Boozy Books: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

Heyo! It’s me, A! Apologies for missing my posts last week. Spamalot just opened and the weekend became quite a whirlwind as I settled into the new show schedule. But now I’m back! My reading this month has been slightly hindered by my demanding rehearsal schedule, but fear not I still managed to read the two books I required of myself. I’m in the process of reading another two, but seeing as neither is any good they may not count for the month of May at all (if I decide to actually finish them…).

Well, anyhoo, more on boring literature later… Perhaps I’ll spend a Monday Muse on it. I have some thoughts. Strong opinions, if you will.

Today I bring you Mitch Albom’s The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. While the story is far from groundbreaking and relies on a 12th hour deus ex machina to tie up some of its loose strings (see what I did there), it’s a lovely little story that makes for some quick, light, summery reading. I’d especially recommend it if you’re a fan of rock n’ roll history as the main character, Frankie Presto, weaves in and out of historical events from touring with Elvis to playing at Woodstock. In its way it resembles Forrest Gump, taking the reader on a wild foray that explores Presto’s fictional influence on the music scene from his birth to his death. 

Narrated largely by the omniscient rendering of the personified character Music, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is an interesting blend of musicality and literature. You don’t need to know a lot about music to appreciate what Albom has done in his pacing of the story, but if you do there are plenty of nods to musical vocabulary that create an air of composition that is not typically associated with writing. It’s clever and sweet, and an examination of the importance of being true to yourself and the ones you love. 

As I mentioned, there’s a late introduction of a character I feel was unnecessary to the success of the story, but that’s really my only complaint. The charm of Frankie Presto’s absurd life up to that point is its fantastic impossibility. The very trait that Albom ultimately tries to explain away. I had no qualms with Frankie’s life being somehow touched by magic or by Music’s special favor and influence, and the character to whom I refer snatched away the elevated whimsy of his life and didn’t really feel like a character that needed to exist within the scope of the story. That being said, it’s a nice, fun read and I’m sure there are plenty who would disagree with me on this, so don’t let my opinion deter you from picking this one up.

As for this week’s pairing: I’m leaning toward a Spanish white wine. Try something from the Rias Baixas region. This region is known for its flavorful and sweet, white wine, the perfect light, crisp partner for a light read.



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