Book Of The Month: The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto

An inspiring tale about music and the many different passions of a young boy!


In this latest book from Mitch Albom, an author from whom you always expect emotional sagas due to his previous work, you meet a musician who has ‘been there and done that’ with practically everything in the music industry. Presto, and first name Frankie, is a talented musician, skilled in playing the guitar and being a singer. Presto has personally been a witness of the Vietnam War and Hurricane Katrina; he has met Elvis Presley, Django Reinhardt and the Beatles and his unique tale is spelt out in memory sequences and conversational goodbyes with mourners, who have come to Presto’s funeral.

Music cleverly becomes a role of its own narrating a tale, that goes something like this, in the book: every person in the world is a part of a string of bands, and in each of them they have a separate part to play. Francisco “Frankie” Presto was a Spanish native, born during the time of the Spanish Civil War. As an abandoned child, and then an abandoned adult, his only real lifelong companion turned out to be, none other than Music.

Presto’s childhood was pretty traumatic actually, drenched in near-drowning experiences during abandonment by a penniless and young guardian of-sorts (Presto was an orphan), but his life is ultimately saved because of a hairless dog and a sardine factory owner. El Maestro is a blind music teacher, who is appointed to Presto, when the sardine factory owner finds that Presto is gifted with musical talents.

El gives Presto a guitar to play with that has magical strings woven together on the instrument by a vagabond: the strings glow blue during momentous life and death seconds. Presto once is put on a boat, at the very bottom of it, and sent to America – his life is coloured with rich experiences: aside from dabbling in diverse types of music, such as classical and jazz music, he also falls for a young girl by the name of Aurora, as a young boy.

Aurora is the only thing in the whole world that rivals his love for music, and Music makes it clear that the two’s love story was an important part of ‘a tale about Presto’. Mitch writes so that the two young lovers seem destined to be together for life, but their times spent together, is however, filled with nugatory and deadly moments, one-too-often. I find that the most perfect contradiction ever but it is most certainly thought-provoking: the narrative is poignant for Mitch’s imagination that a legend must really have it all, even through clichés, deep mysteries and power.


About Osmi Anannya

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