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Summary

From the author of the worldwide best seller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all....

It's 1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk - as long as it's vinyl, he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.

Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman, with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen and a past he will never leave behind....

©2017 Rachel Joyce (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

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Love me tender!


Like Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which I loved, The Music Shop has the ingredients for a quirky, tender love story filled with the sort of people whom nobody really notices in real life but who Joyce fills with achingly human longings for tenderness - that feeling Joyce describes as though someone has put a cosy coat around you and done the buttons up.

It’s the 1980s Frank runs a vinyl record shop; he shuns CDs and sells only vinyl 'black as liquorice and twice as shiny'. He prescribes music from Punk to Berlioz, Aretha Franklin to Beethoven, to all the damaged, hurt people who come to his shop and makes them better. But he can't be kind to himself or allow himself to love because of the crippling emotional damage done to him by his dreadful mother. One day Ilse Brauchmann appears outside his shop, an intriguing stranger in a pea-green coat - and Frank’s life is never the same again.

We can see that Ilse falls in love with Frank and although she is clearly what Frank always wanted, he can allow himself to talk to her only about music - music which is what he lives for and also what he hides behind. The story is about how these two lonely, sad people (and others – there are lots of characters) finally ..... but I won't spoil it. The delightfully uplifting story is beautifully told and doesn't go the way you think it will, but keeps twisting and turning. It's not just about the power of music, but also about changing times (there’s a 20-year gap in the story), the power of human love and kindness in a community, and how the most apparently ordinary and unfavoured people can triumph.

I was rather disappointed to start with –(a bit too sweet) - but the whole story gathered pace, grit and depth as it went on. Part parable, it combines, wit, whimsy and shrewdness and leaves you feeling as though your buttons have been securely done up!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Eleanor
  • Bradford on Avon, United Kingdom
  • 21-07-17

A delightful and compassionate story

A thoroughly engrossing tale of a mixed bag of everyday characters brought alive in simple but observant and telling detail. Listening made me join in with despairing or encouraging comments!

The healing power of music is a major part of the story beautifully described. An accompanying recording would be a bonus.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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This book made me want to revert to life on the early 80’s and made me curse getting rid of my vinyl!

I just loved this book. Took me back to that London in the 80’s & my time in it made me curse letting go of my vinyl. Wonderful vivid living descriptions of a diverse range of music and the memories of the sound and feel of vinyl. Sweet romance too

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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emotional

loved it from the first few minutes. beautiful characters, emotional plot lines and music. what more could you want?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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lovely story

Lovely characters, I am a fan of Rachel Joyce's other books (Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy) This is another soft and sweet book about lovely characters. My only problem is that i could give the main character, Frank, a sharp smack on occasions for being so soft, but it really is a sweet novel and I have enjoyed reading it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Di
  • 22-08-17

Delightful....so different.

Just a really beautifully worked story. Really difficult to describe how it works so well. I loved the characters and their relationships with each other. Somehow the characters lift each other's lives and magic happens. I made sure to sit down and really listen to the last hour without distractions. Didn't want it to end!

Made me remember the connection with a vinyl album, for all the drawbacks of the black disks there is something special about them. Collectors refused to give up on vinyl and now they are being released again and reaching a new generation....Nostalgia wins!

Great narration from Steven Hartley too, a really warm voice for all the characters of Unity Street. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous!

Rachel Joyce is a wonderful story teller; she brings characters alive and understands the complexities of human relationships. I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful story narrated brilliantly. I laughed out loud and cried too.

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Took a while to warm up

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the characters but did enjoy it eventually as it picked up pace towards the end. Not a fan of the narration to be honest… Might have enjoyed it more with a different narrator. (Feel a bit mean saying that but it’s true)

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It will make your heart sing

For anyone that loves music and books - look no further.

No spoiler can be given. Just take time to listen and be absorbed into this community. The characters will stay with you long after the final word has been spoken

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From hesitancy to joy to tears and, finally, to joyful tears

What a great story. I thought the first 10 minutes were dull and decided to give it another 10 before selecting a different book .... but I’m really pleased I waited as this story grows on you and grows inside you.

Literally had tears brimming at some of the beautiful moments, but please don’t think this is a soppy romance; far from it.

Oh and Kit is so funny

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  • M. Botha
  • 14-03-18

A Book that has to be heard to be fully appreciated

This book was a lovely surprise. The beauty of the language makes it seem like a literary LP. It is a symphony of words.
#VividImagary#FantasticTranslation#ABookWrittenToBeReadAloud#tagsgivinc

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  • Sharon
  • 08-02-18

An absolutely delightful book

The narration makes this book. In some instances I found myself laughing out loud at Kit, just because of how he spoke. The story is sweet and timely. I absolutely lost myself in the characters in Unity Street.