Elvis by the Presley

Elvis by the Presleys



Amazon.com Review
Think of Elvis by the Presleys as the ultimate souvenir guide from your tour of Graceland. The 256 pages are packed with family photos, reminisces, and still-life photography of Elvis's possessions. The book is also a companion volume to the multimdedia event that brings the personal side of Elvis to the masses from the recollections of just six family members: wife Priscilla; daughter Lisa Marie; cousin Patsy; along with Priscilla's mom, dad, and sister. Many of the words written here were not in the TV show but one assumes what will make this a keeper are the photos. Along with candid shots, there are stills of the home movies seen on the CBS special (and subsequent--and expanded--DVD), and the still life shots by Henry Leutwyler get your mind racing. Here one can dwell on Elvis's guitar and think of all the music that came out of it. You can spy his phonograph with the record that was on it when he died, his wallet, an autographed Bible, his first contract, a hand-drawn football play, even his FBI badge along with pristine views inside Graceland. Some shots seem like filler (a boot, "with the original mud," Lisa Marie's crayons), but the overall impression is you are viewing pieces from the Museum of Cool, circa 1970. Several of Pricilla's passages and some of the images allude to Elvis's dark side: the massive reference book on pills and three guns are shown (plus the TV Elvis shot) looking like items from a murder investigation. Ultimately, do we really learn anything new about Elvis? Perhaps not, but there are several segments where Priscilla (the main voice) draws us in with her emotional recollections. The book (and program) is never better than telling the courtship in Germany when a homesick solider found an older-than-her-age 9th grader. Elvis by the Presleys does not try to be compressive; it succeeds as a warmer, more heartfelt tribute to The King. --Doug Thomas

From Booklist
Nearly 30 years after his death, America just can't get enough of Elvis, and to feed that hunger, some of the King's surviving family members present a big, colorful celebration of all things E. Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, abetted by daughter Lisa Marie, mother and father Ann and Paul Beaulieu, sister Michelle Beaulieu Hovey, and "Elvis' double first cousin" Patsy Presley Geranen, presents cozy reminiscences--"Elvis was sentimental, and Christmas brought out his sentiments in force"--and tons of photos, including even a reproduction of one of youthful Elvis' favorite books as marked up by him. Picture books about Elvis are hardly new, nor are collections of the memories of those nearest to him, but this book offers some offbeat stuff that should be new to most fans, like the two-page spread of an old mailbox with "3764 Hwy. 51" hand scrawled on the side, a full-page picture of what was apparently Presley's favorite plastic comb, and the selection of pictures of the King's favorite toys, such as a tricycle and a snub-nosed revolver. Sure, there's nary a disparaging word to be found here--"The hits my father cut like 'In the Ghetto' and 'Suspicious Minds' are great," reports Lisa Marie with admirable restraint--but the down-home, funky charm and honest (not to mention salable) sentiment on view are well worth a look. Good, clean fun; fry up a banana sandwich, and enjoy. Mike Tribby
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