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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
129
4.3 out of 5 stars
The Most Beautiful Thing
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 17 April 2012
A beautifully written, beautifully paced and, well, beautiful book.

The central character, Joe, grabbed my attention and affection right from the start. Other reviewers here have speculated that his emotional difficulties may describe autism. This didn't actually occur to me while I was reading and I'm not sure it's quite the right interpretation. Perhaps we simply don't need to label our different drummers.

I always find it interesting when a female author writes a male protagonist (and vice versa). It's potentially risky but here (admittedly from my female perspective), Joe rings true both as a 14-year-old and later as an adult. All the book's characters are convincing and I find myself wanting to know more about what happens to them.

This is an uplifting and surprising book which treats mental/emotional problems with sensitivity and no sentimentality. It has wonderful lighter moments, and the bitter-sweet ending left me hopeful while making me weep.
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on 8 April 2012
I took this book on holiday and read a lot on my kindle on my phone, which is a measure of just how well it held my interest and attention. It was easy to read; I found well observed description took me right into the world of a teenage boy, (not a familiar place for me), but I was gripped. And then it was fascinating to meet him again as a young adult, as he began to unravel his true identity. There is trouble, sadness and tragedy, as in many families, but real hope for Joe's future emerges in this book. I would love to know what happens next!
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on 31 May 2016
Nicely written book. Poignant, touching and funny. I highly recommend it. Why do they require so many words for a review?
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on 28 August 2013
This was an engrossing novel which kept you turning the pages. Very well considered main character and excellent perspective into teenage uncertainty.
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on 25 August 2014
Love this book;it sounds pretentious but I really feel I have experienced it, I would recommend it and The Blue Handbag by the same author to everyone.
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on 24 March 2012
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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on 12 September 2014
Amazing read.
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on 18 February 2013
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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on 4 April 2012
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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on 13 February 2013
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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