The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

Book - 2015
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Mitch Albom creates his most unforgettable fictional character--Frankie Presto, the greatest guitarist to ever walk the earth--in this magical novel about the bands we join in life and the power of talent to change our lives.

In his most stunning novel yet, the voice of Music narrates the tale of its most beloved disciple, young Frankie Presto, a war orphan raised by a blind music teacher in a small Spanish town. At nine years old, Frankie is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings.

But Frankie's talent is touched by the gods, and his amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 20th century, from classical to jazz to rock and roll, with his stunning talent affecting numerous stars along the way, including Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Carole King, Wynton Marsalis and even KISS.

Frankie becomes a pop star himself. He makes records. He is adored. But his gift is also his burden, as he realizes, through his music, he can actually affect people's futures--with one string turning blue whenever a life is altered.

At the height of his popularity, Frankie Presto vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, does he reappear--just before his spectacular death--to change one last life.

With its Forest Gump-like romp through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. A lifelong musician himself, Mitch Albom delivers a remarkable novel, infused with the message that "everyone joins a band in this life" and those connections change us all.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062294418
Characteristics: 496 pages ; 20 cm


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Jan 05, 2021

I listened to the audio CD version which really brought the story to life for me by more than a dozen voice actors who created authentic characters. I was enthralled with the blend of fantasy/realism told from the perspective of a believable entity named Music. And it was magical, indeed, if you suspend your disbelief for a while as famous musicians at Frankie's funeral reflect back on “Frankie, one of the greatest musicians”. It’s full of feel-good tales, juicy and beautifully told.

Dec 08, 2020

This book captured me completely <3
At nearly 500 pages I read it in 4 days and then purchased it to keep in my collection. I am on my second read in two weeks now! It is a tightly woven tale taking place over approx. 70 years and so incredibly creative and well done like nothing I have read prior.
Taking place in Spain, New Zealand, USA and even Vancouver, Canada Albom did a thorough job of researching the historical town of Villareal, Spain and the many musicians (actual ones) who had "interviews" (fictional) in the book. I bought this book for my 15 year old daughter, who is a pianist, as I think she will enjoy as much as I did. It is not preachy, but does have some good life lessons and a lack of graphic vulgarity and raunchiness.

Jul 11, 2020

I like a bit of magical realism, but the dreamy plot was simplistic and unconvincing to me (not to mention all the problematic aspects of several of the characters).

Mar 23, 2020

Interesting take on music and the power it holds. Frankie becomes a vessel for this power and magic and life unfolds one scale at, or, as in a key lifetime signature of metaphorical comparisons of human vibrations interacting within the individual and the collective whole (note). Those techniques studied and honed as well as those which are part of the greater symphony within the beating hearts of individuals; "We all join a band." This theme plays wonderfully throughout Mr. Albom's book.

Jan 29, 2020

This book, was my first Mitch Albom book that I read. I loved it! I loved how each person told the story from his perspective. This story and the people in it are still in my heart, and there are few writers that can do this. Stephen King and Dean Koontz come to mind, so he is classed with 2 great writers. Give this book a read, and you will not regret it.

Jan 25, 2020

Loved this! Albom tells such a deep story. The metaphors between music and life surround the story. Narrated by music with interviews from real life musicians weaves throughout so it almost become historical fiction. A beautiful story about how we influence others and how music influences us.

Jan 07, 2020

Liked it and had a hard time putting it down but a bit contrived at points

Dec 04, 2019


Nov 11, 2019

Was very happy with this book, I really didn't want it to end.

Oct 16, 2019

Creative and original fictional work. Spanish war orphan is raised by a blind guitar virtuoso and then embarks on his own career, rising to great heights and falling deeply. He often loses his way but recovers when he returns to his musical roots. Narrator is Music.

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Aug 17, 2016

Mitch Albom creates a fictional character who lives through the very influential time of music, from the classics through Elvis and Woodstock to a current country star. Frankie isn't perfect and he suffers some of the pitfalls that musicians often encounter, but he is a sympathetic protagonist. You learn about many historical composers and musicians as Frankie makes his way through the musical landscape.


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