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4.8 out of 5 stars
67
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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I have never read a biography of Elvis before and, searching around, this seemed to be the one which most fans were praising as a serious look at the man and what made him who he was. It is a huge volume and only the first of two books to cover his life, but, to be honest, it could have been even longer. The story was so interesting that you are happy to invest your time and go along for the ride. This enormous biography takes Elvis from his birth in 1935, through his gradual rise to stardom and on to the death of his beloved mother. The author meticulously lists every live concert date, every record and every film made, but that is not all the book is about. As well as explaining how and why Elvis became the huge star he became, it explains who he was. The gentle boy who loved his mother and who never seemed to be anything other than caring (if a little fickle) with his many girlfriends, who was spiritual and clean living - warning his mother against the horrors of drink when she had a beer late at night, who seemed so lonely he ended up with a local entourage to protect and keep him company, was also, undeniably, a very ambitious man. Ambitious not only because he loved music, but because he had risen from poverty and had no intention of going back there, although more because he wanted to care for his parents, with whom he had a very close relationship, than for any personal gain. Also, a man who seemed to prefer to leave any difficulty to the Colonel and slip out from the requirements of personal responsibility at times - not acknowedging the bitterness of Scotty Moore and Bill Black for example, until they resigned in anger at how they were treated financially. This really is THE Elvis biography and continues with Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, which I am really looking forward to reading.
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on 12 February 2013
This and the second volume, Careless Love, constitute the best biography I've read of a major star. The author is so thorough that you almost feel you've lived Elvis's life - or at least been there at his side. I agree with another reviewer that the pages on Elvis's childhood and early career are a little slow, but it's worth sticking with them because the rest of his life was lived at supersonic speed.

And this is not a partisan, fan's-eye view of Presley. It's a cool, almost cerebral, treatment that will satisfy readers who want something more profound than a rundown of The King's greatest hits. I really admire Peter Guralnick and salute him for this superb biography.
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on 14 September 2015
A must read for any Elvis fan. Having loved this man and his talent for over 60 years I really enjoyed reading about his early life. As a bonus Peter Guralnick is a good writer using good grammar which made it a joy to read.
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on 13 April 2017
Very enlightening.
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on 5 July 2017
thankyou very much
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on 20 April 2014
All Elvis fans would love to read this, so much to learn about the king. A good book to have on a cold winters night.
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on 1 October 2013
Good read. But it is very very detailed with regard to contracts, who said what and when etc. Written in an American narrative style which means you may have to read sentences twice to understand the author.
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on 31 March 2017
Great item and quick delivery! !
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on 27 April 2014
well written, I enjoyed all the knowledge in it, I been to Gracelands , beale st, & stayed in the Heartbreak hotel.
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on 24 May 2017
Very welcomed birthday present, Spot on : )
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