Being Elvis

  • by Ray Connolly
  • Narrated by Jonathan Yen
  • 14 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America.
In Being Elvis, veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world's most loved singer, placing him, 40 years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-20th-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way.
The creator of an American sound that resonates today, Elvis remains frozen in time, an enduring American icon who could capture an inner emotion, perhaps of eternal yearning, to which all of us can still relate.

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What the Critics Say

"Connolly carefully and sympathetically paints the many faces of Presley, faces eventually shrouded in despair." (Kirkus)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not my first choice for Elvis biography

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, but only after reading Careless Love by Guralnick. I wouldn't spend a credit otherwise.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

There is some new info here but a lot is just regurgitated. Incorrect info is repeated from other sources such as the meaning of the letter G in Circle G Ranch and Gladys, E's Mother, age at death.


Would you listen to another book narrated by Jonathan Yen?

No. The man reads in 30 second sound bites. It was like listening to a 30 min travel show voice over. I didn't enjoy his style at all.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Of course! Any documentary on Elvis is appreciated.


Any additional comments?

The author didn't do much research. Let's be honest, this is a lazy work. This is especially true since I had just listened to Careless Love. Now that's a serious biographer! Mr. Connolly is simply cashing in on his short acquaintance with Elvis and Colonel Parker.

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- Jeff42

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio