The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
by Mitch Albom
Book review by Patrick Aherne
Real gems of books and authors often remain hidden in the literary marketplace. Fortunately, my writing mentor mentioned that Mitch Albon was her favorite author, hence I was exposed to one of these gems.
My own excursion into the storytelling world of Mitch Albom was via his intriguing story The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. The author brings the written page to life making it a book hard to put down.
What is it that makes any book a great reading experience?
Opinions may vary on the most important characteristics. However, there seems to be a few that stand out above the others.
The author’s ability making you the reader, feel a part of the action. Therefore you are able to form a picture in your imagination of places and scenes as if actually there. The story line becomes like history, and you are a player forming attachments to the various characters and locations in the story.
This engagement of the mind, emotions, and the imagination is what keeps drawing you back to the unfolding drama of the story. Thus causing a reluctance to put the book down. The element of suspense and wanting to know just what it is around the next corner pervades the story.
When the book is read in its entirety, you are left feeling like a friend or a cherished relationship has been lost and wishing it could have continued.Feeling like a friend or a cherished relationship has been lost and wishing it could have continued Click To Tweet
This is exactly what Mitch Albom accomplishes as he unfolds the incredible life story of the guitarist Frankie Presto. The story tells of the strange circumstances of his birth in Spain under the shadow of the Spanish civil war. The intriguing account of his early life that leads to the heights of the world music stage in America. Finally after many twists and turns, returning to Villareal, Spain where it all began, as the story reaches its dramatic climax.
Contemporary musicians play characters in the book
The author weaves Frankie’s story around a backdrop of actual historical events, places, and people in the music scene. The story draws on the participation of musicians from the past such as Andre Segovia, Django Reinhardt, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Duke Ellington. Contemporary artists like Burt Bacharach, Roger McGuinn, Lyle Lovett, Paul Stanley and Tony Bennett collaborated and became characters in the story. Their involvement adds to the broad spectrum of musical genre embraced in the book. Musicians will appreciate the author’s musical insights reflected in his main character Frankie.
Albom’s capacity to create a mysterious backdrop to the story and subtlety hold it in the shadows until he completely reveals it near story’s end is a touch of genius.
The ability to blend the fictional elements with non-fictional elements to write one story is a difficult art. The way that the author did this is reminiscent of the late James A. Michener’s writings in books like ‘Hawaii’ or ‘The Source’ where he successfully blended these opposite elements for an engaging story line.It will touch the heart, the mind and the imagination, leaving you craving to read more Click To Tweet
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto will stay with you for a long time whether you are a musician or not. It touches the heart, the mind, and the imagination leaving you with new insights on life and people. And as a result, like me, it will leave you craving to read more of the writings of Mitch Albom.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
By Mich Albom
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