Judging the Book By Its Cover: Suffocating Expectations

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My Idea: Well, with a name like Presto, what was Frankie supposed to do? Ever since he can remember, people have told him he should be a musician.

When he banged on pots and pans as a toddler, the neighbor lady would yell through the window to his mother: “Hey, would ya look at that! I told ya Frankie would be a natural!”

In first grade when it was his turn to tell the class what he wanted to be when he grew up, the teacher interrupted him with, “Oh, Frankie, well obviously you’re going to be one of those music people!”

Now as a 5th grader, the day is rapidly approaching when all of the students will get the chance to learn a few notes on a string instrument of their choice to decide whether they will be a part of the orchestra that semester. What instrument will he choose? Violin? Cello? Viola? Double bass? Everyone will be watching. Or, more accurately, everyone will be listening…it is the moment his parents, friends, and vague acquaintances have been looking forward to his whole life. But what if he fails?

 Albom’s novel presents the many thoughts of Frankie Presto leading up to this crucial day in his life.

Goodreads Summary: “…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 reappear just 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…” Here it is on Goodreads.

Results:  There is a sense of a burden in both, but obviously for different reasons.  Cool premise!

Judging the Book By Its Cover is an ongoing series that imagines a potential story for a book based on the cover art alone.  Missed the previous one on Ms. Marvel? Read it here.

2 thoughts on “Judging the Book By Its Cover: Suffocating Expectations

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