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The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

A Novel
Written by: Mitch Albom
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mitch Albom creates his most unforgettable fictional character - Frankie Presto, the greatest guitarist ever to walk the Earth - in this magical novel about the bands we join in life and the power of talent to change our lives.

It's an epic story of the greatest guitar player ever to live and the six lives he changed with his magical blue strings.

In Albom's most sweeping novel yet, the voice of Music narrates the tale of its most beloved disciple, young Frankie Presto, a war orphan raised by a blind music teacher in a small Spanish town. At nine years old, Frankie is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings.

But Frankie's talent is touched by the gods, and his amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 20th century, from classical to jazz to rock and roll, with his stunning talent affecting numerous stars along the way, including Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Carole King, Wynton Marsalis, and even KISS.

Frankie becomes a pop star himself. He makes records. He is adored. But his gift is also his burden, as he realizes that through his music he can actually affect people's futures - with one string turning blue whenever a life is altered.

At the height of his popularity, Frankie Presto vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later does he reappear - just before his spectacular death - to change one last life.

With its Forrest Gump-like romp through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. A lifelong musician himself, Mitch Albom delivers a remarkable novel infused with the message that "everyone joins a band in this life", and those connections change us all.

The complete list of narrators includes: Mitch Albom, Roger McGuinn, Ingrid Michaelson, John Pizzarelli, Paul Stanley, George Guidall, Mike Hodge, Robin Miles, Christian Baskous, Tony Chiroldes, Kevin O'Neil, Adriana Sananes, Ken Brown, and Sarab Kamoo.

©2015 ASOP, Inc. (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"The narrative ensemble, which includes the author, is an inspired choice for this production. Their collective talents prove equal to a story with an extensive cast and a magical blend of realism and fantasy.... The fortunate listener who can briefly suspend disbelief will be rewarded with one of this season's true audio gems." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting look at artist life

This book was a pretty easy listen. I loved the Meastro. The way the narrator did his voice made the whole book worth the listen for me. The book showed a touching story of how music can impact people's lives. It had a lot of sad parts that were pretty heart wrenching. The love story between the two main characters was frustrating at times. But, on the whole a nice listen. #Audible1

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cynthia
  • Lancaster
  • 2015-12-02

Fiction interwoven with REAL people, places,events

Would you listen to The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto again? Why?

I just finished the book " The magic strings of Frankie Presto" by Mitch Albom. I think musicians would really enjoy it. Every chapter begins with a little music lesson on a musical theory term and how it relates to his life at the moment in the book. Oh and it was a full cast of characters which I loved as I listened. He included real music artists in the book and wove them into "Frankie's" life, they each told a little story on how "Frankie" affected their life in a positive way, it was very cool the way Mitch Albom did it. Then at the end he explained how HE knew each of those artists and what was real with their parts of the story. He even talked about the real places that he's been to and people he met there that he wrote about for Frankie's life. Frankie is fictional but I love how Mitch weaved real events, places and people in and out of Frankie's life. When I talk, make comments and laugh as the story unfolds and cry out loud, it's a really good story. :)

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I liked the full cast of characters! that was awesome!!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • RaeLynn Jo
  • 2016-10-30

Better Narrated than Read

I made an attempt to read this book shorty after it was written and couldn't get through it. I love Mitch Albom, have read all of this books more than once, but found it hard to adjust to this writing style. After listening to it though, I would say it's one of his best fictional characters. A well developed story, memorable characters, and just plain fun to listen to. Very well done!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tara
  • Memphis, TN, United States
  • 2016-01-06

You have to listen to it, don't read it!

Would you listen to The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto again? Why?

Yes, I absolutely LOVED the performances.

What did you like best about this story?

All the character's stories.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I can't pick just one...so good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

My name is Talent, come sit here and let me tell you a story...

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2016-07-17

Lovely story and fantastic narrators

Where does The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 10! I ordered this book for my book club. Every one else in the club had the paperback but I am an audio book fan and chose the audible version instead & I am so glad I did. The readers really brought the characters to life. I laughed with Frankie and I cried . I had to listen to the last chapter twice and I cried again,.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really love Frankie's music teacher. I know he was a gruff old man but inside he was full of passion for music and I really felt that in his teaching of Frankie.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was really moved when Frankie met Jango. It is a defining moment for him and I think if they had not connected Frankie'd life would have turned out differently. This was his first major connection to the music world.

Any additional comments?

While I am sure the written version of this book is also excellent I highly recommend the audio version as the way to experience this novel. You will become connected to the characters and join their journey on a different level.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Just Me
  • 2015-11-19

Wow!

I listen to many audible books. This one has been the best that I've listened to in the last 10 years! I quickly came to care about all of the characters and wanting to know what was going to happen next. Having the actual musicians read their parts was fantastic! I highly recommend this book! I'm going to listen to it again right now. :-)

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cato
  • 2015-11-16

The Magic Strings

I loved this book just like I've loved everything else I've read that he's written. There's a lot of jumping around in time so when listening make sure you are aware of when in time you are. Besides that sit back and enjoy this book, it's incredible and worth the read or listen.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Johan
  • 2016-09-24

Mitch at his best

One of the best audio books I have listened to. It touches your very soul

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gemmi23
  • NC
  • 2015-11-12

Great book!...

I love good stories and I love good music... this book is the best of both worlds!

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • AMC
  • Lake Tahoe, Ca
  • 2018-01-18

Dull and Dry

Would you try another book from Mitch Albom and/or the narrators?

No more Mitch Albom for me. The story was just not interesting which I do not blame on the narrators.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, I just don't understand all of the glowing reviews. I was unable to get into the story. All the interactions with famous folks was really hokey. I found it contrived and artificial.

Any additional comments?

My suggestion? Pass on this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Trudi
  • 2017-04-12

Didn't work for me.

Started out interesting enough but the further I got into it the more the overwhelming coincidences became just too far fetched and too contrived to be anything else but groan worthy. Just silly. I was especially disappointed because so many of the reviews were good. I did like the idea of music having a voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful