In this monologue, without deifying Elvis, Charters lifts the King to a higher plane, portraying him as a sensitive young man who naively intuits much about the media and the celebrities it glorifies. Charters's Elvis is so sweet he calls his mother after an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. He responds to his mother's questions or interrupts the call to quiet his partying band and entourage. But the wily 21-year-old is not above momentarily burying the phone under his pillow to sneak a kiss from a sweet young groupie. That night he had been shown from the waist up to avoid his society-threatening lower-torso wiggling. Elvis understands that this censorship is in itself suggestive: than prurient. ``I didn't do anything that wasn't like I always do when I'm out in front of the public. . . . Now that idea Mr. Sullivan had of cutting off the bottom part of me, that was to make people think I was doing something different.'' This brief novel skips along on amusing anecdotes--like the time the band inadvertently played for the KKK, narrowly escaping a beating with a finale of ``Dixie.'' Charters ( Louisiana Black ) reminds us that the King was once a less worldly prince. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992 Release date: 01/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.