The Music Shop

The Music Shop

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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
ISBN: 9780812996685
0812996682
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 25 cm

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f
feralranger
Mar 15, 2019

Another charming book by the author of The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This one has the added element of music and its music for everyone, from rock to classic references. The beauty of vinyl, the 80's, real people with real problems, societies misfits with music as their theme songs. It was enjoyable and easy to read but not light, it has weight. The music shop owner, Frank seems to be able to match people with music that helps fix their souls but he has trouble applying his musical magic to his own life.
Sweet and Quirky.

d
DorisWaggoner
Feb 28, 2019

I had a lot of trouble getting into this book, for some reason. I did like Frank, but the other quirky characters seemed just too quirky. The community they formed was a bit too quirky too. I liked the idea that Frank could pick what kind of music someone needed, in spite of what they thought they wanted--and he was usually right. But he was SO wrong about Ilse, about everything about Ilse. Wrong enough to send her packing back to Germany, where she was miserable, leaving him miserable. I admit that I had trouble keeping track of the plot at times. My book club's considering reading this, or I wouldn't have finished it. In the long run, I'm glad I did. The ending is sweet and the community ends up as it should be.

w
wayoflife
Oct 29, 2018

Ohmigod Ohmigod Ohmigod what a beautiful quirky novel. If you love the movies Almost Famous and Singles or High Fidelity, you Must read this one.

w
WoodneathReads
Oct 16, 2018

Frank is an eccentric music shop owner with lots of characters dropping in. He has a gift of being able to pick exactly the right music that a person needs in their life at precisely the right moment. A fun read with an over the top, world is right ending. --Linda R.

DBRL_ReginaF Sep 22, 2018

This book was recommended by a friend and I'm so glad it was or I might not have ever found it! I loved it! I kept wanting to stop to listen to all the music that was in the book.

ehbooklover Jun 29, 2018

This book is essentially a love letter to music and as a music lover myself, I enjoyed it immensely. I especially liked the characters. My favourite part of reading this book was how it made me feel. The author's descriptions of the experience of listening to music via vinyl records brought back so many memories of afternoons spent sitting next to my stereo, playing my LPs on the turntable. A wonderful, nostalgia-filled read.

h
heidijoemonty
May 08, 2018

I loved this book. It reminds me of a cross between Notting Hill and Amelie, two of my favorite films. The characters are so well written and I loved the musical element to the story. Very light read, a nice, easy development with feeling.

6
671books
Apr 30, 2018

This book is basically High Fidelity only written for women. Same basic plot. Same basic characters. Hell even same basic location. How the author hasn't been sued for plagiarism is beyond me...Anyway. Before you read this book, read the original/inspiration for this story, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. If after that you still want to read a story about a record store owner, then give this book a read.

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.

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