Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Music Shop” as Want to Read:
The Music Shop
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Music Shop

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  16,095 ratings  ·  2,870 reviews

From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry:

1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need.

Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.

Ilse asks Frank to teach her about m

Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 22nd 2018 by Black Swan (first published July 13th 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Music Shop, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Angie Reisetter The England part is hinted at early on, with Maud referring to High Street in Ch 1, but I think it's mostly done in Ch 4: "...Britain was in its first…moreThe England part is hinted at early on, with Maud referring to High Street in Ch 1, but I think it's mostly done in Ch 4: "...Britain was in its first recession since the war...", references to Castigate, the bar is called England's Glory, there's an "expanse of rubble where a bomb had hit the street in '41". But most interestingly, "He had to borrow Maud's Cortina and drive to London to buy an entire new stock", as Tudor Queen says, so perhaps they're not in London proper, but just outside it.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-45
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,095 ratings  ·  2,870 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Amalia Gavea
‘’The silence at the beginning of a piece of music is always different from the silence at the end.’’

The blurb of this beautiful book contained two words that won me over on the spot. ‘’Music’’ and ‘’1980s’’. I was born in 1985, so technically, I am a child of the 90s, but I think that these two decades share the same spirit of a certain kind of innocence, before the coming of the new millennium and all the ‘’gifts’’ it brought (yeah, right…) I’m not a big fan of the music that conquered the 8
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce is a 2018 Random House publication.

A quirky, but sweet love story wrapped inside a loving ode to music-

I love stories like this one where a group of people, from various walks of life, all of whom are misfits or eccentric in one way or another, but are kind and giving souls, converge to create a delightful and unique tale of friendship and love.

The music shop is the absolute perfect backdrop for such a story, reminding us of how important a role music, of all ki
Larry H
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent." —Victor Hugo

Music has always been one of my greatest passions, alongside my love of reading. I have the largest iPod Apple ever made, and it doesn't accommodate my entire music collection—how can I get rid of a song?

For me, music is such a trigger of emotion, and a specific song can easily transport me to a time, a place, a special memory. So why it took me so long to read Rache
Miriam Smith
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: twitter
What a delightful and enjoyable read "The Music Shop" by Rachel Joyce is!
It doesn't demand constant attention or keep you awake at night, it's just a lovely nostalgic story that makes you feel so happy when reading it, it's almost like you're floating through the pages (though the ending did have me in emotional goosebumps).
"The Music Shop" is a very character driven novel. Set in 1988 the story is about Frank who owns a music shop selling only vinyl records - don't mention Cd's!! He knows eve

‘I don’t care what anyone tells me. The future’s vinyl,’ he said.
. . .
‘Life has surface noise! Do you want to listen to furniture polish?’

Frank is a rumpled older fellow with a large, eclectic collection of vinyl records in a rundown shop in a rundown little side-street in a rundown part of London, which developers are eyeing for new housing.

Kit is the clumsy kid he’s taken under his wing to help out in the shop (when he isn’t breaking things), and there ae various side characters who also

4.5 Stars

”There was once a music shop. From the outside it looked like any shop, in any backstreet. It had no name above the door. No record display in the window. There was just a homemade poster stuck to the glass. FOR THE MUSIC YOU NEED!! EVERYONE WELCOME!! WE ONLY SELL VINYL!!”

The shop was difficult to navigate with boxes packed in everywhere one looked; every nook and cranny had records, although none were classified. There were two booths for listening with turntables
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely book spanning a twenty-one year period about a stretch of shops in London with the address of "Unity Street." This turns out to be a metaphor for the way the various shop owners band together to support each other through personal and financial challenges. There are twin brothers with a funeral parlor, a female tattoo artist, a Polish baker, a religious store run by an ex-priest, and the music shop. These business establishments face a row of apartments opposite that have seen ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It’s 1988 and Frank sells vinyl records on a small street in a depressed part of town. He refuses to sell CDs even when the distributors all threaten to drop him. He loves music and is able to match a person with the music they need. What he doesn’t think he needs is love.

