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Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley…

Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Peter Guralnick

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567826,032 (4.41)9
Title:Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley
Authors:Peter Guralnick
Info:Back Bay Books (2000), Paperback, 768 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:nonfiction, music

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Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick (1999)



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Great book, great writing, sad life of a great man. ( )
  leo.chupin | Jul 19, 2015 |
If in Last Train to Memphis Elvis Aron Presley was a shy, quiet kid with diamond-in-the-rough talent, for all appearances he is now a cocky, self-assured music and movie star in Careless Love. All of the makings of a good rock and roll star are there: sex, drugs and money. At this stage of the game Elvis is dating more women than he can keep track of, taking upppers and diet pills to keep up with the party-til-3am lifestyle, and spending boatloads of money all the while. By the time he is in his early 30s he has bought his entourage push carts, motorcycles and horses. "In all he managed to pay out well over $1000,000 in approximately two weeks, an orgy of spending that seemed to momentarily pacify Elvis..." (p 252). His sincerity gets lost in the mayhem and only resurfaces when he remembers his deceased mother. His mother brings out the best in him. Without her, his struggle to know himself is heartbreaking. Yet, what he really does knows is how to work the public, especially the ladies. Guralnick doesn't shy from this fact. He is unflinching in his quest for the truth of the legacy. He captures Presley's demise as the epic tragedy that it was. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Feb 24, 2014 |
Elvis Presley: what a pathetic figure ( )
  clarkland | Feb 13, 2013 |
This biography takes up basically the second half of Elvis’ life from the time he left the Army around 1958. The author had written the earlier years version also but I had not read it yet. It would certainly have filled in much needed info as at this point his mother had passed on and was under the management of the colonel all ready. Elvis is shown here as the great talent surrounded my many that would be there for him but also serve as enablers and dependents on his fame and wealth. The drug use starts early and as typical of that time in the form of pep pills that were so common and seen as the wonder energy drug. From there it was Elvis who made it his lifestyle and ultimate demise as his own research into all that came available he had determined would be necessary for himself to function with no downside. Though it was not covered in detail his sources mostly doctors were not seen as culpable in what eventually went down.

His relationship with Priscilla but many of the other women in his life would seem to mirror his obsession with the closeness with his mother. A strange relationship that could never really be workable with what the women wanted out of the relationship. As his fame moves forward and eventually declines so does Elvis and the pill addiction takes over and is painful to watch how it totally unravels him. The money he and the colonel went through is staggering and reflects how extreme fame not balanced well warps the all areas of his life.

The last years were difficult to witness, as he simply is not able to deliver on stage yet the fans keep coming to make the endless treadmill he finds himself on. At just like that it is over. The book ends with the funeral itself and I felt it would have been good to have more of the aftermath and the effects on the people that surrounded him. Ironically I got the feeling that he would have lived longer as a simple truck driver as he started out and maybe happier. Ultimately, though one could make a case for those enabling his behavior, it was Elvis who was responsible and he alone that brought it all crashing down. It almost seemed the expectation was that this was the only outcome available to him and he may have been relieved it was finally over.
  knightlight777 | Nov 5, 2012 |
There's a moment from the film Pulp Fiction that ended up on the cutting room floor in which Mia Wallace asks Vincent Vega whether he's an Elvis man or a Beatles man. "You might like both," she tells Vincent, "but you always like one better." I'm a hardcore Beatles fan, but I'm still fascinated by Elvis -- especially the post-GI, bad-movie making, white jump-suited, bloated karate Elvis. And that's why I bypassed completely Last Train to Memphis -- the first book in Guralnick's two-part Elvis bio, which tells the story of Elvis' meteoric rise -- and headed right for the good stuff.

Guralnick tells Elvis' story in a clear-eyed manner, spinning a story that's almost Shakespearian in its tragedy. And it quickly gets ugly, as Elvis corrodes into a lazy, strung-out fat kid, distracted by go-carts, badge collecting, and playing cowboys and Indians with his sycophantic Memphis Mafia, all the while derailing his own career, despite an incredibly forgiving fan base. From one oh-my-gosh, no way! moment to another, Guralnick delivers the goods, careening like a barely-controlled jalopy toward the decidedly non-glamorous ending we all know is coming. Look away? Heck no. Cringe-inducing? Heck yes. Awesome. ( )
1 vote brianjayjones | Jun 17, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316332976, Paperback)

Until Peter Guralnick came out with Last Train to Memphis in 1994, most biographies of Elvis Presley--especially those written by people with varying degrees of access to his "inner circle"--were filled with starstruck adulation, and those that weren't in awe of their subject invariably went out of their way to take potshots at the rock & roll pioneer (with Albert Goldman's 1981 Elvis reaching now-legendary levels of bile and condescension). Guralnick's exploration of Elvis's childhood and rise to fame was notable for its factual rigorousness and its intimate appreciation of Presley's musical agenda.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Guralnick sees Elvis through his tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Germany, where he first met--and was captivated by--a 14-year-old girl named Priscilla Beaulieu. We may think we know the story from this point: the return to America, the near-decade of B-movies, eventual marriage to Priscilla, a brief flash of glory with the '68 comeback, and the surrealism of "fat Elvis" decked out in bejeweled white jumpsuits, culminating in a bathroom death scene. And while that summary isn't exactly false, Guralnick's account shows how little perspective we've had on Elvis's life until now, how a gross caricature of the final years has come to stand for the life itself. He treats every aspect of Presley's life--including forays into spiritual mysticism and the growing dependency on prescription drugs--with dignity and critical distance. More importantly, Careless Love continues to show that Guralnick "gets" what Presley was trying to do as an artist: "I see him in the same way that I think he saw himself from the start," the introduction states, "as someone whose ambition it was to encompass every strand of the American musical tradition." From rock to blues to country to gospel, Guralnick discusses how, at his finest moments, Elvis was able to fulfill that dream. --Ron Hogan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Recounts the second half of Elvis Presley's life, from his army service in 1958 Germany through his death in 1977, and focuses on his relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker.

(summary from another edition)

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