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The King and Dr. Nick [Hardcover]

George Nichopoulos , Rose Clayton Phillips
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nelson (1 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595551719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595551719
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The King and Dr. Nick For the first time, Nichopoulos reveals the true story behind Elvis's drug use and final days--not the version formed by years of tabloid journalism and gross speculation. (Motivation) Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of love and truth 9 April 2012
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this great book signed by Doctor Nick himself, and as an avid Elvis fan and collector this has pride of place in my collection. In the front of the book he wrote, and I quote, "Ken, the book of love and truth 2010" and having read the book, and the passion with which Doctor Nick defends Elvis, and the hell he went through in the American courts, before clearing his name is covered, warts and all, the quote says it all. There have been many books written about Elvis by those close to him, many of which saw him as little more than a cash cow and were in it for what they could get. Doctor Nick's book is a clear insight into the continual battle Elvis had with prescription drugs. This book is well worth reading, if you want a clear insight into both Doctor Nick and his most famous patient.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 15 Mar 2012
By Dotty
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Have wanted this book for a long time, and it has certainly not dissapointed me. Very emotional, interesting, and enlightening to say the least. As a massive massive Elvis fan, this has been a welcome addition to my large collection of books and memorabilia.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The King and Dr. Nick 10 Feb 2010
There have been hundreds of books written about Elvis Presley, many of them sensationalist, sychophantic or just plain sleazy. This is different. The book is in two parts. In the first section Dr. Nichopoulos tells of Elvis's myriad health problems and his attempts to curb Elvis's self-acknowledged destructive tendencies in order to treat them (not an easy task as Elvis simply found what he wanted elsewhere). The second part of the book shows how Dr. Nichopoulos struggled over many years to clear his name. It is shocking to see how the media instigated what can only be described as a witch hunt, and how everyone involved seemed to have their own personal agenda.
The book is well-written and Dr. Nichopoulos comes across as sincere and honest. He has managed to change my long-held perception that Elvis Presley was himself the architect of his own destruction. This I believe was the main goal of Dr. Nichopoulos in writing the book and he has succeeded, at least as far as I'm concerned. I can only sympathise with both men.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate account of Elvis' drugs problem 13 April 2011
Lots has been written about Elvis' drug problem but this put it into the perspective of all the health problems he had. A true insight into his life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  77 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was an innocent man crucified by the press in order to get the scoop or was Dr. Nick really innocent? 4 Jan 2010
By D. Fowler - Published on
His pager kept beeping and the third beep was the charm. Dr. Nichopoulos, "Dr. Nick" for short, quickly headed to the nearest phone to find out who was calling. It was Tuesday, August 16, 1977, a day that would be cemented in many minds. The panic that can only enter a voice when something is terribly wrong, met him on the other end of the line. "I think he had a heart attack," Joe Esposito called out to him. Dr. Nick was Elvis Presley's doctor and something was wrong, very wrong. An ambulance rushed to transport him to Baptist Memorial. It wasn't long before the world knew what happened at Graceland, but would they ever really know what happened? "Stop CPR. He's gone."

Dr. Francisco made the announcement that the "cause of death [was] cardiac arrhythmia due to undetermined heartbeat," but that wasn't enough. There had to be more, a hidden reason why the King was gone. That quest would ultimately fuel "a controversy that has never died." Vernon was heartbroken and wanted to know who had killed his son. The frenzy had only begun. The media began to circle like vultures. If there were answers, they would find them. Dr. Nick claimed he was cautious when he prescribed drugs, carefully placing them in small brown envelopes ready to be dispensed by Presley's nurse. An innocuous treatment plan and careful monitoring of a patient was commendable, but some people looked askance.

"I was saddened and hurt that Elvis's use of prescription drugs had been kept from me." Dr. Nick exclaimed. Dr. Eric Muirhead doubted that heart disease was the culprit. Someone had to be blamed for this death. The death certificate was signed by Dr. Nick and he thought that would be the end of the questions, but they had only begun for the man who soon became know as a "pill pusher" and the man who killed Elvis Presley. Was there a cover-up? ABCs 20/20 wanted to know about "over five thousand Schedule II narcotics and/or amphetamines" he had prescribed to Elvis Presley. Was Dr. George Nichopoulos being tried in the press? Were these people going to crucify an innocent man to get the scoop or was he really guilty as charged?

I was really quite stunned by many of the revelations in this book. Dr. Nick claimed that he "was confident the truth was on [his] side" and he presents a lot of information for and against him in this book, including a detailed toxicology report. There is an extensive list of source data in the back of the book that includes legal documents, court records, articles, interviews, etc. I am not up on anything "Elvis" and I'm sure many of these revelations are not new to people who have followed this case for the past thirty-two years. Without extensive reading I would not be able to fall on one side or the other, but I did keep in mind that Dr. Nick has had many years to formulate his responses to accusations put before him. He did say that "There were ten charges for which I was ultimately found guilty, which all dealt with overprescribing." Guilty or not? This is a well-written and carefully researched book, but the ultimate verdict will have to rest with the individual reader.

This book courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent job Dr. Nick! 3 Jan 2010
By Johann Gutenberg - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I strongly recommend to read Dr. Nichopoulos' account of the story and set aside what you have heard with regards to the "Elvis cover-up" so far. This book is not a plain whitewash as many Elvis admirers may expect.