There’s a dry wit to the book. The characters are a group of misfits and oddballs and there’s humor in their dialog and activities. It’s also a well written book. A book that makes you think. When Peg discusses how music is ab
Nenia ✨ Literary Garbage Can ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Here's the thing: the concept is great. Frank owns a record store in the 1980s, when records are beginning to be replaced by CDs. He holds fast to his beloved records, falls in love, and his favorite music becomes the soundtrack to his pursuit of the forbidden woman, interspersed with the memories of the music from his childhood, with his tempestuous, eccentric mother.

I think Rachel Joyce wanted to write the next HIGH FIDELITY, but she doe
Susanne  Strong
3.5 Stars* (rounded down).

A quirky, sweet, easy read.

Frank has always loved music, it was a gift from Peg, his mother. He is a music shop owner who only sells Vinyl records. The year is 1988. Everyone under the sun wants him to start selling CD’s but Frank refuses. For him, Vinyl is where its at. Frank has a gift - he can feel what music a person needs to hear. The person could be a stranger or a friend. They might come in asking for a specific record or just asking for a song or a type of music
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
This is one of those books where I want to use the phrase "I liked it but I didn't love it." In other words it was nice but not as good as I had hoped. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy still remains my favourite book by this author by far.
I liked the setting in the run down music shop in an even more run down area of town. I really liked the time period and I enjoyed several of the characters especially Frank himself and the accident prone Kit. It was unfortunate that I also liked the Sing
Connie G
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This heartwarming story takes us back to 1988 when Frank owns a music shop that sells only vinyl records. He has a special gift in being able to select the perfect record that a person needs to help them at that point in their life. Frank's shop is located in a rundown building on an older street where the shopkeepers form a supportive, quirky community. A real estate company is interested in buying up the older buildings, and is pressuring people to sell.

Frank's life is changed when a mysteriou
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Joyce is a master at writing about ordinary people and their often hidden struggles, and celebrating their courage and resilience in the face of those struggles. In “The Music Shop” she once again writes about those “ordinary” people in a clear-eyed, unsentimental, and inspiring manner. The book focuses on a group of seemingly unremarkable people who have businesses on Unity Street. At the center of those shops and of the story itself is Frank and his music shop. Frank has an unusual and ...more
4 stars

Overall a very heartwarming, beautiful story about friendship, love & a neighborhood full of amazing shop owners. If your a big music fan, this book is for you.
The whole book centers around a vinyl record store and the owner loves music and often reflects on some of his favorite bands and memories associated with music.
Sherri Thacker
The Music Shop is not just about a music shop - it’s a love story unlike any other. I was undecided whether to give this book 4 stars or 5 stars but when I got tears in my eyes at the end, that decided for me! A FABULOUS book!!
Rachel Hall
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 50%

I won this novel courtesy of a Goodreads Giveaway and although my regular reading material is crime fiction, I am not averse to some of these whimsical novels with quirky characters and a sense of optimism that often make for a genuinely feel-good read. I loved both The Rosie Project and Effect, for example, but have never found myself drawn to the work of Rachel Joyce despite the many rave reviews I have read.

Sadly, I found The Music Shop to be so interminably slow that at 50% I had t
Frank was wandering with no particular purpose in mind when he saw the abandoned old shop with the for sale sign in front. He knew without a shadow of doubt that this was what he wanted – a quiet street, other small shops around – the shop was a mess, and Frank wasn’t that handy. But it wasn’t long before Frank’s music shop was filled with records; vinyl only – no tapes or CDs (trashy stuff!) – his records had customers coming to his door. Frank found them the music they needed, much to their as ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for books about music. And music as therapy: even more so. (Did you know you can obtain a college degree in music therapy? Well, you can).

So… about The Music Shop

There is a music store on a dead end street in England somewhere owned by Frank. “Frank could not play music, he could not read a score, he had no practical knowledge whatsoever, but when he sat in front of a customer and truly listened, he heard a kind of song. And that’s how he helped people.”

