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book cover of Elvis and the Colonel

Elvis and the Colonel

A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker were associated in the public mind like Laurel and Hardy, although a more accurate pairing would have been Svengali and Trilby, as the authors demonstrate. Intriguingly, the colonel, who projected an image as American as apple pie, was foreign - born (in 1909): a Dutchman named Andreas van Kuijk, he served in the U.S. peacetime army but never became a citizen. He entered the U.S. illegally and as a young man worked in carnivals, where he learned to be a con man par excellence, according to the authors. It was his talent as an operator that led him to become the personal manager of Eddy Arnold, then Hank Snow and finally Elvis. While the authors do not attempt a psychobiography, they argue forcefully that Parker's carnival background made him a conniving money-grubber who eventually destroyed Presley's career. The singer himself does not emerge here as a hero, but he does seem more to be pitied than censured. Vellenga is a Dutch journalist; Farren, an American, is a freelance writer.

Library Journal
This book focuses on Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, suggesting that his greed and ruthlessness led to the ruin of Presley's career and perhaps caused his death. In 1955 Parker signed the first of many, increasingly manipulative contracts with Presleycontracts that eventually gave Parker a greater share of the Presley empire than the King himself. Presley was treated like a money-making machine, kept isolated from friends, and well supplied with drugs. Although based on interviews, the book offers little actual documentation to back up its thesis. But the narrative is well written and convincing. About a third of the book is an appendix of concert and recording dates and a discography. A real eye-opener for Presley fans. Tim LaBorie, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia


Used availability for Mick Farren's Elvis and the Colonel

Hardback Editions

January 1989 : UK Hardback

Title: Elvis and the Colonel
Author(s): Dirk Vellenga, Mick Farren
ISBN: 0-246-13459-3 / 978-0-246-13459-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Grafton
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1988 : USA Hardback

Title: Elvis And The Colonel
Author(s): Dirk Vellenga, Mick Farren
ISBN: 0-385-29521-9 / 978-0-385-29521-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Paperback Editions

February 1990 : UK Paperback

Title: Elvis and the Colonel
Author(s): Dirk Vellenga, Mick Farren, Dirk Vallenga
ISBN: 0-586-20595-0 / 978-0-586-20595-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Grafton
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

July 1989 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: Elvis and the Colonel
Author(s): Mick Farren, Dirk Vellenga
ISBN: 0-440-20392-9 / 978-0-440-20392-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell Pub Co
Availability: Amazon UK