The Elvis Encyclopedia (Huge 3 kg/6.6 pounds) Hardcover Elvis Presley Book has faults but still overall a great resorce.
Oh wow! The Elvis Encyclopedia is awesome! I received it a couple of days ago and have been looking at it non-stop ever since. I've read many Elvis books, but this book includes everything you could possibly want to know about him. It includes everything from everyone who was somehow involved in his life to topics such as 'shopping' to listing details about his songs, etc.. There are quotes from Elvis and people who knew him throughout the book. There are so many pictures and even though I've seen some of them before, they look beautiful in this book.
This book is VERY HEAVY, so it's not something you can read on the train or plane. The author put A LOT of time into his research, and it shows! Even though the book is expensive, it's well worth it, and a wonderful addition to your Elvis collection. I probably wouldn't read this book straight through, but each page is a treat.
Wow, this book is an amazing resource -- there's enough here to keep you reading for years. Every page is packed with detailed info (in very small type!). The section on Elvis' death seems particularly strong. There are also tons of nice photos (color and black & white), several of which I've never seen before. This hefty encyclopedia defintely deserves to occupy space on every serious Elvis fan's book shelf.
Since his death in 1977, there have probably been more books written about Elvis Presley than any other 20th century figure with the possible exception of John F. Kennedy. For sheer diversity, however, even the assassinated 36th president can't beat the King. In addition to innumerable biographies, ranging from Peter Guralnick's superb two volume set to the late Albert Goldman's viciously sleazy 1981 bestseller, there have been titles examining the cultural phenomenon that Presley represented, attempts to comprehend his continued popularity several decades after his death, and even fiction, including mystery novels with Elvis as a detective and an offering from no less a light than William F. Buckley Jr. Then there are the truly bizarre attempts to compare Elvis with Jesus, or humorous efforts to mock those whose idolatry is so extreme they have forsaken their own identity to emulate their favorite performer. With such a wealth of information out there, it would be a herculean task to gather even the most pertinent data in one volume. Adam Victor's The Elvis Encyclopedia succeeds as well as can be expected.
In nearly 600 oversize pages, the author tracks Elvis' life and career, from his greatest achievements (the earth-shattering recordings) to such minutiae as his motor homes, grocery lists, and speeding tickets. Most of the entries deal with the music. Each album, single, and song that Elvis recorded is highlighted with recording and release dates, chart position, and an occasional acknowledgment of the personnel involved (that's Jerry Reed playing the licks on Elvis' version of Reed's 'Guitar Man'). The movies, whether good ('Jailhouse Rock,' 'King Creole'), bad ('Girls, Girls, Girls'), or unfit for human eyes ('Clambake') are given their due, as are the television appearances from his small-screen debut on Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey's Stage Show in 1956 to his third and final special which aired on CBS posthumously in 1977. The significant figures in Presley's life, such as his parents, wife, and daughter, are the subject of appropriately lengthy entries, as are those like Sun Records impresario Sam Phillips and manager Colonel Tom Parker who, for better or worse, helped shape his legendary and sometimes mind-boggling career. Songwriters, musicians, producers, directors and others who worked with the King are briefly profiled throughout.
Just about every concert he performed is documented under the cities in which they took place, and there are quotes by and about Elvis from every conceivable figure (John Lennon to Richard Nixon) sprinkled throughout its pages, as well as hundreds of photographs from every period of his life. As noted, an encyclopedia is a massive undertaking, and the more astute fan will spot the errors that are par for the course in such an ambitious project. A quote correctly attributed to Johnny Carson on the back cover ('If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead') is credited to James Brown on page 258 (following a lengthy entry about 'Impersonators') and the entry for 'Bob Dylan' has the second most influential solo artist of the rock era having a number one hit with 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' and receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. As any Dylanologist can tell you, Dylan never had a number one single and the latter honor came in 1991. The editing is also sloppy with one sentence segueing into another without benefit of punctuation more times than I could count, and other errors, mostly trivial but still annoying when encountered. Hopefully, these mistakes will be detected and eliminated before a second edition goes to press.
Despite these complaints, The Elvis Encyclopedia is a very entertaining and informative read for aficionados and even more so for those just discovering this important cultural figure and hungry for information. 'Elvis was truly some sort of American king,' Bob Dylan recently told Rolling Stone. 'His face is even on the Statue of Liberty.' I never noticed that much of a resemblance between the King and the face on that statue, but now it's the statue that is being honored by the comparison. Elvis is a mythological figure now, but The Elvis Encyclopedia helps to keep him real.
Some faults listed below;
--In a photo from the set of 'Love Me Tender' Richard Egan is identified as George Hamilton.
--The plot outline of 'King Creole' includes several misstatements, about the finale in particular.
--The plot outline for 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' is incorrect about how the helicopter keys were lost.
--A photo of Elvis with some bikini clad dancing girls is said to be a scene from the movie 'Follow That Dream'; I don't remember any such girls from that particular movie.
--The caption of the famous photo of Elvis rehearsing with the hound dog for the Steve Allen show implies that the photo is from the broadcast itself.
So all things considered, there are now two essential book purchases in 2008: Joseph Tunzi’s Elvis: '68 at 40 and Adam Victor's The Elvis Encyclopedia! Both have a very different emphasis, but both offer something to delight fans time and time again.