Elvis and Me – Priscilla Beaulieu Presley with Sandra Harmon

Suzie Eisfelder
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Everyone’s favourite singer, for a given value of everyone. I’ve wavered between liking Elvis Presley and not liking him depending on what stage of life I’ve been in. Having read this book I’m now quite ambivalent and don’t know whether I like him or not. Whether the author planned on showing the reader how Elvis had control issues or not is not clear to me. What I find clear is that Elvis wanted control over absolutely everything he could, and that seemed to include the ability for him to have affairs but not Priscilla Presley. The control he exerted included telling her how to put on her makeup and how to style her hair. The more I think about it the more impressed I am with her that she managed to leave him at such a young age.

I don’t plan on indulging myself and writing too much more about Elvis Presley, as I’m finding that is coming much too easily to me. I should make it more difficult for me by writing about the book.

The book is well written, co-authored by Sandra Harmon, I feel I might want to consider reading more by her to see how much she wrote and how much Presley herself wrote. That would be an interesting exercise. A good ghost writer can write a biography that shows us how the subject would really speak. And this is something I’d like to see, can Harmon write in many different ways or is she a ‘one voice’ writer.

I found the book went into many of the little details of everyday life that I wanted to know. And some of them I didn’t know I wanted to know until I read them. It’s almost as if the book was written with me in mind. But that’s a little self-centred.

One thing I loved about this book is all the photos. Some from his films, I must have seen all of them in my childhood, I didn’t have many friends so I watched a lot of TV and read many, many books. I got to relive his films, I’ve always loved his voice. What some of these photos show is the background. I’m not going to go through in detail but in some you can see a house, in others you can a field or some trees. It’s really lovely to look beyond the people to see what else was around them at that time.

I don’t recommend this particular volume as it’s rather poor condition. It was made cheaply and all the pages are falling out. I haven’t checked if I have all the photos but I’m pretty sure I have all the text. I do recommend this book if you’re an Elvis fan or if you’ve followed Priscilla Presley’s life and want a little more in her own words. You can buy a different edition here which is less likely to fall apart than my copy.

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