by Mike Evans)
Publications, Distributed in Australia by Bookwise International,
2004, Hardcover (with dust jacket), 431 pages, ISBN: 1-84072-673-3
from its major focus, the photos, The Elvis Handbook
features a solid narrative by the author to introduce each part
of the Elvis story. There are also numerous exclusive interviews
with those who knew and worked with Elvis, and enlightening
extracts from critical writers including Greil Marcus and Peter
Guralnick. The Elvis Handbook features 220 black &
white and color photos, posters and images. You may have seen
most the photos before but thanks to the solid interweaving
narrative and good book design, flipping through The Elvis Handbook
is an eye-popping joy.
Elvis Handbook is the latest photobook aimed at
the "general" Elvis market. With very good
book design and an eclectic range of visuals it is a
very different product to the "specialist"
photobook releases (aimed at collectors) from Ger Rijff
and Joseph Tunzi.
many fans The Elvis Handbook will be reminiscent
of another excellent book release, Elvis A Celebration.
This is not surprising as the man responsible for Elvis
A Celebration, Mike Evans, is also editor of The
are some great photos:
color shot of Elvis singing live on stage wearing his famous
"gold jacket" in April 1957
publicity still, Flaming Star
still, Follow That Dream, May 1962
Hawaiano' film poster
almost surreal Elvis in a head and shoulders shot from The
'68 Comeback Special
great double page still from Elvis:That's The Way It Is
visual is accompanied by a short description and date reference.
In this respect The Elvis Handbook distinguishes itself
from similar releases that lack its obvious the high production
author's narrative is insightful without being overly substantial.
But Ms McAdams pulls no punches and suggests things which
fly in the face of the usually told story:
Elvis hadn't seen any action in Europe, there was carnage
Come, Easy Go flopped at the box office, and the soundtrack
sales tanked. Double Trouble opened a few weeks later
and did even worse."
particularly liked this quote:
spite of what you may hear or you may read, we're here, and
we're healthy, and we're doing what we enjoy doing."
tired looking Elvis addressing the crowd, Kansas City, Missouri,
June 18, 1977)
the absence of text about Elvis' final years satisfies EPE's
politically correct version of the legend, it is an unfortunate
ommission - one which we are increasingly seeing in books
with an EPE affiliation (which I suspect this book has despite
no overt mention of it).
final section, The Legacy, offers a good perspective on why
Elvis tribute artists continue to flourish 27 years after
The Elvis Handbook is a visual treat that will
satisfy most fans.
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