Frank not only helps strang
Ever since Harold Fry went on a walk across the UK in Rachel Joyce's 2012 debut novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I like many readers the world over have been enthralled by the author's ability to represent ordinary people with grace and dignity.

This is something that continues in what is Rachel's fourth novel. Set in the late 80's in recession hit England, Frank runs a record store. Not only does he have a love for vinyl and will staunchly resist pressure from record companies that w
Jennifer Blankfein
Follow Book Nation by Jen
For all my reviews and recommendations.

I picked up The Music Shop at the perfect time! So enjoyable, I laughed - I cried- it touched me.... review to come!
Karen Rush
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this quirky and charming book, especially for music lovers. Within the bigger picture is a love letter to music masters that will touch your heart.

It is 1988 and Frank’s world is changing. He is the owner of a dying vinyl record store located on a run-down street soon to be demolished in the name of ‘progress’. The music world is also changing but Frank is digging in his heals, refusing to move on to the new craze of cds and cassette tapes. I loved Frank’s steadfast dedication
Julie  Durnell
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk
Rachel Joyce's books are so well written for "modern novels". I enjoyed this slow romance between Frank and Ilse and music of all genres. There is even a playlist on Spotify to accompany the story's musical threads!
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“He played the whole record, side one and then side two. As he listened, Frank smoked and danced in the cramped space behind his turntable, rolling his shoulders and swinging his hips – watching him, even Maud began to sway – while Kit did something that was possibly the funky chicken, but could equally be to do with his new shoes hurting his feet”

The Music Shop is the fourth full-length novel by best-selling British author, Rachel Joyce. Frank would only sell vinyl. It didn’t matter that this w
Malina Skrobosinski
"Bon appetit"

I devoured this enchanting tale created by Rachel Joyce. It was captivating, enlightening, moving, and even exasperating at times. It's not the kind of novel that is overly gratifying... at least not at first... that's where the exasperation comes in, but in the end, I found it to be very rewarding.

Meet Frank... Frank is a 40 year old single man that owns a music shop. "I'm going to help people find music." Frank could not play music, he could not read a score, he had no practica
A heartwarming novel that makes you smile while reading it.

"He was perfectly fine with emotions,
so long as they belonged to other people."

We meet Frank, a gentle bear of a man. Forty and single, his unorthodox upbringing has made him LOVE music, fear intimacy, and know how to listen. He is very patient, and he has boundless empathy. His late mother, Peg, left her house and all her estate to strangers. To Frank, she bequeathed her extensive record collection and her Dansette Major record player.

Suad Shamma
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2017
I'm really disappointed with this one. It had such great potential, and it started off really well too, but as the story went seemed like it was going nowhere. The twists and turns were not exciting. The characters never developed past your first impression. There was no depth, no great reveal, no climax. I wanted to love it so much, but I just couldn't. I wanted it to play out like one of those amazing musical pieces that Frank would sit and describe to Ilse Brauchmann, starting out qui ...more
Ron Charles
Cue up Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” because Rachel Joyce has written a new novel, which means there’s a party goin’ on right here.

“The Music Shop” is an unabashedly sentimental tribute to the healing power of great songs, and Joyce is hip to greatness in any key. Her novel’s catalogue stretches from Bach to the Beach Boys, from Vivaldi to the Sex Pistols. Crank up the turntable and let these pages sing.

The story’s hero is “a gentle bear of a man” named Frank who owns a run-down music shop
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
I am a big fan of Rachel Joyce's novels The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. Both books showed the depth of human love and connection in ordinary people.

I was hoping for more of the same in this book, but it didn't quite deliver. In attempting to create quirky characters and a throw-back plot (the premise of the book includes an introverted record store owner standing strong against the push of modernity) the book just seemed like it was trying too ha
Megan C.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2018
I finished this book over the weekend and it gets ALL the stars from me. One of my favorite reads of 2018 so far! This is a book about loyalty, love, friendship, and most of all, music. Each chapter is named for a piece of music and I loved listening to the pieces as I read. (There’s even a Spotify playlist!)

