Mitch Albom
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
Sphere, London, UK, 2015
ISBN: 978-1847442277

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

Quirky novelist Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, returns with another curious tale which, as is his tendancy, carries with it a hint of the spiritual.

This time the story centres on the legendary guitarist and singer Frankie Presto. Told largely through the voice of ‘Music’, it kicks off as musicians and songsters from all around the world gather to remember Presto at his funeral following his recent – and somewhat mysterious – death in his home country of Spain.

But taking his demise as its starting point, we’re soon plunged back into Presto’s past and slowly told the story of his remarkable, and somewhat tragic, life - from his origins as an orphan in Europe to the heights of his fame as a mid-20th century pop star in the US before his world all comes crashing down and he ends up, for a time at least, in remote New Zealand.

There’s lessons learned along the way – notably via Presto’s odd “magic strings” - and the story takes place against a “musical landscape” of the 20th century. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the inclusion, seamlessly blended, of first person accounts of meetings with Presto by a series of real-life musical luminaries – everyone from Tony Bennett and Burt Bacharach to Lyle Lovett and Ingrid Michaelson (Albom reveals in his acknowledgements something of the process he went through to include these pieces).

Easy reading yet cleverly constructed, the book has plenty of depth and in usual Albom-like fashion, leaves much unanswered for further pondering. One for music lovers, whether you play or not (and if you want to find out more about the music featured in the book, you can buy a soundtrack of the songs mentioned!)

Follow this link to buy this book - The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.