"Tears of a Shadow":
fascinating memoir of an amazing life
of a Shadow, Stella Patchouli, Stella Patchouli Productions,
2002, ISBN: 0972266011 (Hardcover)
of a Shadow is one of the latest memoirs from someone who
is an absorbing rollercoaster ride that differentiates itself
from similar memoirs in that the author does not claim to
have had a physical relationship (although she openly admits
her desire to do so) with The King.
EIN's interview with Stella Patchouli
surprisingly, most of the sensational parts of the book do not involve
Elvis, but relate to the author's numerous relationships with other
say Stella Patchouli has had a remarkable life is an understatement.
An aristocrat's daughter who spends her childhood in Switzerland,
at age 13, she runs away on a midnight train to Munich. Clutched
in her hands is her good luck charm, an Elvis Presley record. Stella
survives her teenage years as a dancer and as a celebrated star
in France, is courted by world famous celebrities.
1975 she meets her idol and witnesses the last months of his life
and tragic end. The author writes with a sometimes awkward broken
English style (English is not her first language). Despite this,
her autobiography is a fascinating read filled with incredible encounters
and emotional sorrow.
many respects, Ms. Patchouli's chapters about Elvis are the most
prosaic part of her life's tale. Simply, the only dirt she dishes
out relates to her interesting take on members of the Memphis Mafia
and her friend, Linda Thompson. Ms. Patchouli's views will challenge
many fans perceptions of Linda! With liberal doses of whiskey, 'A'
class restaurants, an Interpol chase, humor and vivid descriptions
of how her lovers (all named) measured up (literally), Tears of
a Shadow is perfectly made for a film adaptation.
many other many non-famous people (although Ms Patchouli was a star
in France) can count as their friends and/or lovers people such
as Elvis Presley, Aristotle Onassis, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty,
David Bowie, Ann-Margret and Omar Shariff (to name only a few)?
her lovemaking with one major star, Stella Patchouli muses: "Although
I'd never checked out a horse in detail, I couldn't help thinking
he was built like one." Apart from this encounter, on reading Tears
of a Shadow you discover things such as which international film
star couldn't get it up, and the "relative measure" of
several of her famous lovers!
author's life experiences are at times dizzying and take in such
glamorous locations as Rome, Monte Carlo, Cannes and Paris. By comparison,
Memphis seems very ordinary, although her friendship with Elvis
is a seminal encounter for Stella.
from the author's take on Linda Thompson and Elvis, the most interesting
Elvis related account in Tears of a Shadow is the author's vivid
description of the kinky sex enjoyed by Elvis and Ann-Margret. Now
just where is my protein shake? Tears of a Shadow has its own poignancy.
the narrative the reader is confronted with a strong underlying
theme which reflects the courage of an attractive but insecure
person living and struggling with life in the fast lane, an
inner torment never far away from the glitz of fame and fortune.
For most readers the attraction will be enjoying reading about
Stella Patchouli's amazing experiences, experiences that remain
unattainable for most of us except through Tears of a Shadow
or the pages of a Jackie Collins novel or TV show like Dynasty.
much as I enjoyed Tears of a Shadow, I read it with a degree of
skepticism. Was Stella Patchouli on the level? How credible was
her amazing life story? I certainly had never encountered her name
before in any Elvis publication.
Stella's credibility proved to be difficult. A search of the Internet
drew a blank (surprising I thought if indeed she had been a star
in France). After Bill Burk told me he had never heard of Ms. Patchouli
I then contacted Elvis' youngest step-brother, David Stanley. David
also did not recall Stella Patchouli, but did confirm that her husband
(the result of a brief, alcohol induced union), David Leech, worked
for Elvis for about a year.
the end I have taken Stella Patchouli's memoir at face value.
Despite the Elvis sections being quite bland, Tears of a Shadow
is a fast paced, exciting read, full of non-committal sex, drugs
and revealing celebrity encounters.
Tears of a Shadow
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