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4.3 out of 5 stars
13
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on March 8, 2017
Beautifully written. Heart wrenching and touching. I couldn't put the book down. I would highly recommend this book. Enjoyed the historical references too.
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on June 26, 2017
A well written, even poetic story. Through the life of old man Hung and those close to him, a portrait of decent human values and a true honest way of living are presented. An important story with a vivid representation of today’s Vietnam.
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on February 28, 2012
The Beauty of Humanity Movement gave a feeling of a country and a culture, so well described to the senses, that one could imagine oneself there by sight, smells and taste. The present time poverty and struggles in which the book is primarily set are, when compared flashbacks to the past, a time of great hope for the present day people. The horrors of the past are spoken of in such a gentle and respectful tone that is universally understood and heartbreaking in its simplicity.

The characters encircling the life of the street cook, Old Man Hung, become like real people, the book gives the impression of the re-telling a real life story rather than being a novel. Camilla Gibb is an effortless storyteller. This is a very simple tale embroidered throughout with fine details and a gentle touch.

Through a culture so foreign and a past so unimaginable, it was a delight to find that the best things that make us human: love; sacrifice; forgiveness and most of all hope are found in the universal "Beauty of Humanity".
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on January 9, 2013
This book was hard to put down: the personal stories kept me engaged, and added a sense of humour and lightness that balanced out some of the more bleak and disturbing accounts of the horrors of the Vietnamese War (or the "American War" as it's referred to by the Vietnamese). Gibb deals sensitively with the issue of learning to navigate between two cultures, as one of the main characters, Maggie--an American-Vietnamese who has returned to the country of her early childhood-- seeks the story of her missing father, a revolutionary artist who never managed to rejoin his family when they fled Vietnam decades earlier. Gibb explores the issues faced historically, and more currently, by the Vietnamese and their Vietnamese-American counterparts, and manages to tease apart many of the complexities without coming across as pedantic. The resolutions of most of the main characters' challenges are a bit too tidy, and in several cases a bit predictable. However, as a whole I really enjoyed this book, and found that it did a great job of giving some insight into an incredible history (and collection of personal stories) that we seldom hear about. Warning: reading this book may leave you with an intense craving for Old Man Hung's mythical pho.
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on February 22, 2012
Reading The Beauty of Humanity Movement was like taking a few glimpses of the Vietnamese culture and history. It had a timelessness and sensuality that made it a good book in my books. My mouth watered the whole time too :))
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on September 23, 2010
This is a marvelous look at contemporary hanoi,with a brief look at it's history. Unfortunately i read it after my visit.i found vietnam a charming,vital,young country and this book definitely captures the ambiance that i experienced
It is a must read for anyone planning to visit hanoi.
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on May 28, 2016
It was an OK book. Nothing really stood out. Some characters were boring and others were plainly exaggerated. There were some good parts which is why I continued to read, but I often put the book down to do something else.
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on March 2, 2016
magnifique lecture pour les passionnés du Vietnam. une jolie intégration du passé et du présent, tout particulièrement à Hanoi. Fortement recommandé comme lecture de voyage
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on June 1, 2015
Great book, especially as I am living in Vietnam, it brought so many things to life.
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on February 16, 2017
An excellent novel humanizing the recovery of Vietnam.
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