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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Colonel - My View, 11 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (Hardcover)
Alanna Nash has written a marvellous account of the man who was the driving force behind Elvis Presley. Colonel Tom Parker was the man who took Elvis to the heights - and then stood by as the King destroyed himself by the age of 42.
It's been a mystery to many how Elvis allowed his talents to waste in a string of hopeless Hollywood movies and Las Vegas concerts that ended in embarrassment.
Nash's meticulous research explains how it all began in Holland when a young Dutchman, Dries van Kuijk, fled the country for America, assumed the name of Tom Parker, and joined the carnival trail through his new country.
That trade taught Parker the tricks that would prove invaluable in promoting the young singing sensation he met in Nashville in 1954.
Alanna Nash's story is littered with familiar names from Hank Williams to Natalie Wood; from Marlon Brando to Michael Jackson.
But it's the relevations about Parker's dark past in Holland, his gambling addiction and the deals which allowed him to take up to 50 per cent of Presley's earnings which take the breath away.
While Elvis was singing on the stages of Las Vegas, Parker was downstairs spending his earnings in the casinos. And, as Nash points out again and again, part of Presley's tragedy was that he was never strong enough to rid himself of the colonel.
There's no doubt that Parker made Presley popular music's first world superstar - but, in the end, was Parker good for Presley ? There's no comfortable summary from Alanna Nash. Like a good reporter, she allows the facts to speak for themselves. It's up to the reader to decide - I know whose side I'm on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book!, 8 Mar. 2007
By 
s "s" (north west) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
We all believe we know Colonel Tom Parker.He was a horrible man who mistreated Elvis, took his money,used and abused him.Alanna Nash shows the Colonel from a different perspective.He was shrewd with a great business brain that saw every opportunity to make money but he should also take credit for opening up the access to Elvis that we all enjoy to this day.He brought Elvis to us all,in film,books and of course his music.Without the Colonel,there might never have been Elvis but,without doubt, without the Colonel we wouldn't have felt we knew Elvis personally.The Colonel showed kindness,able to hold a grudge but at the same time would remember kindness and would repay it in kind.You just have to read this book.Quite simply,the best book ever written about Elvis.Buy it and enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good and surprisingly interesting read., 30 July 2007
The story starts with our `hero' growing up in Holland and eventually moving over the America, going through various jobs and small-time management roles until meeting Elvis. This is of course where things get interesting...

The book is nicely placed giving about ¾ of its length to the story of `Elvis and the Colonel' and really does offer some interesting insights into the relationship. You will never come through the book liking the guy and you will feel the pain of the huge talent that Elvis left untapped but this is certainly a journey and Elvis fan will find enlightening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The colonel revealed, 6 May 2010
By 
E. Braben - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This is a thorough description of a complex man. Alanna Nash writes well. She describes the colonel's outward persona, as experienced by many who met him and had to deal with him, and reveals a man who had to be in control and who controlled others, often by humiliating them. And if like me, you are interested in how such a man came to be, Nash sheds valuable insight on his early life and actions. His relationship with Elvis is well documented and their interactions very telling. This is a well researched scholarly book and the author leaves it to the reader to judge the man and decide how much he was responsible for the 'making' or the 'destruction' of Elvis Presley. In my view, he made a significant contribution to both. Nash names and describes the talents, foibles and flaws of each man and the tale she tells of their intertwined lives is both fascination and tragic. It's fact but it reads like fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Colonel:Yhe Extraordinary Story of Colnel Tom Parket and Elvis Presley, 16 July 2011
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This review is from: The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (Hardcover)
Book arrived in good time and good condition. Content is world-shattering in parts but over-written in others. Well researched and important in its content...taking the lid off the life of the biggest svengali music manager ever - amazingly the main fact...clearly stated within the covers...that Colonel Parker had committed murder in Holland and therefore could neither become a naturalised American - for fear of extradition - or leave the country (or let his charge leave America) is not flagged loud from the cover!
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 10 July 2011
An absolute MUST read for every Elvis fan or rock 'n' roll interested person on the planet.
The story of Colonel Thomas Parker is in every way as amazing as the one of his protegé Elvis Presley.
Left with a much fuller picture of not only Tom Parker, but also understanding the fate of Elvis himself.
Buy it - read it - love it. *****
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4.0 out of 5 stars the snowman who got lucky., 6 Sept. 2013
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interesting view of a strange man. the book could have been better proof-read, some sentences, spellings need attention! if only elvis and his dad had had the sense to privately investigate parkers status, elvis would have had no fear of any alleged "hold" Parker had over him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 16 Feb. 2013
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good book written from yet another perspective. interesting, easy to read. some good elvis stories, but nothing really new. an interesting insight into the life and times of a difficult man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Man, 7 July 2013
By 
Chris Walker "Chris" (Fordingbridge - Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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What a rogue - but would Elvis have achieved international status without him? And what was the hold he had over the Presley Familly?
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