The duo that brought readers Mondo Barbie are back with a look at the life and times of the King. This collection of stories and poems by Alice Walker, Greil Marcus, Mark Childress, Nick Cave, Diane Wakoski, and others tracks the different aspects of the Elvis legend.
From the Publisher
Elvis is, and always will be, The King. Even as he (probably) lies in his grave at Graceland, he lives on in his music, his movies, on the Vegas stage, through the U.S. Mail, and on these pages. Mondo Elvis is a compilation of Elvis dreams, Elvis desires, and Elvis nightmares. This collection of stories and poems by, among others, Greil Marcus, Nick Cave, Mark Childress, Diane Wakoski, and Janice Eidus, track the Elvis legend from beginning to end. They depict Elvis the man, as well as the myth, they reflect on the life that was, and ponder the life that might have been. Elvis will never die. We can't let him. We need him too much.
From The Critics
Ebersole and Peabody's ( Mondo Barbie ) new collection will be published on Elvis's birthday, January 8. ``We'd do the music that Elvis would have done if only the Colonel hadn't put him in all those corny movies,'' Pagan Kennedy's would-be Elvis impersonator says in one of the less credible pieces. Other far-fetched stories make Presley a figure in today's world; Harold Waldrop turns him into a senator who takes jazz clarinetist Dwight Eisenhower as his ideal. More interesting are period pieces in which Elvis is peripheral: Diane Wakoski's poem about a teenager in a home for unwed mothers circa 1956 and an excerpt from Mark Childress's novel in which a white Southern boy chances upon a black radio station. Some of the finest pieces concern contemporary reactions to the dead idol: the woman in Cathryn Hankla's story searches for her dreamboat using each date's adoration for Elvis as a test; Laura Kalpakian contributes a wonderful excerpt from Graced Land (recently turned into a TV movie starring Roseanne Arnold) about a social worker contemplating her upcoming marriage while calling on a welfare mother who lives and dies for Elvis. Selections vary greatly in quality, but the best pieces make reading well worth the effort. (Jan.)
From the editors of Mondo Barbie (St. Martin's, 1993) comes another anthology of an icon. Elvis is portrayed in these stories and poems as he was, both in youth and middle age; as he might have been had different paths been taken; and as he always will be in is fans' dreams and fantasies. Here he is a man constrained by fame in Rachel Salazar's evocative ``Words and Pictures,'' a politician on the rise in Howard Waldrop's ``Ike at the Mike,'' and a Hasidic Jew hiding out in the Bronx after faking his death in Janice Eidus's ``Elvis, Axl, and Me.'' Some of the best of these selections are parts of works the Elvis faithful are likely to know; still, they're gathered here to be wrapped in blue suede paper and published January 8, which would be Elvis's 59th birthday. For pop culture collections and Elvis fans everywhere.-- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L. , Va.