THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom’s most critically acclaimed novel yet is a stunningly original tale of love: Love between a man and a woman, between an artist and his mentor, and between a musician and his God-given talent.

Narrated by the voice of Music itself, the story follows Frankie Presto, an orphan born in a burning church, through his extraordinary journey around the world. Raised by a blind guitar teacher in Spain and gifted with a talent to change people’s lives—using six mysterious blue strings—Frankie navigates the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from the 1950’s jazz scene to the Grand Ole Opry to Elvis mania and Woodstock,

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Mitch Albom’s most critically acclaimed novel yet is a stunningly original tale of love: Love between a man and a woman, between an artist and his mentor, and between a musician and his God-given talent.

Narrated by the voice of Music itself, the story follows Frankie Presto, an orphan born in a burning church, through his extraordinary journey around the world. Raised by a blind guitar teacher in Spain and gifted with a talent to change people’s lives—using six mysterious blue strings—Frankie navigates the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from the 1950’s jazz scene to the Grand Ole Opry to Elvis mania and Woodstock, all the while searching for his childhood love.

As he becomes a famous star, he loses his way, until tragedy steals his ability to play the guitar that had so defined him. Overwhelmed by his loss, Frankie disappears for decades, reemerging late in life for one spectacular yet mystifying farewell.

Part love-story, part magical mystery, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is Mitch Albom at his finest, a Forrest Gump-like epic about one man’s journey to discover what truly matters and the power of talent to change our lives.

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  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • November 2016
  • 368 Pages
  • 9780062294432

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$15.99

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About Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is a bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of six consecutive number one New York Times bestsellers—including Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time—and his books have collectively sold more than thirty-five million copies in forty-two languages. He has founded eight charities in Detroit and operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Praise

“A beautiful story … Albom brings his literary magic once again.” —Huffington Post

“Carries you along like a beautiful melody.” —People

“Hits the right notes. Albom’s … maxims about life will no doubt bring readers on a pleasantly sentimental journey about the bandmates in their lives.” —USA Today

Discussion Questions

1. Of what significance—literal or symbolic—is it that Frankie Presto was born amidst El Terror Rojo, the Spanish civil war? How do you think the cultural restrictions and political tensions affected Frankie’s childhood?

2. Throughout the novel, we get glimpses of Frankie’s story from people—both real and imagined—who knew Frankie through his music. What does this array of voices and characters add to the novel? How do they add to our understanding of Frankie?

3. Cast into the river as a baby, Frankie is saved by the hairless dog. What is the role of the dog in Frankie’s life?

4. Very early in his life, Frankie shows “flashes of genius” with music. How much of genius talent is given, how much is earned?

5. Consider Frankie’s music teacher, El Maestro. What does he value most about music? How did losing his sight affect him? How does getting Frankie into his life fulfill him?

6. Beyond teaching Frankie how to play the guitar, how does El Maestro impact Frankie’s life? What does he teach him?

7. Franco’s oppressive political regime in Spain created conditions under which “art suffers.” How can art be limited by politics?

8. Consider the long, romantic, and complex relationship between Frankie and Aurora York. Why do they always return to one another? What does this say about the role of forgiveness in the novel?

9. Frankie “grew up all over the place: Spain, England, Detroit, Nashville, New Orleans, Louisiana, California.” How does this influence him and his music? How might different places and landscapes affect an artist?

10. Despite all his talent and success, late in his life Frankie still doesn’t believe he deserves applause. Why might this be so?

11. How does Frankie and Aurora’s adopted daughter, Kai, change Frankie’s life? His music? What does Frankie mean when he tells Paul Stanley that “the older you get, the more you want your kids to know about you”?

12. The narrator, Music, claims that “all humans are musical.” Do you agree? In what ways might this be true? What do you think defines music and what role does it play in our everyday life?