The Music Shop

The Music Shop

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
7
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"It's 1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the country. Meanwhile, down a dead-end street, Frank's music shop stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. It attracts the lonely, the sleepless, the adrift. There is room for everyone. Frank has a gift for finding his customers the music they need. Into this shop arrives Ilse Brauchmann - practical, brave, well-heeled. Frank falls for this curious woman who always dresses in green. But Ilse's reasons for visiting the shop are not what they seem. Frank's passion for Ilse seems as misguided as his determination to save vinyl. How can a man so in tune with other people's needs be so incapable of helping himself? And what will it take to show he loves her?"--
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018], c2017
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780812996685
0812996682
Branch Call Number: FIC JOYCE 2018
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 25 cm

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PimaLib_ChristineR Apr 14, 2018

If you even like music somewhat you should read this book. If you believe music is a contact sport, you should read this book. If a mirror fogs up when held under your nose, you should read this book.

First, let me apologize to whomever got this book after me at the library, for the slightly wrinkled pages from my ugly cry. But don't let even that put you off this book, because it isn't, generally, a love story or even overly emotional, unless it comes to describing music.

When people describe it as gentle, or lyrical, it's hard to define exactly why, but it is exactly those things. Joyce is gentle with her characters. Their average lives are not up for mockery. None of them is trying to change the world or become famous or even move out of their run down little corner of London. Joyce takes the average and raises it into the sublime.

If I had to make a comparison, I'd say it was the love child of Hornby's High Fidelity and Jeunet's Amelie. Frank owns a record store while the rest of the world is buying CDs. His specialty is knowing exactly what a person needs to hear. Ilse is a mysterious German who walks into his life by accident, but somehow intrigues Frank because he cannot tell what she would like to hear. In this, he is deaf, not only to her, but to his own, heart. The cast of this little run down street of shops is endearing without being cliche. Father Anthony, Maud and Kit all make up Frank's world until Ilse asks for, what I'll call listening lessons.

As other's have noted, the end jumps a bit, but I don't think there was a cleaner way to do it, and Joyce makes up for the jumps with one of the best finales of all time, which should be put on film, probably by Jeunet. This is a book I want to talk about, listen to the soundtrack from, and possibly hand out to strangers on the street. Save me some money and check it out from your local library as soon as possible.

j
janetnorm
Apr 08, 2018

I have never been so moved by a book in my 60 years of being an avid reader.

m
mjk236sb
Feb 05, 2018

Really enjoyed this book that was about love, friends, and music. Not everyone is able to find true love in their lives look most people. These were a collection of misfits who bond together to make a neighborhood and a life. Then "things" get in their way. I really enjoyed the ending of this book - was uplifting and fun - should give everyone hope and music in their life.

o
ownedbydoxies
Dec 22, 2017

I realize this book is meant to be whimsical, with characters you'd love to meet and know in your own neighborhood, but when I figured in the first couple of chapters that I could confidently predict what would happen throughout the book, I felt like whimsical characters couldn't make up for that predictability. I absolutely loved Harold Fry (his wife made me laugh and reminded me of people I knew, and of myself at times, too!) but haven't felt the same draw to her follow-up books.

ontherideau Dec 19, 2017

A standing ovation for Rachel Joyce for a beautiful musical romance.

caravan Nov 11, 2017

A beautiful & lyrical story. It will give you a new appreciation to music and how it can be the therapy to the soul. The music lessons were mesmerizing.

robertafsmith Sep 07, 2017

Who could forget The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry? Rachel Joyce has done it again with her latest novel The Music Shop. Terrific characterisation, sharp, funny dialogue, and a plot twist that will wrench your heart. Unlike Harold Fry, Frank ( the main character) doesn't walk that much but he is prone to outbursts of clumsy running. The book has a marvellous on-the-page soundtrack. Highly recommended reading.

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