Review: The World According To Elvis
Clare Flowers, Michael O'Mara Books, ISBN: 1843170310 distributed
in Australia by Bookwise International.
a surprise this release turned out to be. I had expected
yet another superficial look at The King's life, and
instead found a highly readable, entertaining and
thoughtful biography with many extra value added features.
Flowers cleverly uses a deft mix of Elvis' own words
and revealing biography to form a well rounded portrait
of The King. All aspects of Elvis' life are explored,
from his childhood an familial relationships, to the
Colonel, early fame, the Army, Hollywood, the Memphis
Mafia, marriage, Vegas and his eventual heartbreaking
in an easy going style that is both thought provoking and
evocative, Ms Flowers manages to cram the core of the Elvis
story and the psychology of his demise into less than 170
had more than stars in his baby-blue eyes, though. Capricorns
are hard workers, not layabouts, and he had no intention
of giving up the day job to chase his dream.....He spent
his spare time hanging around on the local Memphis music
scene, cutting an oddball figure in his ballooning black
pants and bolero jackets from Lanskys."
from the more well known parts of the Elvis story, the death
threats, paternity suits and Elvis' obsession with law enforcement
are also all covered in the book along with the failed loves
and excesses that would hasten the end of the world's biggest
musical star. Ms Flowers pays careful attention to communicating
seminal moments in Elvis' life such as Ed Sullivan's pivotal
words about a young man he had once virtually despised.
And while Elvis' final few years are covered in only a handful
of pages, the way the author addresses the end, well captures
the frustration and malaise that had enveloped Elvis' life.
There is also a chapter on the women in Elvis' life, a discography/filmography
and many fascinating anecdotes, reminiscences and quotations
both about and by Elvis:
on Racism: 'If you hate another human being because of their
race, you're hating part of yourself.' The author has researched
her subject well and this allows her to offer valuable insights
into Elvis' inner thoughts and feelings. While there are
one or two factual errors (for example, Elvis winning a
prize at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair) these do not detract
from what is an entertaining and thoughtful release.
Fans wanting a solid biography that makes you think
will welcome 'The World According To Elvis'.
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