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The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  36,977 ratings  ·  5,354 reviews
Mitch Albom creates a magical world through his love of music in this remarkable new novel about the power of talent to change our lives

This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Harper (first published November 10th 2012)
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Chuck Isner I have been a fan of Albom for years and read all of his books. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, got me hooked on his fiction. Whi…moreI have been a fan of Albom for years and read all of his books. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, got me hooked on his fiction. While I've liked all of his other novels, this one may even surpass his first; I could not put it down. If you are also musically inclined, you will probably be even more intrigued by it. I gave it 5 stars.(less)
Amy Lemco yes, but with someone to talk to. There is loss of a baby and some other deaths. There is some substance abuse, and perhaps there is not enough delved…moreyes, but with someone to talk to. There is loss of a baby and some other deaths. There is some substance abuse, and perhaps there is not enough delved into the difficulty of quitting for most people, but I thought the side-note the narrator makes about the folly of seeking art or truth in substances was SO thoughtful, SO logical, probably the best, and non-judgmental message I have heard. Oh, which reminds me that I also feel there was potentially not enough time, or damage-done-to-his-true-love consequences about the fact that he did run around with other women. I don't want any kids romanticizing the "oh but I/you know them/me and our love is the only one, so surely you don't care..." This was something that had to be skipped over for narrative ease. (less)

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Angela M
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ stars .

I almost didn't finish this book because it just wasn't grabbing me at first and for some reason the narrator, Music (yes that's right Music) was getting on my nerves . Maybe I was a little intimidated because I'm not familiar at all with the music terminology he/she was using . I enjoy listening to many types of music but that's as far as it goes with me. I don't know much about the specifics. To his or her credit, definitions were given most times. But then I fell in love with Frank
No doubt you recall that wildly popular novel titled The Book Thief. If so, then I’m sure you remember its narrator – ‘Death’. Well, I have not forgotten that book, or the fact that I was deeply in the minority with my aversion to ‘Death’ as narrator. It forced me to rate what I considered a decent book only 3 stars, going against a very strong tide of respected reader friends.

"I am Music. And I am here for the soul of Frankie Presto. Not all of it. Just the rather large part he took from me whe
I won this from Goodreads first reads, and was thrilled.
I enjoy music as much as the next guy-- well, rock music and oldies at least. I do prefer  to use my ear pods for listening  to books over listening to music, though.  I can't read music and don't play any instruments.  Could not tell you the difference between allegro and adagio.   In other words, I'm not exactly what you'd call  musical. Thus when it hit me that Music is the narrator of this book, I was a little worried.  Then I immediate
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Surprisingly Good Story of a Great Musician

Albom is a Musician

Mitch Albom is and was a musician as well as a writer.

It shows in this wonderful novel, the story of a legendary fictitious guitarist, Frankie Presto.
Albom's prodigious knowledge of music informs the entire book, which is a love affair with music.

Begin at the End

The story starts at the end, at Frankie Presto's funeral in Villareal, Spain, the town in which Frankie was born in 1936. Frankie's funeral takes place in some unspecified yea
Stephanie Ward
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto' is an enchanting novel that will have readers lost in the story from the very first page. I was hesitant to read this book at first - the description didn't sound like something I would be very interested in - but I have read other books by the author and always end up blown away by the end of each one. I'm so glad that I decided to give this book a chance - the author created another magnificent piece of fiction that will stay with me. There are so many uni ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I picked this book up at my local flea market for 50 cents, but the story is worth so much more. In fact, it is priceless. I love how the characters were connected in different ways and it was really cool that Mitch Albom made it into historical fiction in the best way possible. I'm not giving much away because I think you need to experience this book for yourself! ...more
La Tonya  Jordan
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to La Tonya by: Palladium Bookies
Shelves: good-read
Frankie Presto was a fictional character. But, after reading this book, I hoped he was real. This was a feel good book of what the value of music can do for the "bands" in your life. The bands are the connections you have in your life with people. Frankie Presto belonged to many bands and changed the life's of many.

