Publisher: Harper (November 10, 2015)
Mitch Albom creates his most unforgettable character, Frankie Presto, the greatest guitarist ever to walk the earth in this magical novel about the power of talent to change our lives.
In Mitch Albom's epic new novel, the voice of Music narrates the tale of its most beloved disciple, Frankie Presto, a Spanish war orphan raised by a blind music teacher. At nine years old, Frankie is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six magical strings.
But Frankie's talent is touched by the gods, and it weaves him through the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from classical to jazz to rock and roll. Along the way, Frankie influences many artists: he translates for Django Reinhardt, advises Little Richard, backs up Elvis Presley, and counsels Hank Williams.
Frankie elevates to a rock star himself, yet his gift becomes his burden, as he realizes that he can actually affect people's futures: his guitar strings turn blue whenever a life is altered. Overwhelmed by life, loss, and this power, he disappears for years, only to reemerge in a spectacular and mysterious farewell.
With its Forrest Gump like journey through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. A lifelong musician himself, Mitch Albom delivers an unforgettable story.
"Everyone joins a band in this life," he observes, be it through music, family, friends, or lovers. And those connections change the world.
Since the book is so beautifully detailed above, I will skip straight to my review.
Frankie is a man with music flowing through his veins. Everything about him we learn from third party viewpoints, and all of those are lead by the voice of Music itself. For die-hard music fans, particularly of certain eras (think Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett), there are some cool chapters where these people's lives interact with Frankie.
I love the idea of music having power over souls and infusing them with greatness. There's a great description of music's power in the later part of the book. Something we can all relate to. Basically, Music suggests it absorbs our memories. So when we hear a particular piece, we relive them. Who hasn't had that moment? A song comes on, and a precious memory clearly replays in our mind and heart.
So many cool ideas with Music as an almost god.
My biggest complaint was that I loved other characters in the book, but I felt like it took forever to really get to know Frankie. Maybe it's because the book starts with an event and then flashes back. And those flashes back are from other perspectives (several other).
It took me almost one hundred pages to really get in the groove and start caring, and that was a bit too slow for me. But, by the end, I could appreciate the style and the characters.
Books are so subjective, so what took me one hundred pages might take another person twenty. So, if you love music, please give this a try. Also, I recommend it to fans of Mitch Albom. I've read a couple of his precious books, and he's a very stylized writer.
Definitely give it a chance.
Rating: 3.5 starsMitch Albom is a bestselling novelist, a screen-writer, a playwright, and an award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number-one New York Times bestsellers and has sold more than thirty-four million copies of his books in forty-two languages worldwide. Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four years atop the New York Times list, is the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom has founded seven charities, including the first-ever full-time medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife, Janine, in suburban Detroit.
Find out more about Mitch at his website, connect with him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for his newsletter.
Thanks to TLC for my review copy.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.
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