Dr. Nick reveals very interesting background information about the relationship between the coroner's team led by Dr. Francisco and the pathologists at Baptist Memorial Hospital led by Dr. Muirhead. He thoroughly explains why the autopsy was private and how the toxicology reports were interpreted so differently by the parties. You get a very good idea what went wrong with the autopsy from the start, how Dr. Francisco annoyed the pathologists around Muirhead by not simply stating at the first press conference that they haven't found the cause of death yet but giving the media the information of "cardiac arrhythmia caused by undetermined heartbeat". This plus the following unprofessional behaviour of the pathologists who leaked information of the private autopsy to the press instead of being outspoken in the first place led in 1979 to "investigations" by journalists like Thompson, Cole and Geraldo Riviera who were everything but not educated in toxicology. But one thing they sure were - desperate to unveil a cover-up around Elvis Presley's death.

The outcome of these investigations were three lab reports, none of them convincingly stating that there had been a drug overdose or a polypharmacy case (two of the reports didn't even assume such a thing). If you compare Dr. Nick's account with the drug doses given in the Bioscience report published in the book "The death of Elvis" by Thompson & Cole (1991) you will see that the Bioscience report - who was in the core of the polypharmacy theory - does not come up with even one drug dosage in the lethal range, only two in the minor areas of a toxic and the rest in the therapeutical range. It's not very convincing that these dosages worked together to have caused death. Even more so if you consider that Dr. Davis - a pathologist of the Miami School of Medicine and former chief examiner of Dade County - was asked in 1994 by the state of Tennessee to look once again into all the findings of the autopsy and the Bioscience toxicology report and give his view. Dr. Davis's verdict was unequivocal: drugs did not kill Elvis Presley. Many of the drugs found in his body were psychoinactive metabolites which means that Presley's drug level was considerably lower than originally interpreted in 1977. Elvis Presley may have used too many medications and may have abused some of them during his lifetime but he didn't die of it.

I hope that Dr. Nichopoulos' book gets all the attention it truly deserves. It is an interesting and revealing read, well written as well. Besides, Dr. Nichopoulos sheds some new light on which of the many health problems may have contributed considerably to Elvis' early death. And he gives detailed information on how he administered medication to his famous patient. Buy the book - you won't be disappointed, if you like to get to the bottom of things.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading Whether you Remember Elvis, or Not. 5 Jan 2010
By Nancy Famolari - Published on
The King and Dr. Nick is divided into two fascinating parts. First, we get a glimpse of the strange life of a super star; then, we witness what the media can do to derail a private citizen's life.

Elvis Presley was a larger than life individual. This book leads us into Elvis's world and shows us the problems, both health and psychological, he dealt with on a daily basis. It doesn't take much imagination to realize the incredible strain of performing before thousands of people nightly, coupled with the necessary travel,would place on someone. It, also, doesn't take much imagination to see that a person under so much stress would turn to drugs to try to relieve some of the pressure. It's also true that someone with the ego necessary to perform the way Elvis did, and the money generated by those performances, would be a very difficult patient to control. Dr. Nick makes a good cases that he did the best he could.

The second half of the book presents the truly shocking witch hunt engaged in by ABC that finally led to a medical board review and even a criminal trial. It's almost unbelievable that the media could create such a stir and derail the life of a private citizen. If the medical board, or the attorney general, felt there was a criminal case against Dr. Nick, in my view, they should have pursued it immediately after Elvis's death, not several years later after being hounded by the media. This section is well worth reading as a cautionary tale for all of us.

Read the book then judge for yourself whether Dr. Nick was a victim or a criminal. Personally, I think he did the best he could, and that is all any of us can do.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You just think you know how Elvis Presley died. 4 Aug 2010
By Greeny - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In this book you will find that Elvis Presley was not a very healthy man, his concert schedule was beyond grueling, for the most part the media sucks when covering incidents like Elvis' death, and you just think you know how Elvis died.
Dr. George Nichopoulos (a.k.a. Dr. Nick to all his beloved patients) ended up being thrown to the wolves after Elvis death and this book is the heartbreaking story about the whole unhappy mess of what happened to the doctor who tried to save one of the Kings of Rock 'n' Roll from himself, the leeches attached to Elvis, and the unscrupulous doctors who allowed fame to override their Hippocratic oath and their common sense.
Sadly, this is a must read for every Elvis fan.
Tragically, it will make you realize how very close the whole situation was to the world still having Elvis here amongst us.
I couldn't put it down. I have sent this book to two other Elvis fans and they also could not put it down.
Highly recommend this book.
p.s. Dr. Nick's family also suffered when Elvis passed away. Everyone in the Nichopoulos family was close to Elvis. They could not properly grieve for Elvis and move on to happy memories of their time with him because of what was done to Dr. Nick.
I also must mention that another King of Rock 'n' Roll plays a big part in Dr. Nick's life after the passing of Elvis. Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis gives a resoundingly positive review of this book that can be seen on the book's jacket and inside. Read the book all the way through to see why this other Rock Legend loves Dr. Nick so much.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, we at last know the truth! 11 Jan 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful, honest book. It breaks my heart to think of all Dr. Nick had to endure over the years, and I am sure Elvis would be appauled by it as well. All one can hope is what goes around will eventually come around. I am so glad Dr. Nick finally wrote this book to give us some accurate insight into Elvis as a person and patient. It is also sad that Elvis has had his image tainted by the drug overdose rumors. I highly recommend this book!
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