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It's a lot of fun to see debonair and sophisticated William Buckley drop his erudite (often pedantic) airs and just write for the fun of it (or as one fan noted, "so the rest of us can understand what he's saying!"). In "Elvis in the Morning," Buckley, the noted politico pundit, takes an unlikely subject (for him) and develops/presents it in a fascinating, readable, and enjoyable manner.
To say his prose moves rapidly is an understatement, as this clever--yet in places ever so poignant--novel moves with a real rock 'n roll upbeat, although hardly taking time for the traditional chorus rounds! Orson Killere is the young son of a German mother who works for the US Army in Wiesbaden. A devout Presley fan, he gets caught stealing Elvis records at the local PX. Elvis, stationed nearby, hears about it and arranges for a meeting. They become lifelong friends and confidents.
This is not the story of Elvis, but of Orson, or "Killer," as Elvis playfully calls him. Elvis, of course, is the pivotal point of the book, as like a proper musical recitative (or even leitmotiv), we keep coming back to him, continually until the King's death. This relationship between the two--often symbiotic, often close--make a fascinating story, whether one is an Elvis fan or not.
While this is a work of fiction, Buckley exercises literary license here and there, but his research is thorough and can't be faulted (after all, remember, this is fiction). His ability to capture the landscape and atmosphere is unquestioned and Buckley shows once again that reading (and in his case,writing) is also a fun undertaking. "Elvis in the Morning" is an odyssey or sorts and that said, don't expect to find the proverbial Trojan horse; just think of Orson as Cassandra, knowing what lies ahead but powerless to stop the inevitable.
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