ELVIS PRESLEY (2014) Novelist Mason distinguishes her entry in the admirable Penguin Lives series from other Presley biographies by evincing acute sympathy for and understanding of the impoverished… Nonfiction
Book Review

ELVIS PRESLEY (2014)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Writer: Bobbie Ann Mason; Genre: Nonfiction

Novelist Mason distinguishes her entry in the admirable Penguin Lives series from other Presley biographies by evincing acute sympathy for and understanding of the impoverished life that yielded such rich music. You've read the basic facts before -- the Hillbilly Cat who became the King; manager Colonel Parker versus Elvis reading books; the music versus the drugs, with drugs winning. Mason portrays Presley as a decent man doomed by insecurity, a feeling of unworthiness, and a desire to please everyone close to him. In the end, Mason finds, Presley was a revolutionary artist who died thinking he was a trapped indentured servant to show business.

Originally posted Jan 03, 2003 Published in issue #689 Jan 03, 2003 Order article reprints