Book of the Week

The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. Photo: PA Photo/Sphere.

The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. Photo: PA Photo/Sphere.

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The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Some people strive for greatness in their lives, others want fame and fortune, while some simply aim to touch lives. Francisco “Frankie” Presto did all three in his life.

The seventh novel from Mitch Albom, the author behind Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day, follows Presto - a gifted guitarist with the ability to change lives - from the moment he was born in a church during the Spanish War.

Raised by a sardine factory owner and taught to play by a blind music teacher known as El Maestro, Presto is sent to America when he is nine, with his only possession an old guitar and six magical strings, which turn blue whenever he changes the course of someone’s life.

Like many of Albom’s previous books, the dominant themes in The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto are death and spirituality, and with Music as the story’s narrator, the novel begins with the musician’s death, following Presto as he reaches great heights in the US, before disappearing into oblivion.

The author beautifully weaves Presto’s influence and impact into the musical landscape of the 20th century, as stars such as Hank Williams, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Ingrid Michaelson, Darlene Love and more recall their fictional encounters with the guitarist.

The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto will make you laugh, cry (possibly several times) and touch you in various ways, and while at times it may appear schmaltzy and unbelievably predictable, this moving story is one to enjoy and savour.