Last August this book by Pamela Clarke Keough was issued by Simon and Schuster. Is it a worthy addition to our bookshelves?
The hardcover book counts 264 high quality glossy paper. The lay-out is very clear and the clustering in chapters and paragraphs is clear and logical, which makes the book easy to read. The high quality paper does the pictures justice. The extended picture credits in the back of the book is a nice addition.
Overall the book is a pleasant read, telling what we all know by now. The book doesn’t show an in depth research like Guralnick’s or Burke’s works. Obviously the target audience for this outing is the casual Elvis-buyer and not the average Elvis-fan. Remarkable from this point of view is the rough language every now and then, that will not be enjoyed by everyone.
Sometimes Pamela Clarke Keogh goes up and down the time line within one chapter pretty often, which can be a little confusing. Using the description of “That’s The Way It Is”-scenes to illustrate the Vegas comeback in 1969 is not done in the eyes of a real fan. Anyone that knows only a little about those engagements, even if it are only the recordings, knows that those are incomparable. No one can compare the raw, raging tiger that was freed from his cage at last with the polished, smooth entertainer who’s on top of the world.
Gladly “Man, Life, Legend” is a book with not too many mistakes. Placing the shooting of Harum Scarum in 1963 is one of them, and a more annoying one is mentioning the Ed Sullivan performance of 1957 as his last TV appearance in 12 years. Especially since the writer does pay attention to the “Welcome Home” show with Sinatra a couple of chapters later.
The pictures in the book are from the EPE-archives, so don’t even try to find a post Aloha shot! Like the one on the cover, most of the pictures are well known.
Elvis Presley – The Man, The Life, The Legend is not for Elvis-fans – or it should be for collecting reasons. It is far from being the worst book on our man, and it might shed a light on him for a casual buyer.