“Everyone joins a band in this life. And what you play always affects someone. Sometimes, it affects the world.”—Music
This is a theme that runs through Mitch Albom’s most recent work, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. A band can be anything from a family to a musical group to a bunch of friends, and like everyone, Frankie is in many of these bands throughout his life.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto follows the life story of Frankie Presto through Music’s perspective and through interviews with various legendary musicians and producers. The link Albom made between fiction and reality is very fascinating and actually helping me to like the book more. However, when I started off reading, it felt as though Albom was trying to copy Zusak’s unique narrative in which Death tells the story. As I read along though, I got used to it and noticed the differences between the two.
I was slightly disappointed in the narrative aspect and in how predictable the magical realism aspect became the further I got into the book. Yet I still greatly enjoyed this book. It had many great quotes and the story was very intriguing. The character was very well developed and went through many transitions. I loved how much Frankie changed constantly, as he was shown going through many stages of life and reacting in very different ways as his circumstances and perspectives varied. It made the book much more believable and relatable.
One of my favourite quotes in the entire book was this:
“The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.”—Maestro
This quote can be applied to many other things outside of music. Whatever it is that you do, don’t try to gain attention by just becoming louder or more flashy. Do it well. So well, in fact, that people feel as though it is necessary to stop and pay attention simply because of what you have done.
If you enjoy magical realism and music (most specifically: jazz, blues, and early rock and roll), I would highly recommend this book. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars for its wonderful character development, intriguing premise and stories, and music references.
Have you read The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto? What did you think?
Let me know in the comment below!