Mitch Albom is the author of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. With this book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Novel, he indulgences his musical aspirations, creating a kind of fable–a fabulous musician. An Orpheus, if you will. Notwithstanding his love of music, and other books of his that I enjoyed, I couldn’t get into it. Mitch lost me when the god-like spirit of music spoke of a messed up meter. The time signature was not 5/4, like the famous tune “Take Five” by Paul Desmond of the Dave Brubeck Group. It was like 8/5, or something, which is not possible and utterly meaningless. For reasons that are obvious to any Musician that is something that an all-knowing spirit of music would never say. It spoiled my enjoyment of the book. It was hard to get through it with all the eye rolling I was doing. I liked Tuesdays with Morrie, and there was a great film of it with Jack Lemmon as Morrie, and Hank Azaria (voice of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson, Cletus Spuckler, Professor Frink, Dr. Nick Riviera, Lou, Snake Jailbird, Kirk Van Houten, the Sea Captain, Superintendent Chalmers, Disco Stu, Duffman, the Wiseguy and numerous one-time characters for The Simpsons) as Mitch Albom. I did not like The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Novel, though. Sorry, Albom. I couldn’t really String Along With Mitch.
PS: This was a review I wrote about a year ago for Amazon’s Vine Program. They give you free books if they notice you write a lot of reviews, but then they started getting more demanding–like if you didn’t write a review they’d cut you off. I started falling behind in my reading and reviewing, and my humble abode was filling up with books like Micky Mouse’s house was filling up with water in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment in Fantasia. I was suffering book reviewer burn-out, where you begin to begrudge all the time you spend writing about other writers of lesser talent rather than working on your own stuff. I might have enjoyed this book more under better circumstances, and also, if I was less of a music snob, and more tolerant of writers who aren’t musicians.