As a reader/reviewer, I read a variety of genres, but I have never been a big fan of those written for or by celebrities - singers or actors. My reasoning is simple if I like a movie, then the actor is that character and I really don't want to know that he/she is a drug addict or is sleeping with their co-star while his wife/husband is waiting at home. To me, they are only the person on the screen, and that is all I need to know. As far as singers go, if I like the words and beat of a song, then I like the song - to be honest, nine times out of 10 - I have no idea who the singer is for that particular song.
Why did I read ELVIS AND ME since it is not typically my thing? Really it is simple. Much of my childhood revolved around that man.
I grew up in a household that saw every movie and probably owned all of Elvis Presley's records, including the soundtracks of his movies. My parents didn't mind that my older brothers and sister, and myself as a byproduct because the music was always there, were big fans. Aside from the swiveling hips, my folks thought his movies were clean and his music was pretty good.
When he died, I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant with my first child and very saddened by the loss of this entertainer, whom I had always hoped to see in person. But to be honest, as an adult, I was no longer the staunch fan of yesteryear. Life for me had undoubtedly moved on to marriage and starting a family.
Over the years, I had heard a lot of negative about the man from books and reports from his so-called friends, so I was very curious about ELVIS AND ME by Priscilla Presley. I wanted to see what her take might be as his wife, mother of his only child and a child herself when she met him. I wondered what she would have to say about the years they were together.
A lot of the information imparted by Ms. Presley was completely expected but some of it was a surprise. I did not foresee her honesty concerning her mistakes during their time together. ELVIS AND ME is well-written and easy to read. It starts out with the day he died, goes back to Priscilla's childhood - her travels with her military father (who turned out to be her step-father), and meets Elvis in Germany. It continues with their life together - the trials his movies and co-stars caused them both, the touring and traveling, and the loneliness they both felt. ELVIS AND ME goes on to fill in information about their divorce and their continuing friendship with one another.
To be honest, I don't know whether the truth and her truth are the same, but ELVIS AND ME made for a stimulating read as the fan in me relived the movies and the music of a fantastic entertainer. It also made me sad that so much happened in his life and hers that might have been different had the fame not gotten in the way.
All in all an excellent read that brought back fond memories of my childhood and the world that once was.
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