Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural OB

Greil Marcus, Author Doubleday Books $25 (233p) ISBN 978-0-385-41718-1
In this consistently amazing analysis, Marcus proposes that rock king Elvis Presley (1935-1977) has been more important dead than alive and in the process makes readers care about far more cultural trivia than they might have thought possible. A philosopher and critic with a novelist's passion and creativity (his Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century was dauntingly dense but compelling), Marcus writes with flash and style. Scanning the American scene, he finds Elvis omnipresent, from the cult TV show Twin Peaks (he killed Laura Palmer) to the star's life, which to many embodied the American dream. While the premise may seem far-fetched, Marcus's assessment of the American psyche and the 60 disturbing illustrations, including the cover of the album Disgraceland by the rock group Elvis Hitler, bear him out. Perhaps ``nothing but a hound dog'' in life, in memory Elvis proves very much more. 40,000 first printing; author tour; first serial to Interview. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-674-19422-9
Paperback - 978-0-385-41719-8
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