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The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of…

The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis… (edition 2002)


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Title:The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley
Info:AURUM PRESS LTD (2002), Hardcover, 416 pages
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The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley by Alanna Nash



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Although this is meant to be a biography of Colonel Parker, this is also probably the best (but most confronting) biography of Elvis Presley.

Parker is a very strange man, and seemed to be thoroughly disagreeable to be around. But, for better or worse, you cannot deny that Elvis wouldn't have become who he was without the Colonel. Nash attempts to uncover the mystery surrounding Parker's early life, to not great success, but paints an interesting if confused picture of who he was before the Elvis years.

As mentioned, it's also one of the better if not the best Elvis bio. Most Elvis biographies are written by 'friends' (or people who hung around and bludged cars off him, which seems to be more the case) and certainly isn't watered down. A warning to Elvis fans: what has been read cannot be unread. This books paints him as the tragic figure he surely was at the end, and an honest account of how he degraded so much in the past few years. Very very sad.

Well written, hard to put down, interesting and insightful, researched (as much as possible). Highly recommended for true Elvis fans. ( )
  LibraryOfRodAndCyn | Jun 1, 2014 |
I never cared too much about Elvis,but this is a fascinating tale of the things that keep the murky world of show business rolling along,at any cost. ( )
  davidthomas | Nov 27, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743213017, Hardcover)

Alanna Nash's biography of Colonel Tom Parker uncovers a life story even more complicated, dark, and entertaining than that of the promoter's greatest talent, Elvis Presley. Nash had unique access to the Colonel and many of those closely connected to him in assembling the facts that underlie her narrative, and the book reads like a mystery as it probes the origins of Parker’s power.

Ultimately, Parker was protecting himself in his manipulation of Elvis, Nash argues. Though her evidence is not conclusive, she suggests that Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) feared deportation his entire life, but, more importantly, he may have fled his native Holland in 1929 after committing murder. In America Andreas transformed himself into Tom Parker while immersing himself in the worlds of the carnival and circus. This work led him to the promotion of musical acts and, eventually, the creation of his greatest mass entertainment and merchandising bonanza, Elvis. Elvis would become a shield against the demons of Parker’s past and resource to fuel his insatiable appetites.

Parker’s life remains shrouded to a large degree, despite Nash's efforts. The narrative is at times sensational in its attempts to dramatize the malign aspects of Parker’s character, and those coming for a definitive answer as to the cause of Elvis's self-destruction will find new light, but no final answers. Yet, Nash's biography will likely remain the best picture we will ever have of the mysterious Tom Parker, and fans of Elvis will appreciate this insider's view into their hero’s rise and fall. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:33 -0400)

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"In The Colonel, Alanna Nash explores in depth the story of Colonel Tom Parker, the man behind the legend and the myth of Elvis Presley. The result is a book that reads like the most riveting of real-life detective stories - one that will completely change your view of Presley's life, success, and death." "Alanna Nash has been covering the story of Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker since the day of Presley's funeral in Memphis, Tennessee. She was the first journalist allowed to view Presley's body, a compelling and surprising sight. But the profile of Parker attending the funeral in a Hawaiian shirt and a baseball cap was even stranger, and led her to investigate the man behind the myth." "Filled with startling new material, her book challenges even the most familiar percepts of the Presley saga - everything we presumed about Parker's handling of the world's most famous entertainer must now be reevaluated in the light of information Nash reveals about Parker, who cared little for Presley beyond what the singer could do to bolster the Colonel's precarious position as an illegal alien."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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