A biography of Elvis Presley which does not dwell on the myth of Elvis or catalogue his later sordid years. This, the first of two volumes, charts his meteoric rise to fame, up to and including the death of his mother in 1958.
Exhaustive and thorough, though always written from a sympathetic standpoint, this first volume covers the early days: the extraordinary story of a poor young truck driver who came out of nowhere and conquered the world--all within the space of two short years. And while this tale was already one of the more familiar in post-war history, Guralnick always manages to brings something fresh to the telling. The recollections of Marion Keisker, the secretary at Sun records who recognised something special in the polite teenager's voice, help throw some light on the enigma surrounding Elvis: "He was like a mirror in a way: whatever you were looking for, you were going to find in him. It was not in him to say anything malicious. He had all the intricacy of the very simple".
Guralnick is a scrupulous biographer, now established as the definitive chronicler of the strange life and turbulent times of Elvis Presley; better still, his enthusiasm for Elvis' music shines through on every page of the text. And in the end, after all else is gone, that music will remain. --Patrick Humphries --This text refers to the Paperback edition.