Friday, June 30, 2023

Book Review: Elvis and Me

Decades after his death, millions of fans continue to worship Elvis the legend. But very few knew him as Elvis the man. Here in her own words, Priscilla Presley tells the story of their love, revealing the details of their first meeting, their marriage, their affairs, their divorce, and the unbreakable bond that has remained long after his tragic death. A tribute to both the man and the legend, Elvis and Me gives Elvis fans the world over an unprecedented look at the true life of the King of Rock 'N' Roll and the woman who loved him.

Timed for the upcoming movie adaption Priscilla, 1985's Elvis and Me will be re-released on August 1, 2023. Berkley Publishing Group provided an early galley for review.

The story opens with the summer of 1977, the day Elvis died. I was twelve at the time of his death, and his was probably the first celebrity death that registered on my young radar. I knew his songs and the timbre of his voice; I knew his movies that were a staple of Sunday afternoon reruns; I knew his look and presence.

Their story jumps back to when they first met in Germany where both her father and Elvis were stationed. She was only fourteen at the time (and he ten years her senior). Today's generation might find the age difference very troubling, but at the time it likely only raised some eyebrows (surprisingly enough - one was Elvis' own father). From her telling, she implies that she sensed the goodness and decency in him as their love was starting. And she explains away a lot of his questionable behavior and his temper, again all in the name of love.

Some of this could be written off as viewing the past through "rose-colored glasses" (remembering the good over the bad). However, she does not shy away from the bad as her story continues. She stops making the excuses for it. She even admits her own missteps as well. And, as she says in the end, her goal was to tell the story of a relationship coming together and falling apart.

1 comment:

ApacheDug said...

Wow-- just when I thought I was pretty much done with celebrity biographies. I must admit, this is something I'd very much like to read. This is also the first I've heard of a Priscilla movie, my gosh! Thanks for the review Martin.