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The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop (2018)

by Rachel Joyce

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4616133,487 (3.78)31



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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a quirky little story about love, community, and music. It begins in the 1980s. A man named Frank inherited his mothers collection of vinyl albums (and nothing else) when she died. He opens a music shop on Unity Street, a fading community that includes a Polish baker, twin morticians, a religious goods store run by an alcoholic priest without a parish, and a Mohawked female tattoo artist. Frank equips the shop himself, even turning an old wardrobe into two listening booths. He resists the pressure of his distributors to stock CDs, a then-new format. For him, it's vinyl, vinyl, and nothing but vinyl. Frank has an unusual talent: he seems to know instinctively not what music his customers want, but the music they need. For example, the sad widower who always asks for Chopin is sent home with Aretha Franklin, and it's a life-changing experience for him.

One day, a girl wearing a green coat, green scarf, and green gloves passes out on the sidewalk while staring into Frank's window. When she opens her eyes, Frank, a loner who has avoided any form of attachment for years, is struck with the thunderbolt of love--which, of course, he resists. The rest of the book follows their changing relationship into the 21st century, as well as the pressure a development firm puts on the resident of Unity Street and Frank's coming to terms with memories of his deceased mother and how she has shaped his life.

This was a fairly entertaining novel, but I probably would have enjoyed it even more had I not picked it up right after reading a string of outstanding and more serious novels. ( )
  Cariola | Feb 11, 2019 |
I loved this book. Many thanks to Random House for sending it to me. I'm still not sure what I did to deserve receiving it but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. And that is actually a pretty good synopsis of the book.

Frank owns a small record shop on a side street in an unnamed British city. Unity Street had a few shops on one side and residences on the other side. One of the shops (a florist) had already closed down by January 1988 when our story starts. Besides Frank's shop there was a tattoo gallery run by Maud, a bakery run by Mr. Novak, a store selling religious trinkets run by Father Anthony, and a funeral parlour run by the Williams brothers. Frank only sold vinyl records. He wanted nothing to do with cassette tapes or with the CDs the record company reps were always trying to get him to carry. Frank was forty years old, lived above the shop and loved music of all types and genres. He thought he was past the hurly burly of love and romance but then Ilse Brauchmann fainted in front of his shop. Ilse was an enigma; Frank could usually get a sense from people as to what records they would like or needed. From Ilse he got no clues. And Ilse said she didn't listen to music. She came back to the shop a few days after she fainted but just to leave a plant for Frank to thank him for helping her. She mentioned a fiance which crushed Frank because he had fallen in love with her. When pressed she asked Frank if he had a recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and she took it away with her. She returned in a few days and asked Frank to teach her about music. So they set up a regular lesson once a week where Frank would bring four records and explain why they were important. In this way the late winter and spring of 1988 passed with Ilse and Frank growing closer. But (you knew there was going to be a but) when push came to shove Frank just could not commit to Ilse and Ilse returned to Germany.

There is more to the story but it would spoil the plot if I revealed more. Suffice it to say that if you love music of any kind and you like to read about unusual characters you will love this book. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 23, 2019 |
Within the first few pages the owner of the shop had smoked so much that I could smell it through my iPad. No interest in ever going near that store or learning more about its owner. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Dec 30, 2018 |
A bit of High Fidelity and a bit of It’s a Wonderful Life, this sweet book hit the spot. A few broken people find solace in each other in a record shop. Prickly Madge, mysterious Ilse, enthusiastic Kit an old Father, and Frank at the heart of it all. ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 28, 2018 |
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"A love story and a journey through music, the exquisite and perfectly pitched new novel from the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy"--

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