Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mitch Albom's latest - the magic strings of Frankie Presto

Before I talk about Mitch's book, let me just say that I started JoJo Moyes' sequel to Me Before You.  It's called After You and continues the story of Louisa.  I have read 6 pages. And I already know that I'm going to love it. Not only does it continue the story of a very appealing character.  But this author can just flat-out write.

Okay, moving on.  I got the ARC for Mitch Albom's latest book, the magic strings of Frankie Presto (it's due in stores on November 10).  I have read all of Albom's books, starting with Tuesdays with Morrie.  The others, in order, are:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
For One More Day
Have a Little Faith
The Time Keeper
The First Phone Call from Heaven

I have liked them all.  My favorite is Heaven and my least favorite is The Time Keeper.  The other 4 I liked about the same.  He is a solid writer.  So what did I think of his latest?  Well, that's an interesting question.  It's 459 pages (the pages are small, and there is a ton of 1-line dialogue).  I would say for the 1st 330 pages, I liked it well enough.  Not as much as Heaven but more than Time.  But the last 100+ pages were outstanding.  I didn't realize how much I cared about the characters (especially the central character) until I got to those last 100.  I was mesmerized, with a fair amount of tears (I know, I know), and even a few surprising twists.

The story centers on the funeral of Frankie Presto at the age of 70.  The narrator is Music. Yep, you read that right.  He (maybe she? it?) tells the story of how he gifted Frankie with music at birth in Villareal, Spain in 1935.  And how Frankie took that gift and became a world-famous guitarist/singer.  And he intersperses Frankie's life story with reminiscences by real-life musicians (e.g. Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Tony Bennett, and Burt Bacharach, to name just a few) of their "encounters" with Frankie (Albom got permission from each musician to be included in the book).  That was very cool.  This is in direct contrast to the book I just read, The Monsters of Templeton.  In that one, the places where the ancestors tell their story were a drag for me.  Not in this one.  All of the celebrity musings were really fun.

Do I recommend the magic strings of Frankie Presto?  Yes.  Do I have a rating?  Yes.  3/4. Nothing wrong with that!

A COUPLE OF NOTES (are you impressed with my new introduction?):
1.  A.R. Silverberry, author of Wyndano's Cloak (a great YA fantasy), has written a blog post that is super interesting.  The 1st line says:  "One of my favorite parts of writing is not writing."  He talks about how he gets many of his ideas when he's out in the world and not writing.  Take a look.  http://www.arsilverberry.com/writing-is-not-writing
2.  If you haven't yet told me how many of my top 25 you've read - with a chance to win one of them - you've still got time.  Either respond on one of my blog posts or email me at lloydrrussell@gmail.com.  IT'S NOT TOO LATE! 


  1. I'm one of the few people who didn't love The Five People You Meet in Heaven so I haven't pursued any more of his work. I might need to check this one out.

    1. IF you're going to try one, I would go with The First Phone Call from Heaven. That's my favorite. This one is good, but not as good.