BOOK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO BY MITCH ALBOM

I’ve always loved Mitch Albom as do everyone I know. And I’m not surprised, really. The way he writes, you know there’s some research involved, hours and hours spent in writing & rereading chapters. It can’t be just imagination with him. I always, always learn something from his books, may it be a new phrase, a new song, a new place, history and so much more. It’s not just life lessons (which he’s great at) but he never fails to input a metaphor that captures the essence of his books.

 

We all join a band in life. And it will affect you as much as you affect it! 

 

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GOODREADS:  ”This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.

He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.”

 

Highlights from the book:

  • This is how talents are bestowed. Before newborns open their eyes, we circle them, appearing as brilliant colors and when they clench their tiny hands. they are actually grabbing colors they find most appealing and those talents are with them for life.
  • You cannot change your past no matter how you craft your future
  • Sometimes I think the greatest talent of all is perseverance.
  • In every artist’s life, there comes a person who lifts the curtain on creativity.
  • Talent is a piece of god’s shadow and under that shadow, human stories intersect.
  • You cannot write if you do not read, you cannot eat if you do not chew and you cannot play if you do not listen.
  • Do not cry over losing blood, not for something that you love.
  • Money is a mystery. While it clearly means a great deal to humans, it seems to me an enormous burden.
  • Truth is light. Lies are shadows.
  • Can i be both? — Being both means being neither.
  • Every loss leaves a hole in your heart.
  • The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.
  • I’m scared. — Yes, and you will be scared again. All your life. You must conquer this. Face them and pretend they aren’t there. You can do it. Always remember I said you can do it.
  • Where you are going, you need to listen. When you listen, you learn.
  • Music allows for quick creation. But it is nothing compared with what you humans can destroy in a single conversation.
  • Le duy vas xalaven pe — the hands wash each other.
  • Rerum cognoscere causas — to know the causes of things
  • Thank you. — For what? —- For not giving up
  • I can’t do anything without you either. Marry me. Please? — Santa and Mr. Bingle are always together. — Always. — No matter what. — No matter what. — All right. I’ll marry you.
  • We heal a wounded heart with an oath that reassures it.
  • The less you humans can solve a mystery, the more interesting it becomes to you.
  • This is life. Things get taken away. You will learn to start over many times — or you will be useless.
  • First rule of friendship mates, learn how to keep a secret.
  • The point is, you have to decide who you are playing for.
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
  • The older you get, the more you want your kids to know about you. At a certain point, your life is more about your legacy to your kids than anything else.
  • Your most passionate compositions are often inspired by loss.
  • What you’re thinking about can be what you become.
  • He realized how many people it takes to keep one child alive in this world.
  • You will never know all there is to know. You will learn until your final days. Then you will inspire someone else.

 

Frankie, joining several bands.. changed lives: 

  1. He joined another band, this one without even playing. Django would have never experienced America, or the way it influenced his life and art.
  2. Mr. Hampton, the mechanic. Frankie saved his life by promising tickets after an audition because the doctors wouldn’t let them in, telling them to bring hampton to a coloured hospital.
  3. Ellis grew up and joined the army. On the night frankie was going back to his hotel, the car that they were using was wired. Frankie saved the life of ellis with his guitar as an exchange.
  4. Josefa, the nun was redeemed by frankie’s forgiveness.

 

Let’s just talk about how toxic and fascinating Frankie and Aurora are. Without the gadgets that we have now, how can two people just cross paths & reunite over and over again after years of not being together? I applaud Aurora for being so patient of frankie’s absence in her life, of how music and fame stole him from her and simply just how passionate and committed she is to her. How can their relationship work? I don’t know. But I admire these two specially on the latter part of their destined life, raising their child.

 

The book, thru frankie brings the readers to so many places around the world, introducing us to different cultures, different genres, different artists and different lives. It gives us a glimpse of how passion can be a fire that can keep you glowing or that can burn you into ashes. It tells us how music can sometimes be the only salvation, communication and expression of an individual when words seem to be not enough.

 

Again, Mitch Albom does it.

As life goes on, you will join other bands, some through friendships, some through romance, some through neighborhoods, schools, an army. Maybe you will all dress the same, or laugh at your own private vocabulary. Maybe you will flop on couches backstage, or share a boardroom table, or crowd around galley inside a ship. But in each band you join, you will play a distinct part, and it will affect you as much as you affect it. And, as usually the fate with bands, most of them will break up – through distance, differences, divorce or death.

 

 

 

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