The King is dead. Long live the King.



Last Train to Memphis

By Peter Guralnick


The first half of Guralnick's compelling two-part biography follows Elvis from his birth in Mississippi to his drafting by the Army in 1958, encompassing the years of his rocket-ride to stardom. Relying on hundreds of interviews, Guralnick stitches myriad everyday details into a vital, revealing portrait of the young musician. But the good times are short-lived. The author's second volume of the King's life story, Careless Love, is ominously subtitled "The Unmaking of Elvis Presley".



Dead Elvis

By Greil Marcus


Elvis can no longer be seen as a human being, argues Greil Marcus. He is an idea, a mythological creature, a symbol. Through a set of interlocking essays, the lauded commentator on American entertainment maps how the the living, breathing man was transmuted into the more-than-mortal figure who still haunts our collective memory.




By Chris Abani


Almost as culturally pervasive as the King himself is the Elvis impersonator. This moving 2005 novel by the Nigerian-born author Chris Abani is filled with the energy of American music and film -- and the spirit of Elvis Presley -- as it depicts the odyssey of a teenaged Elvis impersonator struggling to escape a rough life on the streets of Lagos.



The Colonel

By Alanna Nash


There are some Elvis fans who blame his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, for the musician's long, agonizing downfall. Others argue that Elvis would never have been such a huge star without Parker's behind-the-scenes machinations. Alanna Nash ponders the mysterious life and many secrets of this Dutch-born, Barnum-like manipulator.



Elvis: All Shook Up

By Various


A collection of essays about the King by authors as diverse as William F. Buckley and Bono, David Halberstam and Ann-Margaret. This multifaceted portrait of the singer even includes newly declassified FBI documents pertaining to his outsized effect on popular culture, demonstrating why, thirty-five years after his death, America is still entranced by the kid from Tupelo, Mississippi.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.