With a grain of salt this book is a nice time killer in the smallest room, but it certainly is not an essential Elvis book, we do certainly prefer the books where Jim sticks to pictures mainly (still can’t get enough of “Unseen Elvis”).
In 1999 this book was released, as the first of a series. In the introduction the author states that “You will not find another compilation of Elvis facts that is more accurate, in-depth, or interesting than this book”. Let’s find out if that’s true. But first a small word on the design. The book is delivered on good paper, and in a very clean print. As you can see the cover is plain, with a classic picture, very tasteful. The facts are numbered with a kind of fancy font, which wasn’t really necessary to us. Unfortunately the quality of the pictures is not too good, which is a pity since there are quite some (more or less) rare pictures in it. The facts are just numbered, without era dividers or such, which makes it hard to find something specific. Chronological order alone is not enough with so much information; an extra index certainly would have helped. The content is indeed a large amount of something presented as facts. When errors are made in “facts” that are very easy to check (like the recording date of “Blue Moon”, foreign streetnames), we have our doubts about the accuracy mentioned in the introduction. Speculation is certainly a better word for those ancestors from more than 3 centuries back. It might be fun to do, but we don’t believe in those things being hard facts, without any proof. We have already had 200 of such “facts”, before Elvis shows up. Overall we saw too many “facts” starting with “It is rumoured that…”, and it seems that about 500 facts are about merchandising stuff EPE released in 1956 (and later)… “Yawn” is about the only word we can find for that. With a grain of salt this book is a nice time killer in the smallest room, but it certainly is not an essential Elvis book, we do certainly prefer the books where Jim sticks to pictures mainly (still can’t get enough of “Unseen Elvis”).