Tuesday, November 03, 2015
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
Frankie Presto was born Francisco in a dramatic fashion in Spain, while his mother sheltered in a church and revolutionaries torched and destroyed that church. His childhood was traumatic, as he moved from "parent" to "parent", but it was a blind musician who was the constant in the life of a man who would go on to become one of the world's greatest guitarists. As his life intersected with that of the famous musicians of his time, from Elvis Presley to Tony Bennett to Wynton Marsalis, there was one witness to all of the drama of his life. Music was always there.
Music is the primary narrator of this unusual story. She remembers all of the details of Frankie Presto's life, from his birth to his death. As she goes back and forth in his life, she discusses his gift. "For his suffering, he was granted a gift. A set of strings that empowered him to change lives. Six strings. Six lives." In between the story of Frankie's dramatic life, the musicians who showed up for his funeral attest to his greatness, and relate their own moments with Frankie. These are all artists who once reached for the same gift as Frankie Presto, the gift of music. Music remarks "All humans are musical. Why else would the Lord give you a beating heart?"
I wanted to love The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. But, despite the drama of Frankie's life, the comments about heart, I didn't feel any passion for the story. I didn't feel any love for the musician. Despite the passion other people felt for him during his life, and for his music, he never came to life for me. Perhaps it was due to the cold narration style, as the story was related by Music. Whatever it was, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto just didn't sing for me. Perhaps it will be music for someone else's soul.
Mitch Albom's website is www.mitchalbom.com
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. HarperCollins. 2015. ISBN 9780062294418 (hardcover), 480p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy of the book in order to participate in the blog tour.