When the special guitar strings turn blue, a person's life is shifted and altered. Music soothes the salvage beast and it makes believers out of non-believers. Frankie Presto guitar
Lori Tatar
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto" by Mitch Albom is a masterpiece, Albom's best work yet. The story is narrated by Music, interspersed with interviews with famous musicians of many ages and genres. It is a sad story, a love story and just as beautiful, eloquent and elegant as any flawless symphony. Mitch Albom has composed a book of life, love, despair and forgiveness for the ages. My gratitude goes to Goodreads for sharing. ...more
Heather Fineisen
I say skip the book and go straight for the music. I just couldn't buy in to the idea of Music as storyteller or narrator, reliable or unreliable. Some of the chapters, especially of Frankie's early life in Spain were interesting but the musical terms used for comparisons and life-saving strings became almost hokey for me and easily anticipated. The musical history of various legends is easily appreciated by music lovers as well. Maybe I just have too many bad memories of childhood piano lessons ...more
Feb 16, 2016 added it
Shelves: fiction
Did not finish by page 50. I did not enjoy the Forrest Gump like premise of this book. I was never a Gump fan so this is not the book for me. I am guessing that people who enjoyed Gump both the movie and book will enjoy more than I did.
david y biblioflick
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE

READ THE BOOK before reading the review (not because it contains spoilers but IT IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD. READ IT RIGHT NOW!)

Mitch Albom's book are really, really good. After reading, the five people you meet in heaven and the time keeper, Mitch Albom become one of my favorite authors. And when I got a copy, I read it immediately (but since I have school it took me more than a week). And what I really like about this book is the narrator, (view spoiler)
Kate Ayers
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm breathless. The star rating doesn't fit this book. It is wildly wonderful. Of course, so was Tuesdays with Morrie, but The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto had so many more dimensions, so many incredible loops and tie-ins and -- well, magical happenings. I know it's large, nearly 490 pages, but if you can read it in one sitting -- and it is easy to race through -- then the rhythm, once begun, never gets interrupted, and the rhythm adds to the richness. The story is at once legend, parable, fa ...more
Maria ( ZITA ) Silva
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I almost put this book down, it was kind of boring, but it got so good around page 150, after that I could not put it down, glad I stocked with it
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: music lovers
Like probably everyone else, I've heard of this author but unlike probably most, I've never had a desire to read one of his books. I'm in a Book Voyage experience in one of my groups and this book was the first one to journey to my home. The person sending it (Linda) rated it highly and thought our voyage members would enjoy it. I'm so glad she sent it, I truly loved it! (Thanks, Linda!) I found the writing to be really, surprisingly, good and the story was so well-done with an interesting narra ...more
Dale Harcombe
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.
This story has a unique narrator. It is told by Music and it starts with a funeral and tells the tale of Frankie Presto, real name Francisco. Born in Spain, in a time of civil war, to a woman named Carmencita, his life is endangered but saved. Right from the beginning his life is one of music as well as many desperately hard times. Music goes on to fill in the details of his life and the reader hears from others who have been friends or been influenced by Frankie over the
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I was a goodreads first reads winner of "The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto:A Novel. by Mitch Albom.I would give this book a 4.5.the book is narrated by "music" who follows the mysterious life of Frankie Presto. Frankie Presto was born in the mid 1930s in Spain. He was born in a convent.Frankie becomes a war orphan he is raised for eight years by the man, and a hairless dog who found him in a river as an infant. He is taught to play the guitar from a blind man known as "Maestro" at eight Franki ...more
Louise Wilson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story of Frankie Presto - the greatest guitar player who ever lived - and the 6 lives he changed.

Frankie was born in a burning church and was abandoned as an infant. He was raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town until war rips his life apart. At the age of 9 he was sent to America in the bottom of a boat. With just his guitar and 6 precious strings his journey takes him through the 1940's, 50's and 60's and with his stunning singing voice, he becomes a pop star.

Mitch Albom has his
♥ Sandi ❣
3.5 stars

I have revised my rating and also my opinion of this book. I waited to review it because there was just something that was niggling at the back of my mind. It has been over two weeks since I finished this book and there has not been a day that I have not thought about it.

Lately I have been reading a lot of books that have been narrated by some very unconventional narrators. A cat, a dead person, letters, a music box and some very unreliable authors. But I have never read a book narrate
DJ Sakata
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction

Favorite Quotes:

“Baffa, unmarried and in his forties, went to church regularly and kept a cross on the wall of his bedroom, so the discovery of an abandoned child was for him a divine act, like finding Moses in the reeds. He took the boy in.”

“Baffa was potbellied, with a sagging chest, thick jowls, a drooping forehead, and a downward-bending mustache, so that when he sat, he seemed like a layer of frowns stacked in a chair. But the boy made him happy.”

