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The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis… (edition 2002)
by ALANNA NASH
The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley by Alanna Nash
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:54 -0400)
"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.
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