Book Review: "Aloha Elvis"

Jerry Hopkins, Bess Press, 2007, Hardback (with dust jacket), 100 pages, Illustrated, ISBN-13: 978-1-57306-273-2

Noted Elvis biographer Jerry Hopkins has produced a follow-up companion to his 2002 release, Elvis in Hawai'i.

Despite its attractive and inviting cover images which suggest a book to savour, once you delve inside Aloha Elvis it is let down by a generally vapid prose.

Unlike Elvis in Hawai'i, which had some depth to its narrative, Hopkins' latest book has the feel of a "quickie" release which relies heavily on its quality, but, smallish, visual images. Most, if not all of the images, appeared in Hopkins' earlier work.

Despite a solid page design, the small size (17cms x 14cms) of Aloha Elvis is a major detraction, as a larger page size would have allowed the attractive visuals to shine, rather than simply appear cute but un-noteworthy.

Essentially the idea for Aloha Elvis is to cover Elvis' contribution to the Hawaiian islands. Unfortunately the usually solid Hopkins prose is devalued by a minimalist approach. And while much of the text is new, parts are directly lifted from Hopkins' Elvis in Hawai'i.

In fact the best parts of the author's brief narrative are his fascinating coverage of Hawaiian history and music, but again there is so much more Hopkins could have written about these.

Elvis in Hawai'i included both an Index and Photo Credits section. For Aloha Elvis the Index has been dispensed with.

And as Aloha Elvis covers the same territory as Elvis in Hawai'i it begs the question: "Why another Hawaii book release?" The answer.....possibly that Hopkins' earlier Hawaiian volume sold reasonably well.

Verdict: Aloha Elvis is a visually pleasing book which suffers due to its small size and lack of narrative depth. It lacks the strong vigour of the author's impressive two volume biography of The King.

Buy "Aloha Elvis"

Read EIN's review of the superior Jerry Hopkins release, "Elvis in Hawai'i"

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