"Music, Frank explained, said things that words couldn’t.”

The bulk of the action takes place around the aptly named Unity Street, a falling-down, dead end road boasting a hodge-podge of str
Knyga papirko savo paprastumu - kartais tik tiek ir tereikia, kad man kūrinys būtų wow. Glosčiau ją knygų mugės metu, bet pabijojusi vis matomų goodreadse "šiaip sau" vertinimų, nepirkau. Nudžiugau radusi vieną dieną ją Milžine, pradėjau skaityt e-book'ą ir išjungiau. Kilo lengva panika, kodėl jos nepirkau, kodėl ji ne mano lentynoj, kodėl negaliu ja mėgautis glostydama tobulą viršelį... Kai knygos pradžia suvirpina taip stipriai, nekyla abejonių, kad istorija bus tobulai suręsta man. Nesu jokia ...more
Jennifer Tam
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly amazing and beautiful and healing book for anyone who has ever felt like life wasn't going there way! And for this not very musical and sad to say not very into music reader, I felt like I was getting a beautifully orchestrated (see how I did that?😜) music through history course - and I won't give it away but I love that at the end (in the afterwords by the author) there's a nice little treat 😀

I am not a "this book should be made into a movie" person but this book SHOULD be made into a
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
joyce doesn't disappoint with her latest book with a music shop as the background selling vinyl and its joyce's recurring theme of lost and finding within relationships.
Paul Secor
I used to love going to record stores. Looking through the racks, coming across something that I'd been looking for; finding a record that I never knew existed, and now had to have; hanging out with friends and talking about music while we searched for the next find - all of that is gone now and I miss it.
So it was no surprise that when my wife brought home The Music Shop from the library, I ended up reading it before she did.
Frank is the owner of a small vinyl only (the book is begins in 1988,
Book of the Month
A Love Story that Sings
By Judge Kim Hubbard

What is it about music—whether it’s the soaring majesty of a Beethoven symphony or James Brown’s just-gotta-dance funk—that touches the human heart so deeply? How can artfully-arranged notes cheer you up when you’re down, remind you we’re all connected, or break your heart? (And why, since there aren’t that many notes to choose from, hasn’t every possible song already been written? I’ve always wondered … but I digress.)

This charmer of a novel doesn’t ex
Kasa Cotugno
The Music Shop is one of those books that you read with a smile. And a tear. With all the bombast in the world today, this return to 1988, at a time when the world of music was going through yet another of its ongoing changes. Frank, who has severe commitment issues, is determined that he will never sell cds in his tiny shop in a failing part of town, even if it means he may not survive economically. You can't help but admire his love of vinyl ("Vinyl had a life of its own. All you could do was ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The street where Frank Adair’s music shop is located has seen better days. The mortar is falling off the buildings and teens are decorating its stores with graffiti. But some of these shops have been here for many years, including Frank’s music shop, which only deals in vinyl records. He refuses to carry CDs, which makes him quite unpopular with the record suppliers. But Frank’s shop is special. He has a knack for finding just the right song his customers need. He manages to heal broken hearts a ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Set in London in the 1980's, Frank owns a music shop that is a home and place of refuge for the community. Frank, the woner, has a knacl for choosing music that a person needs right at the precise moment. When a strange woman suddlenly "drops in" to the music shop, she turns Frank's and the members of that community'swrold upside down.

