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Review of The Book Elvis Presley by Bobbie Ann Mason

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The book I chose for my second semester book review is titled ‘Elvis Presley’ by Bobbie Ann Mason. The book a summary of the amazing things that Elvis Presley did in his life. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about or has an interest in Elvis Presley or Rock and Roll music. I give this book a 10 out of 10 rating because of the amazing information in it. This book was especially good because most of us look at famous people and admire them for the good things they did but this book shows the good and the bad, which is important to me because it makes it easy to relate to and not just this perfect person that everyone wants to be but no one actually can be. Elvis was not perfect even though he was the king of Rock’n’roll and this book shows that. Some other cool things in this book would be the relationship Elvis Presley had with the Beatles and going to the White House.

The introduction of the book starts in an interesting way. It starts with his death and the author, Bobbie Ann Mason, goes into what Elvis did and felt like for him even though he never meant the guy, he still had great admiration for him. This is the part of the book that really hooked me and made me decide to write my book review on this book. The first chapter tells how Elvis became popular ‘overnight’ and ‘He emerged in the mid-fifties and it was so sudden, his music was so fresh, his personality was so evocative that he could not be labeled.’ Chapters two and three talked a little bit about Elvis Presley’s life as a child and before he was famous. Elvis was raised in East Tupelo, Mississippi which is a country town. His parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, got married in 1933. His dad drove a milk truck for work and also hoed corn and peas. Gladys found out she was pregnant with twins. She named them Jesse Garon and Elvis Aron. January 8, 1935 at 4 a.m. Jesse Garon Presley was stillborn. Elvis followed at 4:35 a.m. as the surviving twins. They adored and protected Elvis. However, the Presley’s still imagined there was another child. Elvis grew up thinking half of him was missing and always felt guilty about Jesse. Elvis was born in the mindset of poverty and the Presleys were just an average 1930s working class family. His parents were always happy people and liked to party occasionally. The Presley’s did not have much money and they did not have a great house but they were always smiling, enjoying life, and were happy with what they had. They were very friendly people. Some historic events Elvis experienced were the first moon landing and the first satellite-beamed TV show. Another issue Elvis experienced with in his life was the Great Depression. Right before the great depression started Vernon tried to alter a check to get money but instead he had to go to jail for it. While his father was in prison, Gladys and Elvis lived with some cousins in a tiny house. This was a very hard time for the Presleys. They did not have the food or water or the house they needed. It was miserable. Dispiete Elvis’s hard circumstances he found out he had a talent, one he was born with’. Singing.

Elvis had a love for music and this becomes evident in chapters four, five and six. These chapters showed how his love for music started and progressed. Elvis wrote his own songs and sung them for his family and his friends. His family would go to WELO Jamboree at the courthouse and sometimes Elvis went alone and this helped grow his love for music. Here he could also hang out with his favorite performers like Mississippi Slim. Elvis adored country singers. He soaked up all the music he could get from these performances to the singing at church even the train whistle. Music was Elvis’s true passion, but he was quiet about it. When he was ten, he sang in a statewide competition at Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy show at the fairgrounds. When he turned eleven, he went down to the hardware store to buy a 22 instead his mom convinced him to buy a guitar with his birthday money. This is when his career really took off.

Elvis got a RCA Records contract after his performance at country club. His parents thought it was a little fishy but it was something Elvis wanted to do so they supported him. His first hit with the record company was ‘Heart-break Hotel’. He always wore flashy outfits and this was to distract people from noticing his acne. He was very concern with his appearance and did not like how he looked. But with his contract he made nine appearances on national TV. He went to Hollywood for a screen test and signed a movie contract. In only one month, Elvis earned about seventy-seven thousand dollars (about half million in today’s amount). He appeared on countless commercials and TV shows and made a ton of new hits. The next was amazing for him and went really fast and things were finally looking up for Elvis and his family. His dad got out of jail and found a new job. Now the Presley’s were not in debt. By summer of 1956, Elvis had everything going for him. He decided to come to New York, this was his first real vacation in over a couple years. That summer his first movie came out “Love Me Tender”. It was a black and white Civil War drama. He also appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in September. He sung “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Love Me Tender”, “Hound Dog”, and “Ready Teddy”. At this point Elvis was really famous and he could not take it back now.

Chapters fourteen through twenty of the book were my least favorite. They barely gave an information on Elvis? personal life just what people thought of him. They describe him being very lonely. At this point he made 5.4 million dollars. He spent it on many things and he was lonely and was amazed with himself. However, the end of the book I really liked. The last chapter showed of his ties to his family and how great his life was despite his hardships in childhood and his beliefs in Christ. The book “Elvis Presley” by Bobbie Ann Mason definitely informed me on a lot of information about Elvis and especially on his hard life as a kid and how he overcome it and did a lot of amazing things. Elvis should be a role model to all people. He shows that even if you are going through a hard time things can still be great for you. I would recommend reading this book.

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Review Of The Book Elvis Presley By Bobbie Ann Mason. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
“Review Of The Book Elvis Presley By Bobbie Ann Mason.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
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