I had not read this well-known author (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven) before, and actually had not planned to until one of our fabulous library patrons told me how much I would love this book - and wow, I love this book!
The setting is fictional famous singer and guitarist Frankie Presto's memorial service. He was a former Spanish War orphan who became an international musician and led a very interesting life. At the memorial, musicians Presto played with during his life share stories about him and give eulogies. Each witness to his life seems to have known him in a way unique from all the others. The narrator of the book is, wait for it - MUSIC! Music's voice ties the various musician's stories together to create a fabulous testimony to Presto: his life, his loves, his instruments, his constantly forming and reforming bands, his travels, and most importantly, a very special guitar with strings that just might have magical powers. Author Albom is a lifelong musician who writes about "the bands we all join in life" that become our family.
I'm eager to read this book through a second time, as I know that when I was caught up in the story, I missed a lot of details that would no doubt make the novel even richer. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto has been popular with men and women alike, and especially with anyone who believes in the power of music. It would be great for book clubs. A CD has been made of the songs that are performed in this book, featuring such stars as Tony Bennett, The Byrds, Kiss and Lyle Lovett!