“The blind man played it passionately, with
Linda Hart
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written book is Mitch Albom's best work yet and I am hoping it will be made into a film. The story is mesmerizing and I couldn't put it down. It is a phenomenally crafted work of literature because Albom has managed to make music, the narrator of the book, convincing, reliable and alive. The full-cast audio audition includes "memories" of music greats such as Burt Bachrach, Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett, Ingrid Michaelson, Wynton Marsalis, Darlene Love, John Pizzarelli, this will be ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow, just wow. This book is BRILLIANT! I know I will have a book hangover for days, weeks maybe, now that I have completed this novel. I have read other Mitch Albom fiction, but they do not compare to this AT ALL! (However, I must say that I do consider his memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, as one of my top 5 favorite books!) I think reading The Magic Strings in very large chunks will help readers with the flow of the story and add to the overall experience of this beautiful novel. That's my two cen ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I did not want to like The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. It's an odd title. (I like cozy mysteries, so I know odd titles!) Mitch Ablom is a famous author. His books have been on national best-seller lists. So the expectations go through the roof and I didn't think his book could live up to that.

Now, I am most happy to report that Frankie Presto started growing on me from the first note. And there is no choice between first-person and third-person narration, because Music is itself the narrat
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tears. So many tears.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a tragedy. I don't care how it ends, or what you think of it. It is tragic. I cried. I connected to Frankie, especially as a child. As readers, we witness homeless little Little Frankie Presto become a musical legend. I've never seen a character be dealt such horrible cards from the get-go. Still, he is hopeful and there is a light in his eyes. We then get to watch that light fade as he overcomes these obstacles. Blow after blow, Franci
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it


The whole "nun" plot line was disasterous for me. What was the point of that drama and all that bollyodish story of the mother who turned to be a nun and a teacher who turned to be a father and a women who truned to be a wife of the teacher and a gypsy who truned to the father of the nun and the nun turned to be a whole f***ing supernatural kind of being that supposedly kept a person's life going. It was total crap for me.

Everything in that novel could have just been totally fine, acceptabl
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, library, literary
4.5 stars

There's something about Mitch Albom's writing that is so beautiful and magical, I could just bathe in all the words.

Frankie Presto was once one of the greats and rubbed shoulders with Elvis, Hank Williams, Django Reinhardt and Darlene Love.He was born in the middle of Franco's dictatorship of Spain and found his way through America. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto starts with the death of Frankie and we make our way to the start of his story, who he was, how he learned to play the
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mitch Albom has a flair for writing warm, personal stories that have a freshness and depth to them. "The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto" is no exception. Readers don't need to have an affection for or a deep interest in music to see and feel the connections in this book, but it probably adds a bit of spark if there's some kind of appreciation for music.

This story tells Frankie's life and the impact it had on people close to him, and those who were at a distance. Not only does the story explore
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Mitch Albom is most definitely my go-to author for feel-good stories. After the last book I read, I needed a spiritual cleansing. This one did the trick.

I've not read everything Albom has written but I've read enough to know that this is his worst so far. But Albom's worst exceeds some author's best - I gave it three stars so that's saying something.

This is the Story of Frankie Presto from his birth to death as narrated by friends who came to his funeral and the entity known as...nope, not the
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Have you ever entertained the idea of joining a band? According to the Narrator of Mitch Albom’s new book, “The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto,” we all join a band in life. And it will affect you as much as you affect it! That “Narrator” is “Music” itself and it highlights the fictional life of Frankie Presto - an Elvis look-alike who was orphaned in a burning church and raised by a blind guitar teacher. Blending spiritual teachings with musical disciplines Albom weaves Frankie’s life with othe ...more
Joanna Marie
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everybody joins a band in this life.

huhu mitch albom is always an inspiration. his books always make me sigh. twas said that this is his most sweeping novel yet and i agree. no words can describe how beautiful and profound this is. all his books are actually but i must say this, by far, is my most favorite next to Tuesdays with Morrie. The book kicked off with Music's narration and right there and then I already knew that this book will grip my heart tightly ❤
Julie Yashur
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a remarkable story about Frankie Presto's life! I have always been a huge Mitch Albom fan and I love this book! The entire story is told via Music character who claims "everyone joins a band in this life". Even though this book is fiction the author does a great job of combining actual historical events with Frankie's life. ...more
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Mitchell David Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Articles featuring this book

His Favorite Books About the Power of Music: All forms of tune appear in these picks from the bestselling author, and in his latest, The Magic...
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“All humans are musical. Why else would the Lord give you a beating heart?” 110 likes
“Everyone joins a band in this life. And what you play always affects someone. Sometimes, it affects the world.” 73 likes
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