Elvis Presley: A Life (Penguin Lives Biographies)

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9780143038894: Elvis Presley: A Life (Penguin Lives Biographies)

A vibrant, sympathetic portrait of the once and future king of rock ?n? roll by the award-winning author of Shiloh and In Country

To this clear-eyed portrait of the first rock ?n? roll superstar, Bobbie Ann Mason brings a novelist?s insight and the empathy of a fellow Southerner who, from the first time she heard his voice on the family radio, knew that Elvis was ?one of us.? Elvis Presley deftly braids the mythic and human aspects of his story, capturing both the charismatic, boundary-breaking singer who reveled in his celebrity and the soft-spoken, working-class Southern boy who was fatally unprepared for his success. The result is a riveting, tragic book that goes to the heart of the American dream.

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About the Author:

Bobbie Ann Mason is the author of The Girl in the Blue Beret, In Country, Shiloh and Other Stories, An Atomic Romance, Nancy Culpepper, and a memoir, Clear Springs. She is the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, two Southern Book Awards, and numerous other prizes, including the O. Henry and the Pushcart. She was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. She is former writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.

From Publishers Weekly:

Written by fellow Southerner Mason (In Country; Clear Springs), this abbreviated biography suffers fromthe series' length limitation but makes up for it by hitting the significant points. Mason credits Elvis with inventing rock and youth culture and "[puncturing] the balloon of 1950s serenity and conformity." She posits that the result of his stint in the army "was to erase his rock-and-roll rebel image and turn him into a mainstream all-American boy next door," and that in 1969, after almost a decade spent making bad films, "he was genuinely invigorated by making good music again." It's when Mason offers her insight into Southern culture that the biography turns superficial, like her attempt to contextualize the bloated figure of the drug-addled singer's late years by noting that "in the deep-fried South, his shape was a familiar sight, typical of his age group." On the other hand, she does intrigue, stating that Elvis "was innocently authentic, but he craved the inauthentic, as country people, who are so close-uncomfortably close-to what is starkly real, often do." Unfortunately, Mason doesn't have the room to explain because she has to get back to zooming through the rest of Elvis's life before her space is up. As such, this intro to Elvis will be useful, but is still no substitute for Peter Guralnick's definitive two-volume biography (Last Train to Memphis, Careless Love), which Mason praises in her acknowledgments along with many other sources.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A vibrant, sympathetic portrait of the once and future king of rock ?n? roll by the award-winning author of Shiloh and In Country To this clear-eyed portrait of the first rock ?n? roll superstar, Bobbie Ann Mason brings a novelist s insight and the empathy of a fellow Southerner who, from the first time she heard his voice on the family radio, knew that Elvis was ?one of us.? Elvis Presley deftly braids the mythic and human aspects of his story, capturing both the charismatic, boundary-breaking singer who reveled in his celebrity and the soft-spoken, working-class Southern boy who was fatally unprepared for his success. The result is a riveting, tragic book that goes to the heart of the American dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143038894

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