Publication date: November 10, 2015
Source: I received a galley via TLC Book Tours for consideration of review in their promotional tour.
When you hear that Mitch Albom has a new book out, you don't ask questions, you just buy it. Well, that's the case for me at least. He has proven himself quite able to weave an amazing story on any topic he sets his mind to. From his nonfiction (Tuesdays with Morrie) to considerations on religion (Have a Little Faith) to explorations into mythology/history (The Time Keeper) and more, Albom's stories speak to humanity in a most relatable way. So the only question I'm left to consider when I hear Albom has published a new book is, "Where is he taking us now?!"
This time it's to Spain, where we see Frankie Presto's life begin tumultuously, level out, and shake him up again. Frankie's journey takes him to America, a young boy with only his guitar and music to care for him. Seemingly fate intervenes, as Frankie comes in contact, travels, and even works with numerous famous musicians of the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, ultimately becoming a legend himself. A legend with a special power...magical guitar strings that burn bright blue when he uses his music to change a life. As with most stories of fame, Frankie has his demons. Mistakes have torn him from what matters most and who he is. It takes him years to come back to what matters most, including his first love, his guitar.
That's a pretty brief synopsis for a book with so many events, but I really want to discuss two of the more interesting pieces of this story. First, the story is told in flashbacks and interviews. Frankie Presto is dead, we are at his funeral, and his story is told between a narrator and interviews with people Frankie met throughout his life, from boyhood to fame and beyond. This isn't a spoiler, we know from page one that this is the case. Frankie's story winds us toward the inevitable, wondering not only how, but also why Frankie passes when he does.
The second interesting piece of this story is the narrator himself. Akin to Death as narrator in The Book Thief, Music narrates Frankie Presto's life story. I loved it! An omniscient narrator, Music pieces together the intricacies of Frankie's life, pieces that not even Frankie knows, including how Frankie grasped the talent of music at birth. I love such narrators, not human but personified, for the variance they give from typical narration. In this case, Music relates the happenings of life in terms of musical composition. I have a musical background myself, but it is a good decade behind me at this point and I was never much of a theory student. Yet, I followed along easily, even learning new musical information I hadn't known before. Don't fret if you are not musically inclined, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto does not require musical knowledge, simply an ear to hear and a heart to understand.
Purchase Links for The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto:
About Mitch Albom
Mitch 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.
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