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The King Lives On

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self-published, Singapore
(price: $8.50; 258 pages)

first published in the US by EP Dutton, 1984

The blurb on the back:

It was in Singapore in í89 that Alexander Zeller came face to face with a man he recognized as the legendary King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley.
In the series of interviews with the former Rockstar
[sic], Zeller took down the riveting story of what happened in that fateful year of 1977.

opening lines:
It was another one of those hot days in Memphis, when people would normally seek shelter from the tormenting heat if they had no outdoor business.

By the mid-1970s Elvis was getting mighty pissed off with his life. Trapped by Col Parker on a vacuous Vegas treadmill, heís yearning to escape. And then, miraculously, along comes a British fan who bears a strong resemblance to himself, and who has only a few months to live. What better answer than to switch the two men, let the Englishman die in the Kingís place, and leave Elvis to escape the limelight by adopting a new persona? All of this, naturally, with the collaboration of Ė indeed, under the direction of Ė the security services.

Thatís the premise of the book. And, to do it justice, Mr Zeller does work through the logistics of the plot pretty well. But thatís all. Itís a very dull read, and lacks any of the sparkle that one might wish to see brought to the subject. And, of course, itís preposterous. Apart from anything else, the Elvis of 1989 tells our intrepid reporter that he still uses Brut aftershave. And thatís not how I wish to think of the King.


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Stark Raving Elvis
rock & roll