I absolutely loved this book and its quirky cast of characters. I found the writing and characters endearing and I loved all the ,usic refernces. Great book for an
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Music Shop is a love letter to music, music shops and especially to vinyl records. I’m old enough that the first records I bought were vinyl and I understand the love for this medium. It’s like telling a book lover that e-books are as good as physical books (they are not!)
I read this book in 2 days because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to Frank and his rundown music shop. I had to find out if Frank and Ilse would ever realize they were meant for each other. Would the f
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, relationships
This novel is not like music; this novel is music. It begins with an adagio. It’s gentle and calm, soft and sweet. Frank knows what his customers need, not what they want, and he steers them in the right direction, with a trust-me attitude, never over-bearing. But then, the exposition occurs. We’re exposed to scenes from Frank’s childhood, and little by little we discover who Peg was, and what she gave to Frank, and what she did not. Then, just when things seem peaceful, a new motif is introduce ...more
I’ve read all of Joyce’s books now; this one was, alas, the most sentimental and contrived. How can you not love the idea behind The Music Shop – that the right music at the right time can be healing? What Frank does – prescribing particular records for people who don’t know they need them: Aretha Franklin to a man who says he only likes Chopin; Shalamar to a couple with a languishing marriage – is like what bibliotherapy does with books. The scenes in which characters play and discuss music are ...more
Bill Lynas
There may be a little bit of cheating here as I didn't actually read this book, but I did listen to the author reading it on the BBC Radio 4 series A Book At Bedtime.
Having worked in a record shop (that dates me!) for six years & then a further six years in a CD/DVD shop I was easily drawn to this story. It is a gentle tale of love & music & is populated with interesting people. I especially liked the minor character of the waitress at the Singing Teapot cafe. This radio version had
Robert Blumenthal
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an utterly charming (almost too much at times) novel concerning the ability of music to be the cure that ails you. Frank is a 40-year-old owner of a store that only sells vinyl in the year 1988 when CDs are all the rage. He apparently has a knack to find the perfect music for one's life (a la the woman in the novel Chocolat), and he has helped many people to solve their problems. A beautiful young German woman name Ilse faints one day on the sidewalk outside the store, and the long slow ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kaip atrodė šios knygos skaitymas:
1.frazės ”kur mano ausinės” rėkavimas, nes juk būtina perklausyt kiekvieną, knygoje paminėtą, dainą, visai nesvarbu, kad ją ir taip moki mintinai, juk BŪTINA
2.Apsiverkimas dėl neaiškių priežasčių
3.Suvokimas, kad Shalamar daina “A night to remember” visada primins šitą knygą ir su tokiu savotišku kontekstu
4.Juokimasis balsu iš visai nejuokingų frazių
5.Suvokimas, kad mėnesienos sonata įgavo naują prasmę, kurios neišmesi iš galvos (Frankai, papasakok ir man apie mu
Jan 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I thought this would be a charming, sweet, light read based on the description, but wow did I hate this book. It relied on all my least favorite love story tropes: man falls in love at first sight with unconscious woman? CHECK. (Can we retire meet-cutes that involve fainting already, please?) Undeveloped, "quirky" side characters? CHECK. A plot that is driven by misunderstandings that would be solved if the two leads had one honest conversation? CHECK. Manic pixie dream girl who charms man who h
Davida Chazan
Rachel Joyce, bestselling author of "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy" brings us a new novel that starts simply with "There once was a music shop." No, this is no fairy tale, but a story of how music is an international language, which if you listen to it just right, can change your whole world. The blurb on this book says, "The Music Shop is about learning how to listen and how to feel; it's about second chances and choosing to be brave despite ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Watch Me Disappear
  • Mr Lynch's Holiday
  • Beartown (Beartown, #1)
  • My History: A Memoir of Growing Up
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • The Stone Roses
  • The Reluctant Fortune-Teller
  • The Children's Hour
  • The Underground Railroad
  • The Charmed Life of Alex Moore
  • Forgiveness Parade
  • Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality
  • A Thousand Paper Birds
  • Summer Hours at the Robbers Library
  • Dear Evelyn
  • Mycroft and Sherlock
  • The Only Café
  • In Every Way That Matters
See similar books…
Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Like music, said Peg. Even when it was over, it kept living inside you.” 10 likes
“Music comes out of silence and at the end it goes back to it. It's a journey. You see?” 10 likes
More quotes…