emotionally, and to even understand and identify with Joe's dysfunctional family. The author dealt with the issue of mental health in a compassionate and caring manner, which I found impacted on my own opinions on this subject. A beautifully descriptive book that draws you into the world of a 14 year old boy who perhaps views the world in a different way to most people, and then when you revisit Amsterdam with him as a man in his twenties it is even more pleasurable. I can thoroughly recommend this book, and I for one will miss reading about Joe tonight.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very beautiful thing, 24 Mar 2012
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This book really is a beautiful thing. Enter the world of Joe, 14 years old and spending the summer in Amsterdam with his artist aunt Nel. Beautifully observed, tender, thoughtful and insightful, this book twists and turns in the way that life does...revealing beauty and dysfunction. Fast forward in time to 15 years later when Joe returns to Amsterdam uncovering a tragedy and a secret that will turn his world upside down. This is a memorable book; a truly beautiful thing; a story that stays with you long after you read it. Definitely the best book I've read this year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I nearly did not finish this., 18 Feb 2013
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The Most Beautiful Thing is did not sweep me away. The narrative voice was not convincing and the characterisation of main character never resonated fully. As I read through it felt like I was getting a lot of unnecessary details about the characters that did not engage me and I considered giving up. In the second section it becomes clearer why Robyn has given this detail but it is not satisfying. When Nell's voice comes to us directly through her letters I did cringe a bit. It did not convince and while it passed the time I would not recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 3 Feb 2013
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As other reviewers have noted, the central character Joe, appears to have Asperger's or similar, although this is implied rather than stated. His actions, motivations and suffering are described beautifully. His aunt Nel is well drawn too. Amsterdam is evoked nicely. This is a very human tale which I enjoyed greatly
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed, the most beautiful thing, 29 Mar 2012
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I read this in one sitting, staying up through the night to finish it. Initially, as I realised that I was going to read this in great big chunks, I imagined I would read Part One and leave Part Two to another day, but Fiona Robyn's gentle observations of the world inside Joe's head, and her compelling storytelling meant I couldn't just walk away from this tale. I found myself awake between 3 and 5am longing to know how Joe works through some extremely challenging situations.

Though it is not specified, Joe appears to have high level autism and Robyn has captured perfectly the strains and difficulties of Joe's experiences in the everyday world. However, her light touch also encapsulates the beauty that Joe finds as he explores Amsterdam, and reading this book is like seeing the wonder of the world through the eyes of a child, with the analysis of an intelligent adult. Fiona Robyn's descriptions of Amsterdam, of the art world and of the strains within family relationships are also spot on. All in all, an excellent read and I am delighted that Robyn's work has been opened up to me. More please!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most beautiful thing...., 13 Feb 2013
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I'm not sure that I found The most beautiful thing in this book. I wanted to like it, it has had good critical review, but the cast of characters did not engage me as much as I wanted. Worth reading but don't put it at the top of your wish list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars poignant and insightful, 1 Aug 2013
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The character of Joe is beautifully handled.We can enter into his thought processes quite easily which is really an achieve ent as he seems to be on the Asprgers spectrum. A very tender unfolding of his growing understanding of where he comes from. I would highly recommend this book and will read more by Satya Robyn.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking, 28 Jan 2013
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Had the potential of being so much better. Introduced lots of great characters but just didn't develop them well enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional rollercoaster, 16 Dec 2012
This book starts slowly but builds as Joe insecurities grow. Exploring teenage and then adult emotions against a background of a dysfunctional family and through his contact with his eccentric aunt`s colourful friends. Joe`s emotional collapse and eventual understanding provides a compulsive read and more than one wet cheek.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 26 Mar 2012
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Just finished reading The Most Beautiful Thing and must say I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I was pleased how the characters filled out slowly and how the story drew you in. Joe was a confused young man and it was interesting meeting up with him again 15 years later. The tragedy lead to an even greater event for Joe which turned his world topsy-turvy. There were some tender moments as well as humour. I shall definitely read more books by this author, well done.
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The Most Beautiful Thing
The Most Beautiful Thing by Satya Robyn (Paperback - 19 April 2013)
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