Elvis Rising: Stories on the King

Kay Sloan, Editor, Constance Pierce, Editor Avon Books $10 (262p) ISBN 978-0-380-77216-2
Most of the stories in this disappointing collection are strikingly similar to one another, both in their view of Elvis and in their condescending tone toward Elvis fans. In virtually every entry, quirky Southerners either visit Graceland or relate to Elvis in private ways that reverberate long afterward. Les Roberts's truck driver, Earl Lee, considers the King to be an appropriate topic for small talk and reels when he meets a truck-stop denizen who disagrees. William Hauptman's Elvis impersonator, Bubba, imitates every aspect of Presley's downward slide, and Constance Pierce's truck driver, Vern Pender, travels to Graceland with his retarded, junk-food-eating son Gene for the 13th time, taking some hostages while he's there. A few stories that stretch the collection's basic concept are more interesting. Kay Sloan uses a Leningrad Elvis impersonator's act to link the rebellion of rock 'n' roll to perestroika and calls Presley ``the Lenin of lust.'' Howard Waldrop's Elvis is a young, respectful Senator who is thrilled to see a performance by his idol, famed jazz clarinetist ``Ike'' Eisenhower; and Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann and Michael Swanwick collaboratively bring forth a creepy parallel universe where Elvis, Janis Joplin and Buddy Holly give a final fantastic concert together. The editors teach in the English department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next