Book Review

The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop Rachel Joyce Book Review - NicoleXenia

“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 re-open and a past he will never leave behind …”

Let me first start off by saying, I loved this book!

Right from the start it had me thinking. The first page says “… no sign above the door” I wonder if that’s why there’s no title on that page?

We follow a man named Frank who owns a Music Shop on Unity Street in London. Frank loves vinyl and will not even entertain the idea of selling CDs. He states that by getting up and changing the record over, you interact with the music to complete the listening experience. The book is split into parts: ‘Side A, Side B, Side C and Side D’. I found this emphasised the previous point well.

His passion for music and love of helping people puts Frank in a unique position. When a customer enters the shop requesting a piece of music, they also talk to Frank about all their problems. Frank will then introduce them to a different piece than what they asked for when they entered the shop.

Frank doesn’t give you what you want, but instead gives you what you need.

Frank’s shop is under threat because in 1988 CDs are are the new trend. No-one wants to listen to vinyl anymore. Although it did make me laugh when one man described CDs as “virtually indestructible” and “you could run over them with your car and they’d still work” Mate! I don’t know what kind of CDs you’re selling, but one scratch on mine and the damn thing would skip three songs!

So between his shop under threat from closing due to outdated stock, plus new developers interested in the area and a German woman who faints outside his shop, this mans peaceful life suddenly has a lot going on!

Honestly, reading this book makes me want to listen to vinyl music. It makes me want to hear and experience what the author describes, it’s almost romantic in a sense. This is coming from a girl who loves technology, its advances and what it can offer us. Having said that, a book like this could not have been written about CDs before the digital era or Digital Downloads. It wouldn’t have the same feel or passion.

To sum up, it’s rare for me to pre-order books, and this one I knew very little about, but I’m so glad I did because this story is beautiful!



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