Whether it is classical or jazz, punk, the blues or heavy metal, record shop owner Frank Adair is a man with a special gift for matching people with music, but only with vinyl, mind, never with a new-fangled CD. But whether he is ready or not, change is in the air for Frank and the motley crew of neighbouring shop owners - Maud the tattoo artist, Mr Novak the baker, Father Anton seller of religious souvenirs and the rest. Making an appearance is the mysterious and charismatic Ilse Brauchmann - who doesn't even listen to music! - and to add insult to injury, developers salivating over the run-down shops of Unity Street.
With its quirky characters and snapshot of 1980s England, this is a charming love story and a life-affirming celebration of music. [Larger font]
Everyone liked the book. We were particularly intrigued by Frank's music choices. Many of us listened to some of the tracks. Kit was the favourite character but all were believable.
Most did not like the book, and felt it could have been written as a screen play. I enjoyed it, it had some good life lessons - listen to people, be mindful, be present in the moment, and do not let love slip from your life.
Character studies galore! A simple tale of a man conditioned by his upbringing, who can see needs in others but is afraid to recognise his own. Music cemented the story, with healing as the smooth top coat. We all recognised someone from Joyce's description and most confessed to visiting 'You Tube' to hear some melodies!
The quirky characters engaged the whole group.
Mixed views on the book. We were all very impressed with the descriptions of the music - amazing! Thought it moved quite slowly as a story though.
We all felt this book fell a bit flat. The description in the catalogue sounded rather good, but the characters just didn't grip us, which is a shame as it is well-written. We did enjoy the music anecdotes and listened to the playlist.
Although a few of the group really enjoyed this book, most of us found it pleasant but not riveting. Good discussion re communities and the importance of art and music and why it is important to each of us.
Most did not rate it highly as the characters and story were deemed to be too fanciful. We did enjoy the musical references. It was whimsical and light hearted and did generate a good discussion.
The group found this an easy and lighthearted read although some were frustrated with the main characters not progressing their relationship. A few of the group listened to the soundtrack which made the book come to life a bit more. There were mixed comments around the huge 21 year gap before the story picked up again but it ended flat. Overall a nice read though.
There was a mixed response to the book, from loving it to being very impatient with the characters. People who did so, loved following the music list. Overall the descriptions of the music were the highlights. Most found the ending disappointing. It's a light read.
Mixed opinions in our group. Taking it slowly and listening to the music while reading added enjoyment for some. Some people found the characters unlikeable. The author does a nice job capturing slices of time and making the time and place really specific (and beautiful).
We enjoyed listening to the musical pieces mentioned in the book; and the information provided about the composers and their inspiration. The story itself was fun, if a little unbelievable at times.
Oh my - we all loved this book!! Great characters fully drawn, and all possessing flaws as well as strengths!! The tempo of the narrative played out like a symphony complete with a couple of sonatas included, along with crescendos and silences.
Most thought this book got off to a slow start and some almost gave up! But nearly all persevered to the end, which all felt was disappointing. We have read this author before, and enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessey, so it was disappointing generally. But an enjoyable get together regardless over tea and cake!!
We all really loved this book. It's very character driven with a lovely story.
Lovely book with a 'fairytale' style. We all enjoyed it.
We all loved this book, made even more enjoyable by playing some of the music depicted whilst reading. We found that we were disappointed in the time lapse of 21 years leading to the end of the story. The ending seemed rushed.
"A fun read". A poignant read with the developing of characters. We listened to the soundtrack as we discussed the questions. That gave depth to the review of this book. A book to read and enjoy without thinking too hard. A great holiday read:-)
Such a delightful book. The characters were so quirky - but also realistic with at times! Endearing traits. We had a great discussion about personalities and finding one's place when you are different.
We all enjoyed this book, from the quirky characters to the great music. While it was a lighter read, we had a great discussion.
Wonderful discussion. Main characters very frustrating, but against a background of music, mystery and a sense of community.
This was a very popular read. The connection with the various works of music was celebrated.
We thought 'The Music Shop' was a much better book than our last read, and that the music references and commentary were enchanting and interesting. However the book occasioned very disparate views, some found it a good read and the characters endearing, others found the scenario unrealistic and the characters lacking reality and uninteresting...
What a delightful book to read, especially during lockdown. Light but full of caring and love. Highly recommend.
An enjoyable fun book. Excellent light read.
A very easy read that was described by the group as cute. Really makes you think about the way we listen to music and respect it more, especially the silence in between. Not the ending we were expecting, with it jumping forward so many years. Overall most of the group enjoyed it.
5/7 enjoyed this book - felt it was a light hearted summer read.