love for Hawaii reflected in new book"
Review: Elvis In Hawai'i by Jerry Hopkins The Bess
Press, Hawaii, 2002, Flexibound, 88 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: 1573061425
name Jerry Hopkins is synonymous with the first critically
acclaimed biography about Elvis (the 1972 'Elvis: A Biography').
A follow-up book in 1980 'Elvis The Final Years' was also
his pedigree, many fans were eagerly looking forward to his
latest and much delayed book (it was first mooted for publication
in 1998), Elvis In Hawai'i.
premise of the book is to explore Elvis's ties with and love for
America's 50th state. Hawaii was the setting for two of The King's
biggest concerts, the stage for three of his movies and a favorite
vacation destination when he wasn't recording or touring.
strengths of Elvis In Hawai'i are its well laid-out page design
and the many color and black & white photos printed on high quality
semi-gloss paper. Many of the photos are previously unpublished
and while some are grainy the book design is so good that the photos
grab your attention over and over again. From movie stills to Elvis
live on stage to hurriedly snapped candid shots, the photos in Elvis
In Hawaii really draw you in.
potential weakness in Elvis In Hawai'i is its large-sized, quasi-minimalist
text. Unlike his two earlier books on The King, this time Hopkins
relies on the interesting and enticing visuals over rigorous narrative.
has an easygoing writing style and certainly provides what a fan
or general reader needs to know about the times Elvis spent on the
islands. There is sufficient text, without it being extensive, outlining
the background to of each of Elvis' live and film appearances in
Hawaii. Within its relatively meagre 88 pages, the author also provides
some amusing anecdotes and covers such diverse subjects as Hawaiian
Elvis impersonators, a short biography on Kui Lee (the Aloha concert
was held to benefit the Kui Lee Cancer Fund) and Hawaiian Elvis
overall, Elvis In Hawai'i does not exhibit the same depth of detail
or research that was evident in Hopkins' two biographical books
on Elvis. Whether this is a valid concern is of course subjective,
but it is hard to be objective when an author has effectively set
his own publishing precedent.
said this, Elvis In Hawai'i, unlike Elvis: A Biography and Elvis
The Final Years, does not claim to be a 'biographical' publication
and therefore probably deserves to be evaluated on its own, separate
added items in the book include photo reproductions of historical
newspaper clippings, telegrams, movie lobby cards and the song sequences
for the 1961 Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona Benefit Concert and 1973
Aloha From Hawaii concert, both handwritten by Elvis.
Despite some perceived narrative shortcomings, fans will love this
well designed and visually enticing release.
by Nigel Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), copyright 2002
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