The King

Jim Piazza, Author . Black Dog & Leventhal $75 (159p) ISBN 978-1-57912-462-5

The life of Elvis Presley is chronicled in a giant (15"×17") tome with 600 color and b&w pictures unearthed from such sources as AP, Photofest and the Getty Archives. Piazza, a former script analyst for Columbia, Fox and Paramount, adds an informative text to the innovative design by Platinum Design's Matthew Bouloutian and Andy Taray. Opening on Presley's Mississippi childhood, an extensive parade of images begins. The volume romps through the decades, highlighting Elvis events with a chronological time line floating at the top of each page, while amusing anecdotes punctuate a striking selection of magazine covers, paintings, photos, posters and other entertaining ephemera, from cinema curiosities to Elvis imitators. Paging through, readers encounter an explosion of sidebars with revelations such as that a suicide note ("I walk the lonely street") inspired "Heartbreak Hotel." Lists abound, from songs to a lengthy litany of comments by Elvis's many girlfriends; burlesque legend Tempest Storm claimed he made her "hornier than a goat in a pepper patch." With a gold metallic Elvis encapsulated among sparkling rhinestones on the front cover, the packaging and presentation should make any Presley collector salivate (the book comes in three different cover backgrounds: black, gold and white). Older Elvis fans may find the tiny typography difficult to decipher, but even they will regard this pictorial portfolio as an opulent treasure. (Nov. 1)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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