Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Mitch Albom creates a magical world through his love of music in this remarkable new novel about the power of talent to change our lives
This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings
Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.
He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.
A lifelong musician, Mitch Albom’s passion shines through on every page. Written with an ear for rhythm and cadence, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. Heartrending and inventive, Albom’s latest is infused with the message that “everyone joins a band in this life”—and that music, like love, has the power to affect us all.
This book has a pretty long synopsis, and truth be told it pretty much explains everything. While that is a blessing it is also a curse I think. I added this book to the voting list for my work book club and honestly thought of all the love I have for Mitch Albom's short heart-wrenching works I have read previously - little did I know that this one was not short... not at all, and that as emotional as it sounded, it didn't really carry through the entirety of the novel.
Albom puts together a beautiful story, as he does, and drives it home in the end, but it was slow going and a little confusing. The life of Frankie is told through the point of view of music itself versus a character account or personal account. That in and of itself was what threw me off first, actually if I am honest it was the number of pages... but I got through just fine. The first half of the book, coming to terms with the music narrator and the jumping around in a timeline was very sluggish and a bit hard to get into and understand the bigger picture Albom was trying to create. However in the end it weaves itself back together so perfectly and emotionally you are again aware of the beauty that he can capture in a book.