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Elvis in the Morning

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; MP3 edition (1 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786194065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786194063
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Format: Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read 12 April 2014
By Hottie Pepper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have quite an extensive collection of books about Evis and am thrilled to find so many of Amazon. Most i have found leave the reader with positive good thoughts about Elvis. All have something different and, in my opinion, are well worth the purchase. Apparently there has been an on-going debate about whether Elvis died when the elaborate funeral was aired on TV. It is because of this I wrote a book, a couple of years ago, about my close encounter with him in the early morning of March 12, 1988; many years after it was reported he had died. It was a humongous shock for me and I finally decided to write it for my grandchildren. As well as the book I put it on guitar thumb drives for them. The Title is, 'Don't Cry Darlin' which is what he said to me. He looked just like the Elvis we all saw on TV and still had the beautiful clear blue eyes. He had won his fight with his weight and it was clear he did not have a drug problem....if he ever did. In any case, it is a fun read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And Interesting, but Odd and Disjointed Book 19 Jan. 2002
By Mark Edward Bachmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It seems odd that Bill Buckley, who established his formidable reputation over nearly half a century writing as a political philosopher and polemicist, has made a kind of second career for himself as a novelist during the past couple of decades. And what's even odder is the thematic content of his novels, which often seems out of character with what one might anticipate knowing his political pre-occupations. The generosity of spirit with which he presents his characters, even those we expect him to be out of sympathy with, no doubt confounds Buckley's detractors, who like to characterize him as an unfeeling, intellectualizing zealot. Buckley's friends are in some cases probably troubled by the same trait, fretful that the old warrior may be harboring a soft spot. In this light, Elvis in the Morning is Buckley's most surprising book to date, at least among the ones that I 've read. In it, he fashions a relationship between a fictional character, one Orson Killere, and of all people, Elvis Presley. While I found it difficult to see exactly what Buckley was getting at in this novel, it seems to be about innocence, and the tendency of this most endearing of human qualities to turn to self-indulgence and, ultimately, self-destruction. Maybe there's supposed to be a metaphor for America there, but who knows? Orson, the 15-year-old son of a single mother working for the U.S. military in Germany in the mid 1950's, makes the local newspapers by stealing a batch of Elvis records form the PX to give away to the poor. Orson, you see, in addition to being an Elvis devotee, has under the influence of kindly Marxist teacher, become a young socialist. Elvis, who was also in Germany at the time for his stint in the Army, hears about the incident and as a sort of publicity stunt, visits the young fan. Improbably, the two of them become fast friends, with Orson introducing Elvis to Pricilla Beaulieu, the very same Pricilla Beaulieu who in real life will go on be become Elvis's famous child bride. Time passes and, back in the U.S., Elvis and Orson remain friends. Orson experiences a series of implausible life adventures, going to college, blossoming into an idealistic student protest leader, getting expelled, hitting the road as a penniless drifter, getting beat up by a hobo, marrying a kind and lovely girl who soon becomes mentally disabled in a car accident, going to work for a start-up technology venture, excelling at the job but getting fired for drug abuse. There's all this and more. Through it all, however, he stays in contact with Elvis, who is entering into his downward spiral and comes to value Orson as the one friend in his life whose sincerity and judgment he seems to trust. If all this sounds rather campish and weird in the re-telling, it reads that way too in the original. Several members of Elvis's real-life entourage, including his father Vernon and "Colonel" Tom Parker, appear as characters. The novel continues all the way up through Elvis's drug-induced death, with Col. Parker towards the end appealing to Orson to use his influence with Elvis to save him. I confess to enjoying this quirky book. Buckley's crisp and subtle prose is, as always, a delight to read, and the portrait of Elvis is interesting, showing him as a sincerely generous, talented and charismatic man, albeit childlike, doomed and half-crazy. However, Elvis in the Morning is not a good book, and I can't for the life of me fathom what inspired Buckley to write it, particularly at his stage of life. He seems to have no particular inside track on Elvis and apparently worked from nothing much more than the well-worn biographical material that's publicly available. The book will appeal to a limited segment of Buckley fans, among whom I include myself. Most others will probably want to avoid it.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 12 July 2001
By Roy F. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers nothing new or striking on Elvis or his times. The story is more about Orson, an Elvis fan and socialist. Character development is disappointing, and the story line is implausible, particularly for this reader who has some familiarity with Elvis history. There are too many coincidences that conveniently appear when needed to move the story along. There are also annoying inconsistencies with reality, indicating a lack of homework. Important "real-life" characters are not accurately portrayed. Some are given short shrift or not mentioned. I really expected much more from Mr. Buckley.
3.0 out of 5 stars Slower than I would like 22 Jun. 2017
By Vicki Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The friendship of Orson and Elvis began in Germany where he was part of a fan club for the singer. He was also friends with Priscilla. With their lifelong friendship told in snippets in time it was a fascinating read.

It is an interesting story, but I was not gripped with emotion on any of their behalfs. I was not really touched by their life stories. I found it more dry than rich and I love a richly emotional story. I was provided the book through Netgalley and the publishers. I appreciated the opportunity to review this book. I do wish I had liked it more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book & it worked for me 22 May 2004
By Carey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Overall, I truly enjoyed this boy-meets-pop-idol story. I, oddly, find this an interesting topic, and did long before this book. Here, a teenager meets Elvis Presley and becomes Elvis's friend. It's a rock and roll fantasy.
In this book, Orson is our Elvis fan who becomes the King's most trusted confidante. Their friendship spans 15 years and, for me, worked better for, approximately, the first half of the book than the latter. By the end of the book, which is very much about Elvis Presley--the real guy--it's hard to keep the focus on Orson while knowing, feeling, awaiting Elvis's fate. And I don't think Buckley pulled this element off; the real Elvis overshadowed the literary fantasy of their relationship.
Orson is a well-fleshed-out character, and he has a life and a wife who is also a solid, full character; they've got their own story and lives that work and are interesting. I would have enjoyed reading even more about them.
But, when we are in the 1970's (chapters are titled by date and place), it became, for me, nearly impossible not to dread and anticipate what would become of Elvis. Chapter headings 1971, '72, '73, etc. - I was thinking to myself: Elvis is going to be dead in five years; Elvis is going to die in four years... Elvis Presley is such a looming figure, and his real life well described in this book, that my focus--and the book's, to a great extent--became Elvis rather than Orson.
What began as boy-meets-hero turned into story of Elvis. And at that point, the fantasy element got lost in the largeness of Elvis Presley. This, then, created other flaws for me. Buckley went to great lengths to tell us Elvis's real life. Elvis's relationship with Orson, then, by the end, was nearly superfluous and, therfore, more "not-believable" than it was fantasy. Similarly for Priscilla's (and Lisa Marie's and others') relationships with both Orson and Orson's wife. Orson had become part of a real life that was vividly described, and the book beame so much about Elvis, that Orson got lost, as did the hero-fantasy (as well, Orson is now an adult with a very real Elvis Presley considering him the only person he can trust -- their friendship took on a far-fetched feel).
All that said, I liked it very much. I liked the beginning for the hero-fantasy, and I liked the latter part for the Elvis story. What I liked in the end is not, I think, what the book was "about," but what I took from it - what a sad, sad story, Elvis Presley. By then, I didn't need Orson - the book had become about Elvis Presley.
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