The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom: A Review


I was drawn to music at an early age through the music that my parents played on the radio, through cassette tapes, or records. The music was eclectic and ranged from classics to country and rock and everything in between. Through these early experiences it was encouraged that I take piano lessons and did so for eight years. I also played the trombone for five years in the band.

I have appreciated and loved many forms of music from as early as I can remember and understand the power that music has in it. I was delighted as I started to read Albom’s newest novel finding that the narrator is no one other than music herself. The gift of music given to those that grasp it at such a young age and nurture their gift and skills as they grow.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto serves as a biography of sorts as the life of Francisco Rubio (who would become Frankie Presto) is told from the very beginning of his birth to his death. Music plays a vital role throughout the his whole story. While there are aspects of it that seem somewhat super-natural, the spiritual flows through it in ways in which you could argue God was at work.

The love that pours through this story begins from the time of Frankie’s birth in a chapel to his chance encounter with his future wife while he was still a young boy. At times you want to be able to reach out and slap Frankie because he allows things to get away from him and does not seem to fully understand. This is life as we know it and as Albom shares the story you feel a connection to the characters.

The magic strings play a vital part of the story as they bear life and are connected throughout the story of Frankie. While this novel is a little longer than others that Albom has written, it moves fairly quickly and brings in those that you may be familiar with in the music world. You are left with the feeling that you would like to know Frankie as well.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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